Packet-Optical Moves Beyond 100G

NEW YORK -- Packet-Optical Transport Evolution 2012 -- The obvious topic for Light Reading's annual packet-optical conference would be the speeds beyond 100Gbit/s, but there's a lot more than that afoot in the optical world.

Cloud networking and software-defined networking have both become huge issues in the past year. Both will affect the new generation of optical networks that are based on Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching and hybrid packet/optical schemes, and both will get high billing at the conference.

POTE will open with a Wednesday afternoon workshop put on by Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) and feature a Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) talk about software-defined networking. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) will also make an appearance, talking about the idea of elastic bandwidth for cloud services.

The main conference, which starts Thursday, includes a session on clouds, exploring the network alterations necessary for features such as the real-time turning-up of bandwidth. Carol Wilson, chief editor of events for Light Reading, will lead a discussion with speakers from Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), Optimum Lightpath and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA).

Software-defined networking is sure to come up repeatedly during the day -- particularly in a Q&A keynote with Randy Nicklas, CTO of XO Communications Inc. . Nicklas is an old hand at Light Reading events, but the format is new: He'll be interviewed, fireside chat-style, by Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin.

POTE's other service provider keynote will come from James King, executive director of optical technology planning and development at AT&T Labs , who will present his company's take on optical transport networks.

A third keynote will be from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), a company that's been a big topic of discussion in optical networking since its acquisition of silicon photonics company Lightwire.

Elsewhere in the panel sessions, two wholesale network operators -- Hunter Newby, CEO of Allied Fiber LLC and Don MacNeil, CMO of XO Communications Inc. , will address that industry segment's transport challenges. Shamim Akhtar, senior director of network architecture and technology for Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), will weigh in on how the MSO is managing the move to an all-packet future.

The day ends with sessions about the optical control plane and 1Tbit/s transmission. The control plane might sound esoteric, but as Perrin mentions in his conference preview, it's become a center-stage issue.

As for terabit networking -- as industry speakers have noted all year -- it's time to start getting serious about what happens after 100Gbit/s. The conference will close with Comcast, Cisco and JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) discussing what lies ahead for possible standardization of 1Tbit/s.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, and Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 5:32:49 PM
re: Packet-Optical Moves Beyond 100G

Keen to see if any of the operators are rubbing their hands at the prospect of SDN enabling them to cut ties with traditional vendors.

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