Cisco, Cyan Think Beyond the Box
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Cyan Optics Inc. are each preparing network management software that can control multiple vendors' equipment, a development that could be particularly important in Ethernet services.
A multi-vendor control plane would make it easier for a carrier to provision services across the entire network. Soapstone -- whose technology is now owned by Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) -- was working on the problem, and software company Tail-f Systems likewise seems to have the pieces to make it happen. (See Ethernet Management Looms and Triggering a New Control Plane.)
What's difficult, though, is getting the cooperation of other vendors, since the software would have to talk to their equipment in the right way. Cyan now tells Light Reading it's getting that cooperation from some Ethernet equipment vendors.
"We're going through the integration of third-party products right now. We'll have announcements early next year about third-party integration," says Frank Wiener, the company's vice president of marketing and business development.
Cyan's management software, CyMS, looks across multiple layers of the network, presenting them in a snazzy 3D format. But most networks are using non-Cyan equipment, obviously, because Cyan is so new. So, carriers -- those outside the US, in particular -- have pushed the startup to make its software multi-vendor, Wiener says. (See Cyan Plays God With Optical.)
CyMS "has tremendous value, but they say it has to manage more than our hardware," he tells Light Reading.
Cisco, meanwhile, says it's already got a way to support a multi-vendor control plane. It's possible with the company's new CPT line of packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS) and its new management software called Prime, short for Premier Integrated Management Experience. (See Cisco (Finally) Adds P-OTS.)
"The management system is designed to include third-party objects, simply because we do understand service providers have multi-vendor environments," says Mike Capuano, Cisco's director of marketing. But it does require some customization before Prime can be used for multi-vendor management.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading