Tag Archives: Ciena

Updates from Ciena

How governments can solve layer 3 network complexity
What if government agencies could monitor and analyze their IP networks to ensure peak efficiency and service continuity—all while trying to modernize the network, balance cost, performance, and resiliency? Jim Westdorp, Ciena Government Solutions’ Chief Technologist, explains how this is possible.
By Jim Westdorp – The dynamic nature of IP networking makes it virtually impossible to know at any point in time how traffic is traversing your networks. Troubleshooting problems by issuing pings and router CLI commands, scanning log files, and manually correlating the results is imprecise and inefficient. Many government networks disable services like Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), which makes these inefficient tasks impossible. The results can impact service delivery, the agility of the network, and mission.

Traditional management tools have several limitations. For example, they can’t:

  • Provide real-time visibility into routing paths across the network
  • Provide unique alerts for Layer 3 technologies related to: state changes, pathing, performance, and the availability of the network elements to route packets
  • Show and model how routing errors and changes impact service delivery
  • Understand the resiliency of the network
  • Correlate routing events with performance metrics of network services to assure service performance
  • Compute and provision transport paths to deploy new services
  • Provide unified visibility and analysis for multi-vendor, multi-layer networks

Think about all the things you’d like to be able to do with your network, and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What if you could get a graphical view of all the IP flows in your network and gain deeper insights into traffic patterns, flows, and congestion?
  • What if you could drill deep into specific flows to understand the detailed route and particular pieces of network equipment those flows traversed?
  • What if you could troubleshoot your network using DVR-like functionality to see the exact state of the network at the time of an event, even if it was days in the past?
  • What if you had automated analytics to help identify the best paths to route traffic through your network?
  • What if your cyber team could utilize the same platform to be alerted to conditions indicative of external interference with a government?

Often, “what-ifs” are hypotheticals. Not in this case, with Blue Planet’s Route Optimization and Analysis (ROA).  This technology has been field-proven for more than a decade with government entities that have strategic imperatives to monitor and analyze their IP Networks to ensure peak efficiency and service continuity—all while trying to modernize the network, balance cost, performance, and resiliency. more>

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Updates from Ciena

With great fiber count comes great responsibility
Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) cables are a key focus area for submarine network innovation in 2020. Ciena’s Brian Lavallée explains how SDM cables offer massive increases in submarine cable carrying capacity and the challenges associated with these new wet plant designs.
By Brian Lavallée – In a recent blog entitled “The Submarine Network Seascape in 2020”, I wrote about what I believe are key areas for focused submarine network innovation in 2020. One key area is Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) cables. This new wet plant design allows submarine cable operators to “side-step” the Shannon Limit by expanding Channel Bandwidth (B) in the equation, which is the usable optical bandwidth in the submarine cable. In other words, the more bandwidth available in the cable, the more capacity is enabled. It’s as simple as that.

Once a submarine cable (wet plant) is laid upon the seabed, the Channel Bandwidth (B) is fixed and is dictated by the number of fiber pairs and the total usable optical spectrum of the optical repeaters (a historical industry misnomer of what are today, optical amplifiers). This means that once a submarine cable is deployed, one must improve the Signal-to-Noise Ratio, on the right side of the equation above, to increase the Channel Capacity (C). This is exactly what the industry has been doing for years with constant technology innovation taking place in the Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE) and the coherent modems they house.

However, as we get ever-closer to the Shannon Limit of a submarine optical fiber, we start to experience diminishing returns in terms of the upgrade leaps in total information-carrying capacity of the optical fiber. This means that the industry focus must shift back to the wet plant interconnecting the SLTE coherent modems.

Compared to rapid, ongoing SLTE coherent modem innovation over the past decade, the wet plants they connect to have witnessed comparatively less innovation – until recently. One way to expand the Channel Bandwidth (B) in the equation above is to add many more fiber pairs to the submarine cable to provide a higher aggregate of usable optical spectrum in the submarine cable. This is referred to as Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM). Modern submarine cables have 4 to 8 Fiber Pairs (FP), while SDM offers 12 to 16 FPs, and potentially more in the future.

As an industry proof point, the first SDM submarine cable will be Google’s transatlantic 6,400km  Dunant cable, which supports up to 250Tb/s of overall capacity provided by an aggregate of 12 fiber pairs – very impressive! more>

Updates from Ciena

Delivering true 5G: are we ready?
It’s already been an exciting year for 5G technology, as we finally move the needle on commercial deployments and early adoption of new use cases. We discussed with Ciena’s Joe Marsella how mobile and wholesale network operators are gearing up to capitalize on the benefits and opportunities of 5G – and how technologies such as Network Slicing will play a key role.
By Joe Marsella – What many may not realize is that 5G will initially leverage 4G and coexist with it for many years to come, rather than immediately obsolete it. Consumers will have plenty of time to swap out their 4G-enabled devices for 5G-capable ones with the pace of change largely dictated by how attractive the new 5G enable apps and monthly plans will be. However, we simply can’t discount the amazing network performance that 5G will provide.

We’ve already witnessed 5G New Radios (NR) providing impressive wireless performance gains, even while connected to the existing 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) in what’s referred to as 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) mode. This configuration supports early enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) applications such as HD video streaming. The next evolution of 5G performance will be driven by 5G Stand-Alone (SA) mode, where 5G NRs are connect to a 5G Core alongside Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) to support massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) and ultra-reliable Low-Latency Communications (urLLC). These latter two uses cases will enable a wide range of new applications for telemedicine, industrial automation, self-driving vehicles, and public safety among others.

Operators globally have been focused on 5G rollouts in densely populated metro areas in an effort to offer the base solution to their masses of customers as quickly as possible. It always comes down to bandwidth – and more of it! And, numerous city centers are on the brink of 5G transformation. In the future, we’ll see metro areas morph into Smart Cities, adopt driverless vehicles, embrace tech-powered emergency responder services, and fuel hubs for new innovation centers and businesses.

On the other hand, the outlook in rural areas – with lower end-user densities – will lag metro 5G rollouts. While government entities have taken steps in the right direction to help close the digital divide by offering funding to deliver high-speed bandwidth service to rural communities, there’s still a long way to go. more>

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Updates from Ciena

How governments can solve layer 3 network complexity
What if government agencies could monitor and analyze their IP networks to ensure peak efficiency and service continuity—all while trying to modernize the network, balance cost, performance, and resiliency? Jim Westdorp, Ciena Government Solutions’ Chief Technologist, explains how this is possible.
By Jim Westdorp – Do you know what your layer 3 network is doing?

The dynamic nature of IP networking makes it virtually impossible to know at any point in time how traffic is traversing your networks. Troubleshooting problems by issuing pings and router CLI commands, scanning log files, and manually correlating the results is imprecise and inefficient. Many government networks disable services like Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), which makes these inefficient tasks impossible. The results can impact service delivery, the agility of the network, and mission.

Traditional management tools have several limitations. For example, they can’t:

  • Provide real-time visibility into routing paths across the network
  • Provide unique alerts for Layer 3 technologies related to: state changes, pathing, performance, and the availability of the network elements to route packets
  • Show and model how routing errors and changes impact service delivery
  • Understand the resiliency of the network
  • Correlate routing events with performance metrics of network services to assure service performance
  • Compute and provision transport paths to deploy new services
  • Provide unified visibility and analysis for multi-vendor, multi-layer networks

Think about all the things you’d like to be able to do with your network, and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What if you could get a graphical view of all the IP flows in your network and gain deeper insights into traffic patterns, flows, and congestion?
  • What if you could drill deep into specific flows to understand the detailed route and particular pieces of network equipment those flows traversed?
  • What if you could troubleshoot your network using DVR-like functionality to see the exact state of the network at the time of an event, even if it was days in the past?
  • What if you had automated analytics to help identify the best paths to route traffic through your network?
  • What if your cyber team could utilize the same platform to be alerted to conditions indicative of external interference with a government?

Often, “what-ifs” are hypotheticals. Not in this case, with Blue Planet’s Route Optimization and Analysis (ROA).  This technology has been field-proven for more than a decade with government entities that have strategic imperatives to monitor and analyze their IP Networks to ensure peak efficiency and service continuity—all while trying to modernize the network, balance cost, performance, and resiliency. more>

Updates from Ciena

How to simplify today’s network for tomorrow’s demand
The traffic growth curve has always been steep, but the likes of 5G, IoT, and Edge Computing mean it’s going to get even more so. Today’s networks need to adapt, and here, Ciena’s Jürgen Hatheier, CTO for the EMEA region, points the way forward via the adoption of a new, holistic, end-to-end mindset, for a simplified network that’s automated, open, and lean.
By Jürgen Hatheier – It’s time to think differently. Constantly adding more and bigger hardware platforms to increase network capacity simply isn’t viable anymore from cost, power, space, and complexity viewpoints. Cost and complexity are particularly exacerbated when building and operating standalone networks for private line and Enterprise business services, 4G/5G mobile services, and residential broadband services.

Take a new approach. Click here to start your journey to a simplified network environment.

There is a better way.

An adaptive approach will eliminate complexity, provide analytics-driven network intelligence, and deliver programmable, on-demand scalability. It’s the only way to ensure you can offer differentiated services at the speed, performance, and cost levels your customers demand.

Here’s how it works:

  • A leaner, more cost-effective network
    Replace costly, complex legacy router platforms with simpler, streamlined Adaptive IPTM that sheds operational complexity associated with supporting obsolete and unrequired protocols, while providing the ones you do need, such as Segment Routing. This means you get the best possible use of all your network assets via a leaner and simpler network to own and operate on an ongoing basis.
  • Simplifies your management requirements
    With a simpler, leaner common network architecture, services are easier to deploy, manage, and maintain.
  • Scale your network – not your complexity
    By converging and simplifying your network, you open the door to greater scalability. As converged packet (Ethernet, MPLS, IP, SR) networking equipment seamlessly integrates the optical layer, it can scale programmatically to deliver 100G to 400G and beyond. This means you can maintain pace with your customers’ growing bandwidth demands in a quicker and far more efficient manner.

A holistic end-to-end networking approach allows you to meet growing traffic demands while simultaneously improving operational efficiency. Ciena’s Adaptive IP, with its programmable infrastructure, application-specific IP features, and intelligent automation, takes you to new levels of network scalability, performance, and control. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Next-generation networks help DOT’s deliver quality motorist experience
Converged packet-optical technology enhances Department of Transportation’s intelligent transportation systems while paving the way for future automated highways.
By Daniele Loffreda – On statewide highway systems, road conditions can change without warning. Snowstorms, rockslides, vehicle collisions, traffic congestion and wildlife activity are just a few examples of sudden changes that can disrupt road travel. For Department of Transportation (DOT) traffic managers in central operations centers, accessing real-time data from remote roadside “smart” devices is critical. Trying to resolve roadside problems from afar without real-time data is like trying to steer a car that has a mud-splattered windshield. Although there may be a few clear patches, it is nearly impossible to see the whole picture.

Traffic managers need real-time access to data flowing from intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies, smart traffic control devices and connected vehicle applications. Combining this data with analytics software provides traffic managers a clearer view of what is happening throughout the highway system. Armed with these insights they can quickly resolve problems, dispatch emergency crews, alert motorists to pending hazards, and recommend alternative routes to their destinations.

The challenge? The enormous data volume generated by video cameras, sensors, monitoring devices, vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) and other technologies can quickly clog a network increasing congestion and outages. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Driving towards an open and smarter RAN
What are the benefits of opening the Radio Access Network (RAN) and what is the industry doing to drive this change?
By Brian Lavallée – Since the dawn of mobile networking, the Radio Access Network (RAN) has been closed and proprietary. It remains one of the last parts of the global network infrastructure yet to be opened. Doing so will allow Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to pick-and-choose radios, Baseband Units (BBU) components, and the transport networks that interconnect them, from one or more vendors.

Opening the RAN, via a broad adoption of open specifications, will yield benefits related to new market entrants with new ideas and mindsets, faster innovation fueled by increased competition, a broader and more secure supply chain, as well as expected price reductions driven by increased competition. The benefits of openness are simply too enticing to ignore and is why the movement continues to gain momentum.

An open RAN also comes with tradeoffs to be addressed, because great openness comes with great responsibility. Building best-in-breed RANs composed of different vendors means someone has to do the integration of the radios, BBU components, and transport network that interconnects them, since this was previously done by the sole turnkey vendor.

Interworking issues tend to be more involved, especially as the number of vendors grows, but there’s work being done by such groups as the O-RAN Alliance, Small Cell Forum, 3GPP, and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to alleviate the challenges associated with an open RAN. The number of groups working on opening the RAN is a good indication of the will of the industry, especially the MNOs, to eliminate decades old vendor lock-in. This is because the time to open the RAN is now, as 5G systems are just starting to be rolled out with increasing velocity, worldwide. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Unleash a full spectrum of submarine network services
What are the benefits and challenges when providing submarine network services based on Spectrum Sharing?

By Brian Lavallée – A while ago, I wrote the “Virtualize Your Submarine Cable” blog looking at the idea of Spectrum Sharing, which logically partitions the available optical spectrum of a submarine optical fiber among multiple different end-users. This solution addresses customers who need more than a few channels (wavelengths) but less that an entire optical fiber, which can be extremely expensive or more often than not, simply unavailable.

End-users can can choose to dip their toe into Spectrum Sharing, by purchasing spectrum but having the cable operator managed their “virtual fiber pair” service, or they can choose to dive right in and manage the spectrum and required Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLE) by themselves. There are pros and cons to each approach. If only there was a freely available reference to explain these pros and cons…

Spectrum Sharing offers several benefits to end-users and submarine cable operators alike. For example, submarine cable operators can monetize their submerged assets in a new and interesting way, by selling upgradeable THz, and not fixed Tbps. End-users can leverage rapid, ongoing advancements in coherent modem technology because they can increase the capacity of their purchased optical spectrum partition by installing the latest SLTE, when they need it. This allows end-users to leverage the latest coherent optical technology enabling a continual capacity upgrade to a fixed optical spectrum, and also allows the cost per bit to continually decline, which is a key benefit of each new generation of technology. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Improving universal edge access with flexible and pluggable 10G PON
The network edge is where content lives, and to operators, where successful business outcomes are determined. With Ciena’s new 10G PON solution, we’re bringing more value to the network edge – via both access and aggregation. Ciena’s Wayne Hickey details the latest addition to our packet networking transceiver family.
By Wayne Hickey – For most network operators, their environment is a very challenging one, as they are experiencing surging traffic growth in both their wireless and wireline networks. Complicating this enormous growth is that most of the traffic is IP-based, an area where the industry for many years has seen flat to declining revenues and associated margins.

his trend is expected to continue well into the future, with many key access and metro trends driving the growth at the network edge today:

The Internet of Things (IoT) will drive in orders of magnitude more endpoints or physical computing devices, each performing application-specific functions as part of an associated product or service. This will drive more endpoints and increased traffic diversity. Just think of the complexity associated with the interconnecting of tens of billions of machines!

In the next few years, the promise of 5G is expected to make the number of connected devices and bandwidth swell, but 5G is more than just a wireless upgrade. It means IoT enablement, up to 100 times higher user data rates, up to 10 times lower latency, and up to 1000 times more data volumes. Having the right capabilities at the network edge is key to delivering much faster download speeds and guaranteed lower latency.

When it comes to computer-generated simulations of virtual and augment reality (VR/AR), less latency is key to a quality user-experience. Both AR and VR will require more bandwidth and near real-time performance. And yet another new video format is just around the corner – 8K, which quadruples the number of pixels, just like 4K did with 1080p.

The network edge is where content lives, and to operators, this is where successful business outcomes are determined. For network operators, improving the ability to offer new service revenue opportunities, as well as improving margins, is essential to maintaining existing customers, as well as attracting new ones. more>

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Updates from Ciena

5G is your business – even if you are in the wireline business
5G is not just about updating handsets, radios, and antennas. Learn about the impacts and opportunities 5G will bring for regional wireline service providers.
By Eric Danielson – 5G is at the forefront of current technology discussions, promising orders of magnitude improvements in data rates, latency, number of connected devices, and overall traffic volumes when compared to today’s 4G LTE. This new generation of mobile network technology will shape and enable the evolution of augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), IoT, esports, and Industry 4.0 applications and use cases. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are investing heavily in 5G, but even if you’re a regional provider of wireline services, 5G will affect your business, bringing substantial new opportunities and threats.

5G is more than upgrading the handsets, radios, and antennas that comprise the Radio Access Network (RAN). Most of the journey content takes from the end device to the data center, where accessed content is hosted, is over (fixed) wireline networks. As 5G removes the last-mile access bottleneck, the unstoppable traffic demand of bandwidth-hungry users and applications will pulse through the entire network.

The first major impact falls over the infrastructure that connects the cell towers to the MNOs’ switching offices. It will need to deliver much higher capacity to a larger number of sites, boosting the wholesale backhaul connectivity business that relies heavily on regional infrastructure service providers.

5G New Radios (NR) will provide much faster download speeds by leveraging millimeter wave wireless spectrum – high frequency electromagnetic waves that don’t propagate far or well through buildings and obstacles – creating the need for many more small cells, much closer to subscribers, humans and machines. It means numerous new sites to interconnect, each one requiring 1Gb/s or (much) higher bandwidth, depending on the expected traffic profile. Mobile backhaul has been a key growth driver for fiber players in recent years and as it surges with 5G deployments, a new competitive environment will arise.

Another significant shift on the wireline fabric will come from the transition of radio networks to centralized/cloud-based architectures (C-RAN model). The radio intelligence, the Baseband Unit (BBU) that once sat on the base of the tower, will be moved to centralized locations and virtualized for improved cost and performance efficiencies.

In 4G, these high-capacity and low-latency fronthaul connections between Radio Heads (RRHs) and BBUs were served mainly by dark fiber links, as fronthaul was closed and proprietary. Fortunately, 5G fronthaul is expected to be open and standards-based, which opens a new fronthaul services market for wholesale operators. more>

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