Tag Archives: Ciena

Updates from Ciena

Accelerate mission response with a simpler, Adaptive Network
Jim Westdorp, Ciena Government Chief Technologist, outlines how a holistic, end-to-end networking approach can help agencies meet growing digital and cybersecurity demands.
By Jim Wesdorp – The rapid transition to remote work and constituent demands for improved user experiences are challenging government agencies to digitize services—from tax payments to employee benefits. At the same time, government databases are increasingly becoming major targets for individual and nation-backed attackers. Budgetary constraints and diminishing tech expertise only complicate matters as agencies struggle to balance cost- and performance-optimization alongside cyber resiliency.

So how can government agencies accelerate digital transformation, defend against hackers, and support legacy applications and complex infrastructures?

The answer: a network infrastructure that is simpler to manage. Modern IT and communications can enable automation, improve performance, and help assure cyber resiliency at a time when government agencies are under unprecedented pressure to deliver services quickly and securely.

It takes more than technology, though, to simplify a network. A foundational step in any modernization effort is to conduct an inventory of a network’s physical assets, from routers to servers, and determine both the network elements and attached management software used to construct it. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Can utilities have their multi-layered cake and eat it too?
Utilities are facing increasing bandwidth demands on their communications networks. Ciena’s Mitch Simcoe explains how modernizing networks to a private packet-optical fiber architecture can help utilities scale to support new smart grid applications.
By Mitch Simcoe – Utilities are increasingly in the eye of the storm these days. Whether it’s having to deal with hurricanes in the Gulf Coast over the last few months or wildfires on the West Coast, utilities have had to put more sensors out in the field to keep abreast of changing weather conditions and potential risks to their power grids. The increasing demands for utilities to show that they are carbon-free is also changing the way they generate and distribute energy. The one common denominator that utilities have is more data to collect and backhaul from their power grids, which is driving increasing demand on their communications networks.

Many utilities may not realize it, but recent advancements have resulted in several bandwidth-intensive applications and processes driving up demand on their networks:

  1. Video Surveillance
    Security continues to be top of mind for utilities and security surveillance in the past has been more “after the fact”; where video surveillance is stored locally at the substation and only accessed after a security breach. Today’s approach is to backhaul all security video footage to a centralized data center and apply artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to proactively determine if a security breach is in the process of occurring. In those cases, security personnel can be dispatched on site in near-real time. Each video camera at a substation can generate 9 Gigabytes of data per day and a typical substation could have a dozen video cameras to surveil.
  2. Synchrophasors
    Prior to the big power outage of 2003 in the Northeast United States (where 50 million households lost power for two days), sensors on the power grid using SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) would sample the state of the grid about once every four seconds. This significant outage could have been avoided had the grid been sampling data more frequently. To address this, a device called a synchrophasor (not the Star Trek type!) was introduced, which would sample the state of the grid 30 to 60 times per second. This has allowed the grid to be more reliable but produces significantly more data to backhaul and process. Each synchrophasor PMU (Performance Measurement Unit) can generate 15 Gigabytes of data per day and all of that must be backhauled to a central data center for analysis.
  3. Smart Meters
    In the US, over 50% of households are now serviced by a smart meter that measures your household’s power consumption every 15 minutes. Beyond their billing function, they help utilities track power consumption hotspots during peak usage. For a utility of 1 million households, which would be the middle range for most US Investor-owned Utilities (IOUs), this can generate 1 terabyte of data per day that needs to be backhauled to a central data center for processing.
  4. Internet of Things (IoT) devices
    These include what we mentioned earlier: weather sensors and sensors on power equipment to proactively identify issues. Smart thermostats in homes is another growing trend which utilities are using to offer smart “on-demand” billing plans where you allow the utility to raise your thermostat during periods of peak usage during the hot summer months in exchange for a lower cents per kWh price.

For the first three categories we mentioned above, a utility of 1 million households would result in a daily requirement for data backhaul of 6 to 8 terabytes. With this amount of data to backhaul and process, it is no wonder utilities are exhausting the available capacity of their legacy communications networks.

The Information Technology (IT) group in a utility is tasked with managing many of these new applications associated with a smarter grid. Some utilities have been leasing copper-based TDM services for many years from service providers for smart grid, IT and substation traffic. The cost of this approach has been onerous and only gets more expensive as service providers are migrating their networks away from copper to fiber and wireless options. more>

Updates from Ciena

What are the current challenges and opportunities for today’s submarine networks? What’s next? Find out what will be covered in our upcoming webinar with TeleGeography.
Current state of the global submarine network
By Brian Lavallée – Internet traffic patterns have shifted, and volumes have surged, as the telecom industry addresses the “new normal” where people are increasingly working, learning, and playing from home. Although the global network infrastructure has bent in certain parts of the network, it hasn’t broken. This is a testament to how reliability and availability is in the DNA of our industry and is more important than ever before.

According to TeleGeography, global Internet bandwidth rose last year by 35%, which was a major increase over the previous year’s 26% growth. This increase was driven largely in response to the global pandemic and represents the largest single-year increase since 2013. It also raised the most recent four-year CAGR to 29%. Being able to connect with each other, and to machines, has consistently increased in importance, but in 2020, this took on a whole new level of importance related to our social and economic well-being.

The pace of technology innovation in the telecom industry has accelerated over the past decade in response to growing demands related to our increasing affinity for always-on broadband connectivity. Even the once closed and proprietary world of submarine networks has evolved with the advent of Open Cables, programmable coherent modems, ROADMs, active branching units, C+L band, and more recently, open APIs, intelligent data-driven automation, and analytics. Together, these amazing technologies address challenges related to network scalability, availability, and flexibility during “normal” times. They’re even more important today as we’re mandated to increasingly work and play remotely. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Guarantee end-to-end 5G performance
Ciena – 5G makes a new world of applications and services possible for both consumers and enterprises, humans and machines. But this comes with challenges to address. Service providers are asking themselves how they will differentiate and grow profitability in the face of new 5G use-cases with such diverse requirements. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) devours huge chunks of bandwidth, ultra-reliable Low-Latency Communications (urLLC) require a lightning-fast response time for mission-critical applications, and massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) stress the number of simultaneous mobile connections. To stand out from the crowd and differentiate their 5G services, mobile and wholesale network operators alike must optimize their transport infrastructure to provide guaranteed end-to-end 5G service performance. 5G network slicing not only allows them to meet the requirements of different applications but also to grow revenues by offering tiered performance and SLA-based pricing, all while constantly optimizing network resources.

5G Network Slicing empowers operators, mobile and wholesalers alike, to dynamically support multiple 5G use-cases and applications to unlock new revenue streams. It brings flexibility to offer private 5G services over a public RAN infrastructure, creating new market opportunities. It enables the delivery of customizable and guaranteed end-to-end performance across multiple physical and virtual domains in the wireless and wireline network segments, creating new possibilities for eMBB, urLLC, and mMTC use-cases with tiered pricing while continually optimizing shared network infrastructure. more>

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Updates from Ciena

When it comes to 5G, the only path that matters is yours
The closed and proprietary mobile networks of the past aren’t welcome any longer. Find out how Ciena is helping customers benefit from a more open, automated, and adaptable 5G wireline network.
By Joe Marsella -After years of hype, I think it’s fair to say that 5G is here. Initial deployments are underway around the world. There’s genuine excitement for a new generation of applications that exploit the massive end-to-end performance gains that 5G will provide across the mobile network. From AR/VR to IoT to gaming to streaming, our industry will push 5G technology to its limits to give consumers and businesses rich and rewarding digital experiences.

But here’s the problem. I’ve travelled the world and spoken to network operators of every size, mobile and wholesale operators alike. They all say the same thing. If the full promise of 5G is to be commercially realized, this time it must be different. We’ll need to challenge the traditional, closed way of building end-to-end mobile networks.

The world is changing. Digital disruption, virtualization, and openness are all driving a change in how networks are built. Look, we don’t shop the way we used to 30 years ago. We order transportation services with the push of a button, and many kids don’t know what it feels like to wait until 8:00 pm for their favorite show to be on (or even worse, wait through commercials!) – because of digital disruption.

It’s time for that change to come to wireless networks. For the past 30 years, successive generations of wireless networks were built a certain way: closed. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and wholesale operators alike had to rely on very few vendors and their proprietary architectures, interfaces, and protocols. What if your locked-in vendor wasn’t innovating at the pace you needed to successfully compete? Well – you were stuck until the next generation network was upon us and hoped this time for open, standards-based solutions. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Ciena and TELUS bring 800G to Canada, break worldwide transmission record
Ciena’s Helen Xenos had a front row seat as TELUS and Ciena turned up the first single-wavelength 800G in Canada across TELUS’s network, and at a record-breaking distance. Pictured above: Jean Gregoire, Network Integrity Sr Design Specialist at TELUS, standing in front of the WL5e equipment being tested in Quebec City.
By Helen Xenos – What do Canadians do for fun when their favourite hockey team is out of the playoffs? Some of us – members of the TELUS and Ciena teams in particular – push the limits of what can be achieved in optical networking and realize new milestones for the industry along the way. I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to the action when the team turned up an 800G wavelength from Toronto to Quebec City across a world record-breaking 970km distance. And, I can attest that the excitement and pride was just as strong as watching my home team win the Stanley Cup.

As I have described previously, with Ciena’s WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) being the only 800G product available in the market (since April of this year), the optical industry is in the early adoption phase of 800G deployments. Here, we are describing the state of the art coherent optical technology available in the market that is capable of offering higher capacities per wavelength than previously possible for any link in the network through variable line rate transponders, and that can support line rates up to 800Gb/s. The technology allows for high quality, high speed connectivity to end users using fewer wavelengths, resulting in reduction in space, energy consumption and cost per bit.

TELUS is one of the early 800G technology adopters who is in the process of augmenting their network with Ciena’s WL5e. A world-leading communications and information technology company, TELUS supports 15.3 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. Their longstanding commitment to putting their customers first fuels every aspect of their business, making them a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. It’s no surprise then that TELUS has repeatedly earned accolades over the years in respect to their world-leading wireless networks. This year alone, TELUS was recognized by several independent industry-leading experts, including UK-based OpenSignal, US-based J.D. Power, Seattle-based Ookla, Victoria-based Tutela, and New York-based PCMag, for their network excellence, for both urban and rural coverage. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Because you asked. Adaptive IP.
In light of the digital disruption being driven by 5G, IoT, AI, and edge cloud, many of our customers have asked us to help them reimagine their IP networks in a way that allows them to scale in a simpler and more cost-effective way. We listened and answered their call with Ciena’s Adaptive IPTM. Ciena’s Scott McFeely explains how this breakthrough solution is delivering IP differently by leveraging automation, openness, and simplicity to give our customers the competitive edge they need from access to metro.
By Scott McFeely – IP, or more formally referred to as Internet Protocol, is the common language that enables billions of interconnected humans and machines to “talk” to each other on a daily basis for business and consumer applications and use cases. IP is the “language” and foundation of the largest human construction project ever created – the internet – and it works because it’s based on open industry standards.

The internet has evolved over time and will continue to do so well into the future, as more humans and machines come online with new and evolving applications and use cases, such as 5G, Fiber Deep’s Converged Interconnect Network (CIN) architecture, and IP Business Services. This means that the way IP networks are designed, deployed, and managed also needs to evolve to maintain pace.

Over the decades since its introduction in the 1970s, by the legendary Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, IP has continually evolved to maintain pace with ever-changing application and end-user demands. This evolution has also led to new RFCs and protocols being standardized, adopted, and deployed within routers (at last count there were over 8,000 RFCs and protocols). It has more importantly led to many of these protocols associated with IP no longer being required, updated, or maintained. This is analogous to human languages where words, phrases, and even whole languages, such as Latin, are no longer commonly used over time

What do we do with these obsolete protocols? We can eliminate them from modern IP networks to reduce storage, compute, complexity, and operating costs. We call such IP networks “lean” and it allows operators to move away from traditional box-centric IP network designs running ever larger and more complex monolithic software stacks, as many traditional IP vendors have and continue to implement today.

Operators are asking for something different. They are asking for Adaptive IPTM, a simpler way to deliver IP. more>

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Updates from Ciena

5G will require a new way to deliver IP connectivity
User demands are changing. The next generation of mobile networks requires far more than capacity upgrades. Ciena’s Vinicius Santos explains why the associated IP networks must evolve to become more streamlined, adaptive, and cost-effective to facilitate your unique 4G to 5G journey.
By Vinicius Santos – The creation and development of mobile communications dramatically changed our daily personal and professional lives. Initially, it gave us simple mobile voice communications, Short Message Service (SMS), and Multimedia Message Service (MMS). Then just over a decade ago smartphones were introduced and they quickly become an essential part of how we interact with each other and machines. Now sensors, automation, and artificial intelligence are driving a new wave of applications, resulting in a unique technological inflection point that requires mobile technology and networks to evolve.

As a fundamental building block of the mobile infrastructure, IP connectivity is responsible for providing data services and communication between wireless air interfaces and wireline mobile network elements, such as switches, routers, and optical transport gear. As mobile use cases and applications evolve, how standards-based IP connectivity is implemented must also evolve.

In the last couple of years, mobile applications have changed from being “nice to have” to an essential part of the way we do business, interact with each other, and make informed decisions. This has resulted in an ever-more demanding quality of experience. This is only going to become more challenging.

The next wave of applications will be stricter in terms of network performance requirements. Autonomous vehicles, cloud-based gaming, extended reality (XR), and telehealth, to name just a few, create amazing business opportunities. But in order for them to be successfully commercialized there are significant technological challenges in the communication infrastructure that need to be addressed.

This is especially true for mobile networks. 4G technology based on LTE, LTE Advanced, and LTE-Advanced Pro will be deployed alongside initial 5G Non-standalone (NSA) mode supporting enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) use cases. The next phase of the mobile network evolution starting in 2021, with 5G Stand-Alone (SA) mode, will allow MNOs to offer more sophisticated use cases related to ultra-reliable Low-Latency Communications (urLLC), massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC), as well as even higher performance eMBB services. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Planning for 5G Success: A Tale of Two Operators
The industry is moving forward with 5G deployments, motivated by differentiated service offerings. Blue Planet’s Soumen Chatterjee describes how 5G Automation is helping two mobile network operators plan their own path to 5G success.
By Soumen Chatterjee – In my earlier blog, I wrote about the promise of 5G network slicing, which opens the door to a variety of service offerings, to support differentiated requirements across industry sectors. In the interim, the current challenging economic time of the coronavirus pandemic has given mobile network operators (MNOs) a chance to re-assess their 5G strategies and double-down on pursuing new service opportunities.

The shift in consumer lifestyle patterns may have impacted the timing of some 5G use cases – industrial automation demand may slow, but interest for multi-media remote sporting experiences is anticipated. 5G brings unprecedented opportunities to provide customers with new services and an exceptional user experience, given performance of up to 100 Gbps and latency in the order of 1 millisecond. But 5G also brings additional operational complexity with network slicing technology, new radios, rearchitected transport, and a virtualized 5G core. 5G needs automation in the backend to manage this increased complexity and to contain associated operational costs. For MNOs, automation is a must, not an option.

In my discussions with MNOs, it is apparent that planning for 5G deployments is heavily influenced by an operator’s legacy infrastructure – infrastructure that exists in the field and systems that exist in the network operations center (NOC). However, no matter the starting point, it is essential to have dynamic planning capabilities that simplify and accelerate each phase of the process.

At one incumbent mobile operator, they are planning to roll-out small cell 5G radios alongside their 4G radios, in non-standalone (NSA) mode. However, they first need to get visibility of their current network assets. Their legacy inventory and operational support systems (OSS) are disjointed, so it is difficult to obtain an accurate and comprehensive view.

Furthermore, those OSS are not up to the task of modelling new 5G constructs. It would be an extremely heavy lift to shoehorn 5G data in, with very limited scope for extensibility. On the other hand, introduction of a new system could further fragment or duplicate operational data.

This is when Blue Planet’s federation capabilities prove to be a crucial step for 5G planning. With Blue Planet’s 5G Automation solution, data from existing systems is federated, reconciled, and synchronized into a new unified data model built on state-of-the-art graph database technology which can accommodate complex 5G relationships. There are also existing business processes – mostly manual – that rely on OSS, which need to be modernized to support automated 5G workflows.

Another MNO customer is a new entrant who is not encumbered by pre-existing infrastructure and OSS, has more flexibility in designing new systems and processes to support their 5G strategy, and can implement them more quickly. This MNO is planning to deploy tens of thousands of 5G cell sites in standalone mode (SA) within a few years. To scale expediently, they need to design-in automation of their business processes from the outset. Blue Planet’s 5G Automation solution is a natural fit, as it provides multi-vendor service orchestration and assurance founded on a unified inventory of hybrid physical and virtual infrastructure

Beyond the radio infrastructure, both MNOs are looking ahead to architecting customizable network slices end-to-end across the radio access network (RAN), transport and cloud domains, to satisfy their customers’ requirements. To this end, Blue Planet provides the holistic operational system to help determine the placement of 5G Core (5GC) virtualized network functions (VNFs) at the edge or in the core, with necessary compute capacity, to best support a variety of latency and bandwidth needs. 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 – 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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