Tag Archives: Fiber optics

Updates from Ciena

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 traveled 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

The future is near. Is your business network ready to adapt?
New technologies are changing the way we do business, so enterprises cannot be limited by network performance. Learn why your IP network should adapt to support your business’ needs, and not the other way around.
By Vinicius Santos – Legacy business models are disappearing fast, making us almost forget about how things were implemented just a few years ago. The video streaming business is less than ten years old and physically traveling to a store to rent a hard copy of a movie seems like ancient history. Most of us can barely remember when we had to save essential files on in-house data centers servers instead of somewhere in the cloud. Even sharing data using thumb drives is becoming rather “unusual.”

Well-established businesses are facing waves of digital transformation and are trying to align with customers’ expectations while fighting to maintain their current market share from disruptive innovators. At the same time, these disruptive innovators are becoming much faster when moving from niche markets to mainstream and highly lucrative markets, using technology, speed, and agility as their main tools to better serve their targeted markets.

It’s a process where every new technology is a piece of the transformational engine, creating new business models and opportunities that consequently create additional technologies. The wheel of innovation is not just spinning fast, it’s accelerating!

At the forefront of this transformation are technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, edge compute, machine learning, big data, automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT). All of these technology building blocks have a single enabling factor that tends to be neglected in most conversations: connectivity. more>

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Updates from Ciena

8 top technologies for modern DCI networks
As the number of data centers has grown and the DCI market has evolved, network operators have had to deploy new capacity rapidly to keep up with the growing demand. Learn how the industry has responded to these challenges with new, highly scalable technologies and products.
By Kent Jordan – Connections. Content. Efficiency. Three simple reasons for the wide-scale adoption of social media, streaming video, and enterprise cloud services.  1.59 billion active users on Facebook connect with friends and make new ones daily.  151 million people stream popular content on Netflix and 9.7 million daily users watch livestreams of e-gaming on Twitch – consuming content when they want, on any device they prefer.  As businesses move applications and processes to the cloud, the public cloud services market is forecast to grow to over $330 billion by 2022 according to Gartner.  And it’s not just content and cloud.  Internet of Things and 5G, connected cars, telemedicine and e-learning are all poised to add more demand to interconnect networks.

There are many, varied market drivers for high-capacity interconnect, and they’re all experiencing massive growth.  Whether you post a selfie on the beach or a photo of the best dessert you’ve ever had, the content and information is stored in data centers and transported across the networks that interconnect them.  This is driving interconnect bandwidth to grow at double digit rates across a variety of industry segments to over 8,200 Tbps by 2021 according to the Equinix Global Interconnection Index.

But how can network operators keep up with growing demand? more>

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Updates from Ciena

Uncovering the path to 5G connectivity
The race to deliver new, high-value 5G services is all about how quickly you can evolve your existing 4G infrastructure into a scalable, ultra-reliable, high-performance 5G network. This is the first post in a three-part series from Dave Parsons, Ethernet & IP Solutions and Enablement Director for EMEA at Ciena, where he covers key strategies to accelerate and de-risk the path towards 5G, deliver new services, and stay ahead of your competitors.
By Dave Parsons – We’ve all heard it. In the 5G era, the number of mobile devices are expected to significantly increase and support as high as 100x faster data rates, and 10x lower latency, when compared to today’s 4G LTE. This combination of capacity and latency improvements will unleash a lucrative new range of augmented/virtual reality, IoT, gaming, trading, and industrial applications (such as manufacturing applications and control and monitoring applications for utilities companies).

The race has already begun to migrate existing 4G networks to 5G-capable networks, initially based on the 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) infrastructure, where 5G New Radio (NR) will leverage existing 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) infrastructure until the 5G Core network is fully standardized and rolled out.

To keep pace with your competitors, and embrace emerging 5G services, you need to accelerate and de-risk your planned network evolution and bring profitable new services to market as fast as possible. The question is, how?

There are various strategies you can adopt for a successful 4G to 5G network migration. In this series, we’ll explore the paths you can choose from.

  1. Unlock bandwidth-on-demand with scalable cell-site infrastructure: Networks that backhaul 5G traffic must scale by an order of magnitude – typically from 1G to 10G – and even higher in some cases. Backhaul networks are expected to carry existing 4G traffic as well for improved economies of scale via a simpler, converged transport network where high capacity backhaul links can benefit from the very latest in coherent pluggable optics.
  2. Accelerate your 5G infrastructure rollout with Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP): Slow, manual, and error-prone installation and configuration of network infrastructure can significantly delay an operator’s 4G to 5G evolution, and increase costs. Solutions offering ZTP overcome these challenges by automating network equipment deployments in a rapid, reliable, and error-free manner, providing a faster 5G service rollouts for significant competitive advantage as the race to 5G intensifies.

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Updates from Ciena

New decade, new challenges – your success will depend on having the right services partner
Technologies like 5G, IoT and streaming everywhere are bringing monumental change to your network. You need a trusted partner with a consultative approach and the right expertise to navigate this complexity. This is where Ciena Services comes into play, says Ciena’s Kevin Baranowski.
By Kevin Baranowski – We are moving into a new decade that promises to bring monumental change in how our world connects, both people and machines. As Ciena CTO Steve Alexander recently highlighted in his predictions for 2020 and beyond, this change is coming in the form of 5G connectivity, AR/VR, IoT, streaming everywhere, virtualized services, and more.

This immense impact on both the network and the ecosystem around it has no better example than 5G. The additional bandwidth, lower latency, and guaranteed end-to-end network performance that 5G will bring to the market is vast. Getting bandwidth to your phone at speeds of 1Gbps and beyond will allow you to stream higher def shows and sporting events. Much lower and guaranteed latency will enable AR/VR and mobile esports. These significant improvements in end-to-end 5G network performance will result in a much better customer experience, as well as new revenue-generating opportunities for service providers.

But this also requires a much denser cell site footprint than ever before. Also, it does not mean you no longer have to support 3G or 4G networks, which will be required for many years to come. 5G network planning is critical. How do you pick the proper locations to build your cell site that are not only close to the fiber plants that you have, but also close to the targeted population centers? Put the cell site in the wrong place and you miss the traffic you are looking to capture. Put it too far away from your current fiber plant and you have added expense in hardware required to deliver the service. more>

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Updates from Ciena

The next sports phenomenon requires the network
The latest sports craze doesn’t involve a ball or a helmet, it’s esports, and it is filling arenas and drawing millions of online fans. Ciena’s Kevin Sheehan tells the story of his recent experience at ESL One, and how massive online events like these require a network that defeats all challengers.
By Kevin Sheehan – As the gaming industry grows to become a $152 billion-a-year giant, with over 2.5 billion gamers globally, video games have evolved way beyond casual entertainment. We are now talking about esports – competitive multiplayer electronic games played by professional athletes for substantial cash prizes. Tournaments like ESL One attract thousands of spectators, and millions of fans streaming the event live.

ESL One was held at Barclays Center, a massive arena that several NBA and NHL teams call home. The seats were full, and big names sponsored the event. The enthusiastic crowd loudly supported their favorite teams, and also demanded a high degree of interaction with the game and the gamers. They and the millions streaming remotely will make comments on game play, play the game, and interact with each other and the players all in real time.

I was enthralled as I watched eight of the world’s best Counter-Strike Global Offensive teams square off. There was an enormous, high-definition screen above the teams that cycled through each player’s field-of-view on the battlefield, while three announcers (yep 3) rapidly called the play-by-play and provided color commentary.

I wondered, what are the network requirements for ESL to create the robust and secure infrastructure that makes all this possible? In a strange way, the network is on display during this live tournament almost like an NBA superstar’s shooting ability. If an image locked, frames are dropped, or a weapon doesn’t fire on cue, the world will see, and “the network” would be to blame. And don’t forget, there is a lot of money on the line. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Expanding business models of managed wave services with Adaptive Networks
It goes without saying that no other method of network transport has ever surpassed the speed and performance that is delivered over optical networks. The many innovations in optical communications form the backbone of the robust, reliable, high capacity networks that connect our world. But what is less talked about are the billions in revenues that stem from innovative business and service models delivered over optical networks as managed connectivity services (aka managed wave services). Ciena’s Niloufar Tayebi details what can happen to evolve managed wave services in the era of Adaptive Networks.
By Niloufar Tayebi – Let’s step back in time to take a snap-shot of what service interfaces have previously thrived in managed wave service offers. In a managed wave service, the service provider is able to offer a wide range of client service interfaces: Ethernet, SONET/SDH, DWDM, storage area networking (SAN) interfaces and more.

For these managed wave services, the client is handing off an interface that is required to transport payload connecting two data centers in complete transparency without protocol conversion. This is done by either using a dedicated wavelength over DWDM or through the use of OTN containers (aka ODU).

With the growth of traffic and cost-per-bit declining, client interfaces are now evolving to higher bit rates – as happened with the evolution from SONET/SDH clients to 10Gbps clients – but also expanding in client protocols that supported 10Gbps, such as ODU-2 and 10GE.

One natural path for evolving a managed wave service is to continue the path of offering higher rate, with more emphasis on 100GE and ODU-4 client interfaces. Today it is common to look at a managed wave service and see 100GE and ODU-4 /100Gbps clients supported. With the ongoing reduction of cost-per-bit and higher rate transport, offering managed wave services at higher than 100Gbps client support also makes economic and technical sense.

Ciena’s market intelligence and global consulting teams have been tracking the market size of managed wave services. Their findings show 10GEoDWDM managed wave services are mature services contributing to 60% of managed wave service offers, while 100GEoDWDM managed wave services are the fastest growing wave services at a 30% CAGR. more>

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Updates from Ciena

The submarine network seascape in 2020
Submarine networks carry over 99% of intercontinental data traffic making it critical infrastructure to be protected and innovated upon at a frantic rate to maintain pace with the approximately 40% bandwidth growth in all submerged corridors of our world. Ciena’s submarine networking expert, Brian Lavallée, highlights key areas for focused innovation throughout 2020.
By Brian Lavallée – There are several key technologies that are the focus of submarine network innovation and will garner a great deal of time, money, resources, and attention in 2020. These technologies will once again allow submarine cable operators to modernize their submerged assets and not only maintain pace with voracious and ongoing growth in bandwidth demand but provide critical competitive differentiation as well. I cover below these key technology innovation areas that I believe will dominate the discussion seascape throughout 2020.

With voracious and ongoing bandwidth growth experienced for many years now, coupled with expanding rollout of 5G services that significantly increase access speeds to content hosted in data centers, cable operators are constantly seeking new ways to increase available bandwidth between continental landmasses for Data Center Interconnection (DCI) purposes – satellite networks need not apply!

Although Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE) has been constantly innovative upon at a frenetic pace for the past decade, the wet plants they connect to have experienced comparatively little innovation – until now. Wet plants leveraging SDM technology offer more fiber pairs than traditional submarine cables, and although SDM cables support less capacity per fiber pair, they have a much higher overall capacity due to far more pairs (12 and higher), which is further enhanced with power-optimized repeater (misnomer for subsea optical amplifier) designs.

As an industry proof point, the first SDM-based submarine cable deployed is the transatlantic Dunant cable, which supports up to 250Tb/s of overall capacity over an aggregate of 12 fiber pairs, which is many more than the traditional 6 to 8 fiber pairs offered on recent submarine cable deployments. more>

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Updates from Ciena

How you can accelerate and de-risk your network transformation with Lifecycle Management
Successful network transformation is about delivering the right business outcomes, not just deploying new kit. With effective Lifecycle Management (LCM), you can make sure that your projects are properly aligned to your business needs and – crucially – you can accelerate and de-risk your transformation projects as well, says Robin Hobbs, Director, Services Sales & Strategy for Ciena in EMEA.
By Robin Hobbs – It can seem that most technology vendors just want to sell you equipment and oversee deployment activities until their kit is live in your network. However, their primary concern may not be whether their solution is delivering the business benefits you set out to achieve.

This deployment-focussed approach can leave you at a loss as to how to fine-tune and optimize your environment. That means you may be unable to meet customer SLAs consistently as traffic demands grow, or you may struggle to monetize your network to its fullest potential.

So how can you ensure that you choose the right underlying technologies to support your transformation strategy, and design and build a solution that meets your business needs long term? And how can you operate your upgraded network effectively and optimize its performance and efficiency over time to maximize your competitive advantage and ROI?

To avoid the dangers of ‘short-termism’ in network upgrade strategies, operators are increasingly turning to LCM (Lifecycle Management). This is a systematic, ‘step-based’ approach to network transformation and ongoing management. This approach means you can deliver projects quickly and cost-effectively, while also ensuring the best business outcomes for your organization and your customers.

Crucially, LCM recognizes that network transformation is a journey and one that is cyclical in nature, not just a deployment. This means every step is carefully structured and documented, with no element of your transformation left to chance. Some of the benefits are a faster, lower-risk deployment and migration, improved customer experience based on optimizing network availability and performance, and the ability to continually assess and ‘future-proof’ your network to avoid costly forklift upgrades in the future. more>

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Updates from Ciena

Ciena’s role in recent 400G industry-first milestones
Are you confused about the recent 400G milestones announced and how this is different than what has been discussed for a few years?
By Helen Xenos – In recent weeks, we have seen two 400G announcements come out, the first from AT&T followed by a second from Internet2, each speaking of achieving new milestones in the industry. To the casual observer, it may not be clear what is new about these announcements. Haven’t we been talking about 400G deployments for several years now? Well, yes and no.  To understand the importance of these announcements, you need to take a closer look. With Ciena innovations playing a key role in both cases, here are some insights.

The first point to understand is that in networking, 400G can mean different things. 400G is a term loosely used to describe a communications link that can carry 400 billion bits per second, or 400 Gigabits per second (400Gb/s). There are two types of 400G connections:

1) 400G wavelength: here, 400Gb/s are carried over a single carrier in a fiber optic cable that can transport a mix of different client traffic rates (ex. 10GbE, 100GbE or 400GbE) across long distances over an optical infrastructure. A coherent optical transponder is used to aggregate client traffic and transport them over a single 400G wavelength.

Apart from Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai, coherent optical solutions capable of 400G speeds are relatively new. WaveLogic Ai is the exception, with commercial, volume shipments beginning in the fall of 2017, and the foundation for the majority of 400G deployments in the industry to date.

The key value of WaveLogic Ai is that users can double traffic carrying capacity per wavelength versus 100G/200G solutions and reduce footprint, energy consumption and cost per bit. Network providers can select capacity rates from 100G to 400G and transport traffic at 400Gb/s for 300km distances, 200Gb/s for 3000km distances and 100G for ultra-long-haul links. more>

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