Ciena taps open source for network software

March 27, 2018
Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) is introducing upgraded policy capabilities into its Blue Planet automation platform that incorporates the architectural ...

Ciena (NYSE:CIEN) is introducing upgraded policy capabilities into its Blue Planet automation platform that incorporates the architectural framework from the Linux Foundation's open-source Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) to aid network providers' transition to software-centric networks. The new Blue Planet policy subsystem is intended to support closed-loop automation use cases, such as preventing a potential failure or dynamically scaling capacity to support growing bandwidth demands. Additionally, it is intended to give operators more control to create intent-based policies to better guide their networks to address potential obstacles and meet growth objectives.

In closed-loop network automation, policy creates rules that guide the decisions and actions taken by software to automatically modify the behavior of the network. Ciena Blue Planet is adding support for ONAP virtual network function (VNF) descriptors and packaging specifications to the already supported ETSI ISG NFV Release 2 specification. Blue Planet's support for ONAP VNF descriptors and packaging specifications are available today, while the enhanced policy subsystem is expected to be available in the second half of 2018.

Ciena CTO Steve Alexander said: "The future of networking lies with openness and the concept of 'choice,' allowing network operators to select best-of-breed technologies and solutions. These Blue Planet enhancements bring us closer towards the common goal of software-led, policy defined, network transformation. They also help forge a path for more adaptive networks that can self-learn, self-configure, self-heal, and self-optimize by constantly assessing network status."

Ciena's Blue Planet software is on display at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2018 in Los Angeles this week.

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