CIENA launches LightWorks Services, the next phase of its network strategy

15 May 2003 Linthicum, MD Lightwave -- CIENA Corp. today introduced the next phase of its network strategy with the launch of its LightWorks Services initiative. The initiative includes an extension of CIENA's distributed intelligence across all products and the addition of data-focused features and products to the company's existing solutions portfolio.

May 15th, 2003

15 May 2003 Linthicum, MD Lightwave -- CIENA Corp. today introduced the next phase of its network strategy with the launch of its LightWorks Services initiative. The initiative includes an extension of CIENA's distributed intelligence across all products and the addition of data-focused features and products to the company's existing solutions portfolio. This will result in a lowering of service providers' capital and operating costs (capex/opex), thereby enabling them to improve the efficiency and profitability of their traditional service offerings. The initiative also allows carriers to use their existing network infrastructure more efficiently and to create new opportunities in the substantial enterprise data services market.

LightWorks Services is CIENA's solution for service providers who want to use a single network to provide multiple traditional data services, such as private lines, ATM and Frame Relay, without sacrificing carrier-class reliability, explain company representatives.

"With LightWorks Services CIENA acknowledges that carriers do not want to abandon their existing networks to compete in the advanced data services market," contends Steve Chaddick, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for CIENA. "In fact, under this approach, they will avoid the expense, complexity, and unpredictability of disparate data networks, while delivering the carrier-class reliability required for mission-critical enterprise applications."

LightWorks Services has three aspects. First, CIENA is extending its distributed control plane across all of its products from the network core to the edge, which will allow carriers to automate the provisioning of services end-to-end. The result will be significantly improved service profitability. Second, CIENA is adding new service delivery platforms to its portfolio to give service providers the ability to offer an expanded suite of services on a single network. Third, CIENA is adding new data-focused technologies and features to its existing portfolio of products that will enable carriers to improve profit margins for their existing services and expand the suite of data services they can offer. This three-tiered approach to network evolution will enable carrier-class data services for evolving enterprise applications without the increased cost of building and managing separate overlay data networks.

According to the company, the LightWorks Services also features:

• Integration of Ethernet, ATM/Frame Relay, Fibre Channel, ESCON, and FICON protocols in CIENA's products, including ONLINE Edge, ONLINE Metro, MetroDirector K2, CoreStream, and CoreDirector. This will enable carriers to deliver private line and switched data services to enterprise customers in the size, quality, and native format they require.

• Integration of Layer 2 functionality along with features such as generic framing procedure (GFP), link capacity adjustment scheme (LCAS), and virtual concatenation (VCAT) across product lines. Also features such as fractional bandwidth services enable a variety of service offerings.

• Addition of the WaveSmith Networks Distributed Node DN 2100, DN 4100, DN 7100, and DN 8100 multiservice edge switching products into the LightWorks family. This will give carriers the ability to generate higher margins for data services such as Frame Relay, ATM, and DSL.

• Integration of acquired and partner products into the ON-Center network management system. CIENA has already integrated WaveSmith and Ã�quipe Communications solutions into the ON-Center Management Suite to enable seamless visibility across the network. This ensures that service providers will be able to manage their services efficiently.

• Implementation of distributed intelligence across the entire LightWorks product portfolio, including interoperability of ONLINE Metro, MetroDirector K2, and third-party ADMs with CoreDirector.

Under the LightWorks Services approach, many existing services can be made more efficient. One example of an improved traditional service is Frame Relay (FR). While carriers offer the service today, they could benefit from some of the next-generation technology that reduces the cost of providing the service. LightWorks Services will allow them to scale their networks with more than 60% capex and opex savings versus the other solutions available today, says CIENA.

A new emerging service that is becoming more important for carriers is storage area networking (SAN) connectivity. Today, enterprises either build SANs on fiber they own, lease dark fiber from service providers and build SANs, or lease lines to carry their SAN traffic. LightWorks Services will enable carriers to offer native extended SAN services to enterprises, thereby entering a market that analysts have estimated to be in the billions.

"CIENA is acting on the carriers' desire to not only sweat the assets but also build upon their current infrastructure to enable data services for the future," asserts Stéphane Téral, managing director with RHK. "By covering the entire network with their distributed intelligence-based solutions, they are getting away from being a core box vendor and are becoming an end-to-end data services supplier."

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