Ciena Waveserver targets data center interconnect

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has unveiled a purpose-built optical transport platform for data center interconnect applications that company sources asserted provides greater capacity, density, and flexibility than competing offerings – including the one Ciena is in the process of acquiring. The Waveserver stackable IRU platform can support transmission of nearly 20 Tbps per fiber (via a fully stacked rack) while supporting a mix of 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet client-side interfaces the sources say.

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Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has unveiled a purpose-built optical transport platform for data center interconnect applications that company sources asserted provides greater capacity, density, and flexibility than competing offerings – including the one Ciena is in the process of acquiring. The Waveserver stackable IRU platform can support transmission of nearly 20 Tbps per fiber (via a fully stacked rack) while supporting a mix of 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet client-side interfaces the sources say.

The Waveserver leverages Ciena's recently announced WaveLogic 3 Extreme processor to support 100-Gbps channels using 16-QAM (see "Ciena offers new WaveLogic chips, architecture, switches for 'web-scale world'"), said Rick Dodd, Senior Vice President of Portfolio Marketing and Strategic Market Development, and Mike Adams, vice president, product and technology marketing. Each 1RU Waveserver carries two such 200-Gbps line-side ports, as well as 400-Gbps of capacity for the client side, where the system can accommodate data rate upgrades or changes in traffic mix without replacing the box. Dodd and Adams see the combination of transport density and client-side flexibility as significant differentiators from competing offerings, such as Infinera's Cloud Xpress and Cyan's N-Series, not to mention BTI Systems' Intelligent Cloud Connect. Alcatel-Lucent also has announced new metro-optimized versions of its 1830 Photonic Service Switch that also could apply to this space (see "Alcatel-Lucent offers metro-focused 1830 PSS enhancements").

Ciena also has acknowledged the growing use of software-defined networking (SDN) in the data center space in the Waveserver's design. The packet transport platform features the programmability of the company's OPn architecture as well as a set of open REST-based APIs. Concurrently with the Waveserver's launch, Ciena will introduce a application prototyping tool called Emulation Cloud that will enable application developers, including third-party providers, to test apps in a simulated Waveserver network environment. Dodd and Adams said Ciena expects to expand the abilities of Emulation Cloud to encompass other Ciena transport systems in the future.

The Ciena spokesmen added that the company has been showing the Waveserver to potential customers during its annual customer event in Ottawa this week. The systems house expects to conduct field trials this summer, with general availability soon thereafter. Dodd and Adams reported several "customer engagements" around potential use of the platform, but declined to discuss whether any field trials have been scheduled yet.

Ciena, of course, is in the process of acquiring Cyan – which means, assuming the deal is consummated, it would have both the Waveserver and the N-Series in its portfolio. Dodd and Adams noted the acquisition is not yet finalized, and therefore they weren't in a position to provide information on how the two products might be rationalized.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

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