Cyan EthernetFLEX adjusts to bandwidth spikes

Optical transport equipment vendor Cyan has unveiled EthernetFLEX, an application embodied in the company’s Cyan 360 software suite and Z-Series packet-optical transport platforms (P-OTPs). EthernetFLEX is designed to combine traffic policing with software-based planning, management, and verification to simplify the delivery of new Ethernet services.

Optical transport equipment vendor Cyan has unveiled EthernetFLEX, an application embodied in the company’s Cyan 360 software suite and Z-Series packet-optical transport platforms (P-OTPs). EthernetFLEX is designed to combine traffic policing with software-based planning, management, and verification to simplify the delivery of new Ethernet services.

EthernetFLEX employs committed and excess information rate bandwidth allocations. Cyan Z-Series P-OTPs track use on a per-service basis. Packets in excess of the committed information rate (CIR) are colored yellow but allowed to pass. Yellow packets, which are eligible for discard in the event of congestion, are only counted by the network if they are successfully delivered to their destinations. The CyMS network management system gathers and pushes this data to CyPortal to track and report usage metrics for the customer's usage reporting and third-party billing applications.

Cyan asserts that EthernetFLEX can aide the delivery of business Ethernet, wireless backhaul, and wholesale transport services by providing service level guarantees with burstable bandwidth allocations that become the basis for usage-based service models. It enables service providers to meet spiky bandwidth demands without either provisioning excess capacity or clipping customer traffic.

According to John Greene, chief network engineer with Great Plains Communication, "This is exactly the type of capability we have been searching for. It allows us to more accurately meet our customers' bursty bandwidth requirements without an unnecessary increase in the size of their pipe, thereby reducing the pressure to expand our network capacity. This will allow us to defer some capital costs until they are absolutely needed."

According to Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research, "EthernetFLEX is another example of how Cyan is leveraging software to access untapped network potential to support useful new services. Ethernet has always had a burstable capability. However, the cost and complexity of providing that capability in a deterministic manner, along with back-office integration for billing, and a customer portal to view actual usage, is too difficult for most to implement. Cyan's integration through EthernetFLEX takes this model from a great concept to a very useful reality."

For more information on high-speed equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

More in Network Design