Ciena touts hybrid ROADM technology

June 5, 2006 Linthicum, MD -- Ciena today announced the addition of Dynamic Wavelength Routing capabilities to its CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform, creating what it claims is the only offering that uses a hybrid electrical and optical ROADM design to combine whole and sub-wavelength switching in one platform.

June 5, 2006 Linthicum, MD -- Ciena today announced the addition of Dynamic Wavelength Routing capabilities to its CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform, creating what it claims is the only offering that uses a hybrid electrical and optical ROADM design to combine whole and sub-wavelength switching in one platform. Through efficient electrical grooming of services onto each wavelength, the CN 4200 ROADM uses up to 78% fewer wavelengths and, for the first time, brings the benefits of reconfigurable optical technology to any service rate down to 155 Mbits/sec, says the company.

Currently in early customer engagements, Ciena's CN 4200 multi-degree ROADM is an in-service upgrade to the existing CN 4200 platform through the use of a universal line card that routes any wavelength or combination of wavelengths to any port on demand. Combined with the CN 4200's software-defined FlexiPort technology and Optical Transport Network (OTN) support, the CN 4200 delivers the most flexible ROADM solution for grooming and switching the most amount of traffic on the fewest wavelengths, say company representatives. The platform also scales capacity and degrees of switching based on customer demand and offers service level management across the entire network.

"Due to rapid growth, quality-of-service sensitivity and dynamic bandwidth demands, IPTV, VoD, VoIP, Ethernet, storage extension, and other advanced services are forcing service providers to increase their metro bandwidth flexibility for responding to unpredictable traffic patterns," explains Jason Marcheck, principal Optical Infrastructure analyst at Current Analysis. "Designed to eliminate stranded bandwidth and offer full and sub-wavelength switching support down to 155-Mbit/sec granularity, Ciena's hybrid approach to ROADM provides a flexible way to help carriers reduce the costs to plan, groom, switch and reconfigure optical transport."

The key element of Ciena's CN 4200 ROADM offering is a universal ROADM line card, which eliminates the need for color-specific components and spares while still delivering any wavelength to any port at any time in any combination, says Ciena. Modular by design, the CN 4200 ROADM can scale up to eight degrees and uses the vendor's ON-Center network and services management system with point-and-click capabilities to simplify provisioning and network management.

"Building on the FlexiPort technology and OTN support on the CN 4200, the addition of ROADM functionality enables customers to build even more efficient networks, reconfigure services on demand, and reduce network complexity, while reducing spend on equipment and wavelengths," reports Steve Alexander, chief technology officer of Ciena. "The CN 4200 ROADM solution also highlights our focus on delivering product innovations that are timed to market demand as it extends Ciena's ROADM portfolio to metro networks after we were first to market with the technology in our CoreStream platform for core networks."

Ciena's CN 4200 is the flagship product of its FlexSelect Architecture, a standards-based, service-oriented approach to building next-generation network infrastructures. The CN 4200 family of multiservice transport and aggregation platforms is capable of on-demand support for any transport protocol--including SONET/SDH, Ethernet, storage (Fibre Channel, FICON, ESCON) or video--at any speed on any available port using the universal line card with individual user-programmable ports.

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