Deutsche Telekom trials IP vendor interoperability over Terastream network

Deutsche Telekom AG and partners have demonstrated multi-vendor interoperability on a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) long-haul link on the operator’s TeraStream pilot network at Hrvatski Telekom in Croatia. The trial, which was a joint effort between Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, and its subsidiary Hrvatski Telekom, represents an important milestone towards the future of generally available 100GbE networking, the companies claim.

Deutsche Telekom AG and partners have demonstrated multi-vendor interoperability on a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) long-haul link on the operator’s TeraStream pilot network at Hrvatski Telekom in Croatia. The trial, which was a joint effort between Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Telekom, and its subsidiary Hrvatski Telekom, represents an important milestone towards the future of generally available 100GbE networking, the companies claim.

The Terastream pilot network in Croatia, launched in December 2012, is based on a cloud-enabled all-IP architecture (see “Cisco deploys Terastream network for Hrvatski Telekom in Croatia”). The pilot network features 100-Gbps links over a filter-less DWDM system.

The interoperability test was completed over 600-km link between the cities of Split and Varazdin using 100GbE IP router interface and transponder technology from Cisco Systems and Alcatel-Lucent. The partners say this is the first time it has been shown that is possible to use IP routers from different vendors, exchanging data without any intermediate equipment such as traditional DWDM systems.

The 100-Gbps signal, carrying live production traffic, leveraged ITU standard 50-GHz spacing via a high-gain forward error correction algorithm capable of achieving 10-Gbps comparable distances. The link was implemented using a common standard for the optical line side which was jointly developed by Deutsche Telekom, Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent and Cortina Systems. The implementation in this test used “pre-standard” concepts that were aligned with activities within ITU Study Group 15.

Although DT hasn’t explicitly said, it is clear that the Terastream architecture is based on IP-over-DWDM, which in its most advanced incarnation uses optical interfaces mounted directly on the routers, eliminating the need for transponder shelves and cards in traditional DWDM systems, and the associated costs. Whether this is the case in this particular demonstration or whether a separate optical shelf is being used is not clear.

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, group chief technology officer, Deutsche Telekom, said, "Leveraging the TeraStream passive network and the jointly developed standard, we can achieve drastic cost savings in the area of optical transport. We envision that this will also be the most cost efficient optical interconnect for datacenter applications.”

“Global private networks and the Internet are built on a foundation of open standards and interoperability. To that end Alcatel-Lucent is pleased to support the DT TeraStream project with our field-proven IP and optical solutions,” said Basil Alwan, president of IP routing and transport, Alcatel-Lucent.

"This demonstrates Cisco's commitment to having an open, standards-based network providing for focus on the service. This milestone is one of many we hope to achieve partnering with DT and the industry to move technology forward and push continual innovation," says Bill Gartner, VP and general manager, high end routing and optical, Cisco.

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