FEBRUARY 10, 2009 -- Ciena Corp. (search Lightwave for Ciena) has announced that RENATER, the national research and education network in France, has chosen the CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to create a proprietary mesh WDM network spanning the entire country. The project, RENATER 5, leverages the CN 4200's new regional and long-haul transport capabilities, which expand the platform's geographical range to more than 1500 km.
RENATER was originally deployed in the early 1990s to connect universities and research centers throughout France. Today, RENATER connects more than 1000 sites across the country and beyond via campus, metropolitan and regional networks. As part of the RENATER 5 project, the organization replaced both leased bandwidth and its point-to-point WDM backbone with a national meshed WDM network linking all of its points of presence (PoPs) in France.
Ciena asserts that the organization selected the CN 4200 platform for its optical robustness to cope with long distances on a national level, its flexibility that enables seamless reassignment of bandwidth, and its automated control plane functionality that enables end-to-end provisioning after what the systems vendor described as "a rigorous public procurement process."
"Our aim in the RENATER 5 project is to create a resilient, flexible, and highly secure optical network that enables us to easily modify bandwidth assignments. With many research projects only requiring temporary access to high-bandwidth services, the ability to assign capacity without excessive outlay of time and workloads is absolutely instrumental. Based on the resiliency and reliability that we achieved in previous RENATER projects with Ciena's CN 4200, we had no doubt that the platform's extended reach features and mesh capabilities best fit our network requirements," said Dany Vandromme, general manager, RENATER.
The new extended reach features of Ciena's CN 4200 platform deployed in the RENATER 5 project are aimed at bridging the gap between traditional metro and ultra-long-haul platforms. With the use of high-performance amplifiers, transceiver enhancements, and "advanced" software features, Ciena says it can extend the maximum distances between network nodes to more than 1500 km, or more than double its previous transport distance capabilities. At the same time, the new version of the CN 4200 platform is equipped with all of the functionality of its original, metro-oriented sibling: full service transparency (bits going in equal bits coming out), performance monitoring for Ethernet and SONET/SDH services, as well as software-programmable ports.
"Service providers are using more multi-reach transport systems across metro and regional networks to deliver their growing video and data services," said Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research. "As the lines blur between metro, regional, and long-haul networks, service providers are turning to multi-reach products, such as Ciena's CN 4200 platform, which have long-haul transport capabilities combined with the service flexibility and lower cost points of a metro WDM platform. Carriers like a single platform for ease of service delivery and management."
RENATER previously deployed Ciena's CN 4200 through its metropolitan area network across Paris in 2007, providing 10-Gbps connections to aid local research and collaboration.