Ciena WaveLogic Encryption offers optical layer encryption up to 200 Gbps

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has introduced a new optical layer encryption option built around its WaveLogic 3 Extreme coherent transmission chipset. WaveLogic Encryption leverages capabilities built into the WaveLogic 3 Extreme to offer optical layer encryption at data rates up to 200 Gbps.

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has introduced a new optical layer encryption option built around its WaveLogic 3 Extreme coherent transmission chipset. WaveLogic Encryption leverages capabilities built into the WaveLogic 3 Extreme to offer optical layer encryption at data rates up to 200 Gbps.

The FIPS-certified encryption capability leverages AES-256 encryption as well as elliptical curve key exchange, according to Michael Adams, Ciena's vice president of product and technology marketing. The encryption capability operates in an "always on" mode and features rapid key rotation for extra security.

Ciena also supplies a software-based MyCryptoTool that offers users a dedicated management portal to enable them to manage the security parameters.

The capability is the first to offer low-latency optical layer encryption at 200 Gbps; options for data rates of 100 Gbps have been announced by Ciena's competitors (see, for example, "ADVA Optical Networking offers 100G encryption for metro networks"). The challenge in creating an effective encryption capability at such data rates is minimizing latency, Adams points out. The faster packets are leaving, the less time the encryption engine has to work; and the faster they come in, the decryption process faces a similar hurdle. Being able to leverage capabilities within the WaveLogic 3 helps accelerate such processes, Adams says.

Adams believes that such "in-flight" encryption capabilities are in a similar state of demand as low-latency transmission a few years ago. Thus, in-flight encryption currently may be seen as a specialized feature, but likely will become widely requested in the not too distant future, he predicts.

Ciena is rolling out the encryption capability this quarter. Partner Telindus reports it has begun to deploy the encryption feature at the maximum 200-Gbps transmission rate for a financial customer in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Telstra reports having tested the 200-Gbps encryption capabilities with Ciena and Ericsson; a Telstra executive implied interest in implementing the feature set via a quote in Ciena's press release.

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

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