Coriant Aware Technology enables optical network smarts, flexibility

Coriant used OFC 2017 in Los Angeles last week to unveil its Coriant Aware Technology, the company's answer to such coincident announcements as Ciena's Liquid Spectrum and Infinera's Instant Network and Automated Capacity Engineering. Coriant Aware enables operators to flexibly provision and restore networks via real-time performance awareness and control. In particular, the technology is able to measure and control optical residual margin within the network, rather than relying on pre-FEC margin numbers, sources at the show said.

Coriant used OFC 2017 in Los Angeles last week to unveil its Coriant Aware Technology, the company's answer to such coincident announcements as Ciena's Liquid Spectrum and Infinera's Instant Network and Automated Capacity Engineering. Coriant Aware enables operators to flexibly provision and restore networks via real-time performance awareness and control. In particular, the technology is able to measure and control optical residual margin within the network, rather than relying on pre-FEC margin numbers, sources at the show said.

Two main software-centric components provide the foundation for Coriant Aware Technology:

  1. The Optical Performance Engine (OPE) combines offline planning tool with the horsepower necessary to support wavelength activation, Layer 0 restoration, and other optical network functions in real time based on network performance data. The OPE responds to path validation requests from the path computation function within the network management system (NMS), software-defined networking (SDN) cloud, or ASON/GMPLS control plane. The OPE uses optical models that consider linear and nonlinear effects to compute valid options for each requested path based on such parameters as modulation types, baud rates, forward error correction (FEC) options, frequencies, and power levels.
  2. Margin Processing Engine (MPE) gathers performance monitoring data from elements across the network, including coherent receivers and the per-channel power monitoring capabilities of the optical network elements. It uses this data to distinguish in real-time OSNR from signal degradation due to linear and nonlinear impairments. The MPE thus delivers accurate and real-time residual margin values for each channel, Coriant asserts. The MPE generates this data without having to rely on the capabilities of the newest generation of coherent DSP devices, which means it can be applied to existing coherent networks.

"With Coriant Aware Technology we are showcasing the critical role of residual margin in optical network performance optimization," said Stefan Voll, Coriant's vice president of product management, via a company press release. "Residual margin is the most useful measure of received signal quality to date, allowing determination of how much room there is for the signal to degrade without impacting error free operation."

Coriant believes Coriant Aware Technology will enable operators to save on opex and capex by accelerating and simplifying wavelengths services deployment, eliminating the practice of "margin stacking" to accommodate estimated worst-case scenarios, increasing network reliability, and improving capacity monetization opportunities. The company plans to roll out the portfolio in phases, with Coriant's long-haul platforms the first target. The initial OPE functionality should be available for trials beginning in the second quarter of this year, according to the official announcement. However, company sources at the show revealed that they have a field implementation of the planning feature set up already with a major customer. Roll out of the full Coriant Aware Technology capabilities likely will run into 2018, the sources said.

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