Ciena unveils WaveRouter integrated IP, optical, compute platform for converged metro networks

April 13, 2023
Leveraging coherent pluggable optics, multi-layer control and automation, and universal slots that can accommodate both fabric and I/O interfaces, WaveRouter will scale from 6 Tbps to 192 Tbps.

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) has expanded its router and switching portfolio with WaveRouter, a platform for converged IP/optical metro network applications that combines IP, optical, and compute capabilities in a single system. Leveraging coherent pluggable optics, multi-layer control and automation, and universal slots that can accommodate both fabric and I/O interfaces, WaveRouter will scale from 6 Tbps to 192 Tbps.

The company asserts it has architected WaveRouter to combine the best attributes of big-chassis, spine and leaf, and distributed disaggregated chassis approaches while avoiding the shortcomings of each that derive from the fact that they were created to address either IP or optical, but not both. Unlike previous generations of routers, WaveRouter enables multi-layer awareness and coordination, better path diversity for increased service availability, holistic lifecycle management of IP/optical network services, and simplified physical access with a single management IP address, according to a blog authored by Scott McFeely, senior vice president, global products and services at Ciena.

The router uses an extensible switch fabric to enable in-service fabric expansion from 6 Tbps to 192 Tbps in 6-Tbps increments. The platform itself can range in size from 0.5 RU to 21 RU; the router can be configured to operate across non-adjacent racks for design flexibility. Optical interfaces run from 400 Gbps to 1.6 Tbps, the latter with upcoming modules that will leverage Ciena’s recently announced WaveLogic 6 optical engine family.

The WaveRouter uses Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) multi-layer domain controller to enable single-interface management at both the optical and IP layers.

“Metro networks are ripe for modernization, driven by requirements for sustainability, scale, reliability, cloud adaptability, and lower costs,” commented Sterling Perrin, senior principal analyst at Heavy Reading, via a Ciena press release. “Heavy Reading survey data indicates many operators are seeking change in how they architect their metros. Ciena’s WaveRouter, a coherent metro router, combines IP and optical coordination, open API-based automation, and a hardware building-block architecture that offers redundant power and cooling, along with the ability to independently scale up compute and scale out switching fabric. This is the type of innovative metro architecture that network operators are looking for.”

Ciena expects to make the WaveRouter generally available in the third quarter of 2023.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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