Cyan makes data center interconnect play with N-Series

Packet-optical transport and software-defined networking (SDN) platform developer Cyan (NYSE:CYNI) has unveiled the first member of the N-Series Open Hyperscale Transport Platform (OHTP) family. The N11 is designed to offer high-capacity, low cost, and small footprint for cloud, content, and data center operators who are interested in a rapidly scalable platform based on 100G interfaces and compatible with SDN frameworks.

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Packet-optical transport and software-defined networking (SDN) platform developer Cyan (NYSE:CYNI) has unveiled the first member of the N-Series Open Hyperscale Transport Platform (OHTP) family. The N11 is designed to offer high-capacity, low cost, and small footprint for cloud, content, and data center operators who are interested in a rapidly scalable platform based on 100G interfaces and compatible with SDN frameworks.

The N11 delivers 800 Gbps of transport capability in a 1RU package. It will offer both 4x100G client-side and 2x200G coherent line-side optical transceiver interfaces. The platform will support optical reaches of greater than 2,000 km; it is compatible with the company's Z-Series packet-optical transport systems to enable multiplexing of multiple N11-generated wavelengths, if necessary, for a total transmission capacity per fiber of 19.2 Tbps.

The box, built with as much commercial off-the-shelf technology as possible, runs via the new Cyan Linux Network OS. The OS, built using the Ubuntu version of Linux, is engineered to provide an open gateway between Linux-based applications and both current and future optical platform advances – including, potentially, optical transport platforms not developed by Cyan. The design is in the spirit of the "white box" movement within the SDN realm; Cyan's Joe Cumello, Kevin Wade, and Abel Tong called the hardware platform a "Lite-Box."

The N11 also conforms to the Open Compute Project's Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) specification.

The N-Series targets the same application space as BTI Systems' 7800 Series Intelligent Cloud Connect platforms and Infinera's Cloud Xpress (see "Intelligent Cloud Connect from BTI Systems targets SDN-enabled cloud services" and "Infinera ships Cloud Xpress platform"). The Cyan sources took aim at the latter in discussing competitive alternatives to their new offering. While acknowledging that Infinera offers more capacity per box (1 Tbps versus Cyan's 800 Gbps), the Cyan crew pointed out that their system is only half the size. Therefore, one can fit more capacity (34 Tbps) and 100G ports (168) into a 42RU frame, the Cyan spokesmen asserted. This would lead to a 30% gain in energy efficiency, they added.

Meanwhile, while Infinera has engineered the Cloud Xpress to accommodate a variety of client-side interfaces, the Cyan sources asserted that their research – including discussions with a current large Internet content provider customer they couldn't name -- indicated that their target demographic favors 100 Gbps. Also, they expressed confidence that advances in optical transceiver design would enable them to keep pace better with future capacity and density requirements.

Cyan plans to have the N11 ready for customer trials in the second quarter of the year and for actual sales by early in the third quarter.

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

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