Infinera upgrades DTN-X portfolio, debuts meshponders

In a move to address the changing network requirements of traditional service providers and webscale data center network operators, Infinera has announced a sweeping set up upgrades for its DTN-X portfolio, many based on variants of the company's Infinite Capacity Engine. The company also has introduced a new class of system, the meshponder.

In a move to address the changing network requirements of traditional service providers and webscale data center network operators, Infinera has announced a sweeping set up upgrades for its DTN-X portfolio, many based on variants of the company's Infinite Capacity Engine. The company also has introduced a new class of system, the meshponder.

The network requirements of traditional carriers and webscale data center operators have diverged due to the different types of traffic they typically carry, asserts Pravin Mahajan, Infinera's director of product and corporate marketing. In data center network terms, traditional service providers tend to deal more with North/South "mouse" traffic flows, while webscale data center operators must accommodate more linear East/West "elephant" flows.

While the company's Cloud Xpress platforms serve the point-to-point needs of this second group well, Pravin says, webscale operators also have a requirement for point-to-multipoint systems. Enter the meshponders. The XT-3300 and XT-3600 combine muxponder capabilities with the "sliceable photonics" feature Infinera introduced for its metro platforms (see "Infinera hints at upcoming metro aggregation platforms with new PIC introductions" and "Infinera embraces Transmode, new products in metro portfolio"). Sliceable photonics enables operators to divide the capacity of a superchannel port on a meshponder in 100-Gbps increments for use in transmitting traffic to multiple recipient nodes.

The two meshponders offer different capacity and are targeted at different network requirements. The 1.2-Tbps XT-3300 is a 1RU platform designed for point-to-multipoint Ethernet applications. The 4RU XT-3600 offers 2.4 Tbps of capacity and the ability to handle both Ethernet and Optical Transport Network (OTN) traffic in point-to-multipoint architectures. Both systems support a variety of modulation formats, including ME-PSK, 3QAM, QPSK, 8QAM, and 16QAM. This first format typically is associated with submarine networks; Mahajan says a meshponder for undersea cable networks is on the roadmap.

For traditional service providers, who Mahajan says require integrated packet switching with their optical transport, Infinera has upgraded its XTC-4 and XTC-10 Packet Optical Transport Node (P-OTN) platforms. The systems now accommodate 1.2 Tbps per slot and 12 Tbps of switching and transmission capacity. The new 1.2-Tbps client card can support up to six sub-slots for modules of varying capacity. Service providers can add the new capacity via non-disruptive, in-service upgrades, Infinera says.

Meanwhile, to pair with both the meshponders and the upgraded XTC platforms, Infinera also has announced the six-slot MTC-6 FlexILS chassis and a 20-port superchannel-capable Flexible Grid Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (FlexROADM) line card. The latter offers 20-degree capability and is compatible with the company's MTC-9 and XTC-2E chassis as well as the new MTC-6. The MTC-6 is part of the company's open optical line system portfolio.

The MTC-6 FlexILS open line system chassis is shipping and has received at least one customer endorsement. "As we expand our fiber transport network routes in the U.S., we rely on networking solutions that can be easily upgraded like the FlexILS which provides an open line system and the new 20-port ROADM capabilities. With an existing DTN-X deployment, we look forward to the new multi-terabit Infinite Capacity Engine based modules and platforms to power Windstream's cloud scale network," said Buddy Bayer, senior vice president, transport engineering at Windstream, via an Infinera press release.

The XT-3300 platform should be available in the first quarter of 2017; Mahajan says that Infinera has begun showing the platform to customers. The other platforms to start to become available in the second quarter of 2017.

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