Infinera refocuses vision around DTN-X

June 17, 2013
Having established an identity with its photonic integrated circuit (PIC) fueled Digital Optical Network strategy, Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) says it is now shifting focus to a strategy based on the capabilities of its latest system, the DTN-X packet-optical transport platform. The new Intelligent Transport Network vision organizes the company’s offerings to meet the new realities of high-speed, flexible networks, says Infinera.

Having established an identity with its photonic integrated circuit (PIC) fueled Digital Optical Network strategy, Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) says it is now shifting focus to a strategy based on the capabilities of its latest system, the DTN-X packet-optical transport platform. The new Intelligent Transport Network vision organizes the company’s offerings to meet the new realities of high-speed, flexible networks, says Infinera.

The Intelligent Transport Network strategy is built around three pillars, according to Pravin Mahajan, director, corporate marketing and messaging at Infinera. Each leverages some aspect of the DTN-X feature set:

  1. Scalability, which the DTN-X delivers via support of 500-Gbps superchannels now and 1-Tbps superchannels in the future. Mahajan declined to offer a timeline for availability of the higher speed. The systems’ FlexCoherent capability enables the system to match the right transmission approach to the application, Infinera asserts.
  2. Convergence of features previously the domain of separate systems to save capex and opex is the hallmark of packet-optical transport systems. These include packet and Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching and reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities.
  3. A high degree of automation, particularly for multi-layer provisioning. The DTN-X currently offers the Infinera Instant Bandwidth capability for flexible capacity provision and unveiled the FastSMP multi-failure protection mechanism earlier this year. The company also has its eyes on the potential of Transport Software Defined Network (SDN); it has demonstrated a prototype Transport SDN capability it calls Optical Transport Switch (see “Infinera, ESnet demo Transport SDN via Open Transport Switch”).

Mahajan, naturally, believes Infinera is ahead of the competition when it comes to meeting such requirements, which he describes as “an infinite pool of intelligent bandwidth” that carriers can access and manipulate to turn up services more quickly than their competition. This is true for both companies such as Cisco that tout the capabilities of integrated smart optics in routing platforms (which Mahajan says are only now catching up on OTN switching capabilities, which come at the expense of router port capacity) as well as other optical transport vendors whose integrated OTN switching capabilities he portrays as more of a late retrofits of lower-speed platforms compared to the DTN-X, which was designed to support 500-Gbps superchannels when it was first brought to market.

The Intelligent Transport Network approach will save 31% over five years versus the router-based IP over DWDM approach, he says. Mahajan adds that the purpose-built DTN-X also will save opex in comparison to other, retrofitted packet-optical transport systems.

"Infonetics surveyed service providers and found almost 90% of them plan to deploy platforms that converge OTN switching and WDM transmission by 2016," said Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst, optical at Infonetics Research. "The approach Infinera is taking with the Intelligent Transport Network aligns with what the largest global carriers are looking for."

Meanwhile, the DTN and the AVN platforms that underpin the Digital Optical Network strategy aren't going away. The company continues to sell both platforms, including to new customers.

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

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