New Ciena aggregation switches focus on 10 Gigabit Ethernet at network edge

Oct. 3, 2013
Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) this week unveiled the 5160 and 5142 Service Aggregation Switches, new additions to its packet networking portfolio aimed at addressing the need to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) at the metro edge.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) this week unveiled the 5160 and 5142 Service Aggregation Switches, new additions to its packet networking portfolio aimed at addressing the need to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) at the metro edge.

According to John Hawkins, senior advisor of technical marketing at Ciena, the platforms combine the best aspects of two Carrier Ethernet 2.0 market mainstays: the pizza box and feature-rich operations, administration, and maintenance (OA&M) capabilities. Thus, carriers can push high-capacity Carrier Ethernet service aggregation and SLA-support capabilities closer to the network edge to support such applications as mobile data services, mobile backhaul, and enterprise data and cloud services.

The boxes also leverage Ciena’s OPn architecture approach and E-Suite capabilities to support programmable network infrastructures that enable rapid service delivery, agility, and assurance, Hawkins says. For example, the platforms provide 10GbE service activation testing and full synchronization support. Use of Ciena’s Service-Aware Operating System (SAOS) and OneControl Unified Management System enables end-to-end service management, including when paired with the company’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform.

The 5160 Service Aggregation Switch (SAS) is the more capable of the two new systems. It supports 24 ports of 10GbE in a single rack unit (1RU) form factor. Ciena asserts the 5160 provides more than 50% reduction in carrier aggregation cost per 10GbE port. The 5142 SAS, meanwhile, is designed to provide 1GbE to 10GbE aggregation in a 1RU, fixed chassis configuration. The 5142 features four ports of 10GbE and 20 ports of 1GbE.

The systems are compatible with Ciena’s V-WAN Network Services Module, which enables network virtualization to automate the allocation of shared network resources among data centers.

“Escalating use of bandwidth-heavy applications is creating even more demand for higher-speed services, and consequently the need for ultra-high capacity metro infrastructures. Our research shows that 10 Gbps and higher-speed installations are the fastest growing Carrier Ethernet services overall,” commented Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group, via a Ciena press release. “Service providers face many capex and opex decisions as they upgrade their infrastructures to meet this rising demand. Ciena’s approach to deploying a cost-optimized platform such as the 5160 addresses the challenges of metro aggregation, while also enabling new gigabit Ethernet service offerings.”

The new platforms are already in general availability. In fact, Ciena has announced that Ritter Communications of Arkansas has already decided to deploy both systems in its network.

“The 5160 specifically allows us to expand our regional core to accommodate the demand for higher bandwidth and 10G customer interfaces,” explained Greg Sunderwood, vice president of engineering, Ritter Communications, in a second press release announcing the deployment. “We’ve been experiencing significant growth from our Ethernet Business Services as well as our Wholesale Transport and Internet Services, and this technology is a key factor in enabling us to continue to service this demand. The small form factors of the 5160 and 5142 allow us to expand quickly where needed and address the network’s hot spots in a cost-effective manner. And since we can’t sacrifice on quality of service, the OAM feature set is critical to delivering on our service level agreements to our customers.”

For more information on Carrier Ethernet systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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