Ciena boosts Ethernet packet switching of 6500 packet-optical transport system

May 14, 2013
Optical transport systems vendor Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) has unveiled new modules and software-based capabilities for its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform that are designed to improve its ability to handle Ethernet packet switching.

Optical transport systems vendor Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) has unveiled new modules and software-based capabilities for its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform that are designed to improve its ability to handle Ethernet packet switching.

The two new E-Suite packet modules support blade-based and fabric-based packet switching, respectively. They include the company’s service aware packet operating system (SAOS). Ciena has used the SAOS software on its Carrier Ethernet platforms for some time. This factor, combined with the use of Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System, enables network operators to fully manage and provision Ethernet services across both packet-optical and Carrier Ethernet network platforms, says Mike Adams, vice president of product and technology marketing at the company.

The multi-module approach offers scalability and flexibility not available in competitors’ “one size fits all approach,” Adams asserted. The switching fabric module will come with an initial capacity of 1.6 Tbps; that figure will climb in future releases, Adams said.

The new capabilities round out the switching capabilities of the 6500 packet-optical transport platform. Adams said that while the system had strong SONET/SDH and Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching capabilities, it was a bit light on the Ethernet packet end of things.

Ciena has already shipped the fabric-based cards to customers; the blade-based switching modules should become available in June, Adams says. The company will roll out new management software for the packet switching additions this summer, he added.

The new capabilities have already won kudos from at least one customer. “With Ciena’s converged packet-optical platforms, we can more easily and quickly scale to support large end user capacity demands driven by cloud computing, virtualization, SDN, and video streaming. Deploying Ciena’s 6500 with integrated packet switching capabilities will also help to reduce the complexity of integrating and managing a separate Ethernet and optical infrastructure,” said Jason Koenders, senior vice president of engineering and network planning at Integra, via a Ciena press release.

For more information on packet-optical transport systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.



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