Details of Cisco elastic core, nLight offerings emerge

On the heels of yesterday’s announcement of its new elastic core architecture and nLight 100-Gbps capabilities for the Cisco Routing System (CRS) family of core routers, a Cisco source and a market research firm have released additional details of the two new offerings.

On the heels of yesterday’s announcement of its new elastic core architecture and nLight 100-Gbps capabilities for the Cisco Routing System (CRS) family of core routers (see "Cisco tackles 100-Gbps IP/optical convergence with nLight and elastic core"), a Cisco source and a market research firm have released additional details of the two new offerings.

In a conversation yesterday with Lightwave, Sanjeev Mervana, senior director, products and solutions within Cisco’s Service Provider Group, confirmed that the nLight coherent 100-Gbps capabilities are based on technology and expertise from Cisco’s CoreOptics acquisition. The coherent 100-Gbps capabilities come in the form of a single-slot line card with one optical transponder. The implementation is similar to that used on Cisco’s optical transport platforms (see "Cisco delivers 100G over 3000 km without regeneration"). Thanks to the multi-chassis capabilities of the CRS architecture, operators can deploy as many 100G line cards as they require. The line cards are available now.

Regarding the multi-layer control capabilities at the heart of Cisco’s new IP/optical conversion implementation, Mervana admitted that, due to the current lack of standards, the Cisco approach will only work when the CRS is paired with Cisco WDM platforms. The capabilities should be available by the end of this year, Mervana added.

Meanwhile, market research and analysis firm ACG Research this morning released a whitepaper entitled, “The Benefits of Cisco’s Elastic Core.” ACG Research says in the whitepaper that information that will be able to be shared between the optical and packet layers will include:

  • circuit ID (unique circuit identifier)
  • Shared Risk Link Groups (SRLGs): Common DWDM layer risks that may be shared by a circuit, for example, optical regenerator shelf, multidegree ROADM sites, and fiber segment that passed through a manhole
  • latency between ingress and egress points on the DWDM system
  • the path a circuit may traverse.

When turning up a new circuit/service, ACG Research says the packet layer request may include:

  • matching path
  • disjoint path
  • specific latency or latency bound
  • whether to avoid or include specific SRLG(s)
  • lowest optical cost circuit.

Use of the new capabilities can save as much of 50% in total cost of ownership, ACG Research estimates.

For more information on routers and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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