Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Featured Article

Ciena Takes Packet Performance to the Edge


November 09, 2017

It sounds cliché, but the future is here. While we sit and wait with baited breath for the awesomeness that is the Internet of Things to take shape, many still question whether networks are ready for this onslaught of traffic -- With the edge serving as a key question mark. As I said at the open, the future is here; and Ciena is showing us what it looks like.


Today, Ciena announced the arrival of an expanded packet networking portfolio, bringing capacity closer to the network edge. The new hardware and software solutions support 100GbE and 10Gbe aggregation and delivery to support the new wave of web-scale applications.

photo courtesy of Pixabay

The combination of Ethernet business services, IoT applications, 4G/5G mobile backhaul is challenging network operators to rapidly deploy more connections with faster speeds, while at the same time managing and monitoring these connections. The struggle is…ahem…was real, thanks to Ciena.

 “Ciena has the foresight to see where the customer trends are heading and understands what network providers must do to ‘follow where the puck is going’ to address the emerging intercept demand from bandwidth-hogging applications. Customers putting more intelligence at the edge is creating this demand in their core networks,” explained Mike Sapien, Vice President & Chief Analyst, Ovum. 

Ciena’s newly unveiled products are feature add-ons to its 8700 platform portfolio, bringing high-capacity closer to the edge and end users to offer service providers optimized network performance.

The first product addresses edge access. The 3926m is a full-featured, carrier-grade platform for the delivery of 10GbE service that also allows for third party virtual network functions (VNFs). Another component of the announcement, the 3928 Service Delivery Switch also addresses edge access. The 10GbE NTE promises a carrier-class set of features aimed at providing reliable and efficient service delivery, and is capable of functioning in a number of different environments.

Ciena attends to edge aggregation in two primary ways. Firstly, the 5170 Service Aggregation Switch allows for pocket-friendly 100GbE service delivery directly to customers in addition to dense 10GbE service aggregation. And, offers VNF hosting capabilities coming from an x86 server powering Ciena’s Service Aware Operating System (SAOS). The second piece tot eh edge aggregation puzzle is a simple one. Ciena more than doubled the 8700 Packetwave platform’s capacity, while keeping the power and space friendly form factor capable of scaling packet-based services quickly and cost effectively.

“It's no secret that supporting the unpredictable bandwidth demands of today’s web-scale world is a priority and challenge for any company that operates a network. By bringing bandwidth closer to the point of end-user demand, our new packet networking capabilities make overcoming that challenge less daunting,” noted Scott McFeely, Senior Vice President, Networking Platforms, Ciena.

They say the squeaky wheel is the one getting the grease. The din is growing from network operators and service providers, but this level of innovation should start to quiet the crowd.

What’s in your network?




Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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