Ciena Now Focuses on Converged Optical Ethernet Solution

Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, today announced the direction of its portfolio of network infrastructure and service delivery solutions following the completion of its acquisition of the optical networking and Carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel’s+ Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business.

The newly combined product and service portfolio offers best-of-breed solutions focused on converged optical Ethernet to accelerate the transition to next-generation infrastructures, uniting the companies’ expertise in optical and Carrier Ethernet technologies with industry-leading control plane and management software.

Network operators of all kinds are challenged to handle constantly evolving demands on the network from trends like cloud computing, virtualization and advanced voice, video and data services. In addition, the move to WiMAX and LTE standards in mobile broadband, and the need for capacity and survivability in undersea deployments, are putting increased pressure on service providers for more reliable and efficient wireless backhaul and submarine networks. Operators must begin to build and scale their infrastructures to accommodate this exponential bandwidth growth while offering efficiency and reliability for all traffic types and applications.

“Completing the transaction that brings Nortel MEN into Ciena significantly changes the communications equipment vendor landscape,” said Philippe Morin, senior vice president, global products group at Ciena. “Ciena now has the focus, technology tool kit and global scale to deliver the solutions that change the way next-generation networks are built – a key component of which is our converged optical Ethernet solution set.”

Converged optical Ethernet is framed around three key values: maximizing the capacity, scalability and reliability of customers’ networks through optical technology; maximizing the flexibility, efficiency and economics of their networks through ubiquitous Ethernet technology; and uniting those capabilities with integrated control plane and management software. Based on this premise and built with strategic innovations from both Ciena and Nortel MEN, the combined portfolio offers customers key tools and technology attributes in several areas, including:

  • adaptive and scalable packet-optical transport products designed to expertly address metro, regional and long-haul needs;
  • packet-optical switching solutions supported by industry-leading control plane and mesh networking capabilities;
  • flexible and feature-rich Carrier Ethernet platforms for a wide range of aggregation and service delivery applications;
  • unified management and multi-layer control plane software; and,
  • a comprehensive portfolio of support services.

“Ciena has moved quickly to logically combine its product lines with those of Nortel MEN,” said Dana Cooperson, VP, Network Infrastructure, Ovum. “This will bring welcome reassurance to its combined customer base. Its strengthened focus on converged optical Ethernet combines the best of both organizations to attack its customers’ growing scale and efficiency challenges.”

To that end, Ciena is structuring its portfolio in five distinct product groupings designed to support customers’ transition to next-generation networks. These include:

Packet-Optical Transport

Ciena’s Packet-Optical Transport product group addresses any transport network requirement or demand and offers a variety of service and interface options. These platforms support channel rates of 10G, 40G and 100G, all of which are shipping commercially, and system scalability of tens of terabits per fiber. Leveraging common management and control plane interoperability with Ciena’s switching platforms, the packet-optical transport platforms offer customers seamless capacity growth at significantly reduced operational costs. Ciena’s flagship solution in this product grouping is the Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500, a metro and core optical platform that efficiently manages and transports converged TDM, OTN, packet and wavelength services. The OME 6500 continues to bring to market industry-leading 40G/100G Adaptive Optical Engine solutions, which can be deployed in volume over 10G-engineered links and allow operators to upgrade quickly and cost-effectively from 10G to 40G or 100G using their existing infrastructures. This unique adaptive optical capacity upgrade option will be supported on existing Ciena transport platforms as well.

Ciena’s CN 4200® FlexSelect® Advanced Services Platform and Nortel’s Optical Metro (OM) 5200 will continue to be utilized for select infrastructure builds, with CN 4200 primarily supporting managed services and enterprise applications as well as metro and regional deployments, and OM 5200 supporting metropolitan access, interoffice and private network applications. The Packet-Optical Transport group also includes other members of Nortel’s OME 6000 series as well as the Common Photonic Layer (CPL) line system, which enables migration to a more agile, adaptive, all-optical network with its extensive ROADM capabilities.

Packet-Optical Switching

Ciena’s Packet-Optical Switching product group consists of the industry’s first family of terabit-class reconfigurable switching systems, which utilize intelligent mesh networking to automate the provisioning and dynamic bandwidth control of high-capacity services. This product group includes Ciena’s CoreDirector® FS Multiservice Optical Switch and 5400 Family of Reconfigurable Switching Systems. Equipped with industry-leading control plane software intelligence and connection density, the initial products of the 5400 family are the 5430 Reconfigurable Switching System, a 30-slot system with 3.6 Terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity and even higher degrees of scalability, and the 5410 Reconfigurable Switching System, a 10-slot system with 1.2 Tbps of capacity. The 5430 is currently in customer labs and will be generally available in the second calendar quarter of 2010.

Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery

Designed to significantly accelerate the deployment of Carrier Ethernet by automating service creation, activation and delivery, this product group is comprised of Ciena’s existing Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery (CESD) portfolio and is targeted at supporting 3G/4G wireless backhaul applications and enabling Carrier Ethernet business, transport and residential services. Based on field-proven software and equipped with a wide range of environmental, physical size and interface options, Ciena’s CESD solutions leverage industry-leading OAM, QoS, TDM over packet, and virtual switching capabilities to create low-touch, high-velocity access and metro networks. The CESD group consists of Service Aggregation Switches and Service Delivery Switches.

Ciena One Software Suite

This product group includes Ciena’s unified software solutions for comprehensive service lifecycle control and proactive monitoring across a wide range of technologies and service types. Utilizing software-based automation for operating expense reduction, network resiliency and faster service delivery, Ciena’s network and service management solution for its entire portfolio will ultimately be the Ciena One software suite. Ciena One will include OneControl Unified Management, a comprehensive suite of unified cross-portfolio network and service management tools for design, resource management, collaboration and interoperations with northbound OSS systems; and OneOS Multi-Layer Control Plane, common multi-layer software that provides consistent behavior and cross-platform intelligence for traffic optimization and restoration. In the short term, Ciena’s Ethernet Services Manager and ON-Center® Network Management Suite and Nortel’s OMEA and Preside will continue to manage their respective products.

Ciena Specialist Services

The Ciena Specialist Services portfolio is a comprehensive set of offerings designed to provide customers the support they require to address their network and service needs and help them best leverage their network assets. This includes increasing network capacity and resiliency, optimizing network efficiency and performance, and helping to reduce operating expenses through improved reliability, manageability, and optimal network operation. Ciena’s services portfolio is comprised of implementation services; professional and NOC services; specialist solutions and software services; and repair and spares management services.

Going forward, Ciena’s product investments will be focused within these groupings. Although there are a number of Ciena and Nortel MEN products not specifically identified in one of these product groupings, all products that are currently shipping to customers will have continuity of supply and support.


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