Monday, March 23, 2015

Infinera Charts Network Transformation with PICs for Sliceable Photonics

Infinera unveiled two photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for new optical transport systems and line cards scheduled for delivery later this year. The introductions include a sliceable, enhanced PIC, ePIC-500, and an application-optimized PIC, oPIC-100.

Infinera said its new sliceable photonics technology enables the large pool of capacity in a PIC to be divided at a granular optical level.  Each slice can routed in a different direction as it exits the line card or the system housing, usually at the hub. The recipient of the individual slice is a line card or system that matches the capacity, usually at the spoke. For instance, a 500G superchannel originating at a hub location could be sliced into 100G chunks for delivery to multiple spokes.

The new ePIC-500 provides sliceable 500G capacity at the hub location, while the new oPIC-100 provides 100G capacity at the spoke location. While these two new PICs are applicable across all network locations they were developed specifically to support Layer T in the metro.

The introductions come as Infinera positions for a major transformation in network architecture driven by scale and virtualization.  Infinera sees the emergence of two layers:
  • Layer C -- a cloud services layer that supports NFV plus other Cloud delivered services  
  • Layer T --  the transport layer, which is founded on scalable photonics capable of delivering more capacity per line card and system while simplifying the network.
Infinera believes that PICs are integral to the evolution of the transport network and provide significant benefits when integrated into a packet-optical DWDM transport system, there creating an efficient Layer T and ultimately allowing Layer C to thrive.

The company said it has modeled a wide range of applications from metro aggregation to regional long-haul where hub-and-spoke, mesh or ring topologies are common. When using the new PICs, these models showed an estimated average reduction of 28 percent in modules, 31 percent in power and 45 percent in bandwidth inefficiencies as compared to conventional, commercial off the shelf technologies that deliver single-wavelength or super-channel solutions for 100G, 200G or 400G.

“Infinera has been shipping PICs in transport systems, that have been designed from the ground-up, for over a decade," said Dave Welch, co-founder and president at Infinera. "During this time the technology has surpassed over 1.5 billion hours of field operations. Sliceable photonics allows our customers to build networks with scale and flexibility for a wide variety of applications ranging from the metro to the long-haul. It provides a comprehensive tool set for us to be nimble and build market-specific platforms for Layer T as our customers’ needs continue to evolve."

Apigee Files for IPO - APIs + Predictive Analytics

Apigee, a start-up based in San Jose, California, filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock.

 The company's Apigee Edge API platform helps enterprises to build mobile and digital initiatives using APIs, apps and data. Apigee Insights delivers big data predictive analytics. Apigee says that when used together, its APIs and predictive analytics can create an adaptive cycle of continuous improvement – and the faster an enterprise goes through this cycle, the faster it can innovate, adapt and accelerate its digital business.

  • In April 2014, Apigee announced $60 million in new venture financing for its API platform for enabling predictive analytics in digital interactions. Pine River Capital Management and Wellington Management Company participated as new investors in this round, along with current Apigee investors Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), Bay Partners, Third Point LLC, SAP Ventures, funds managed by BlackRock, Focus Ventures, and Accenture. This brought Apigee's total funding to $171 as of April 2014. 

Corning Intros SMF-28 Ultra 200 Fiber

Corning introduced the industry’s first 200-micron fiber with a 9.2 micron nominal mode-field diameter (MFD).

The new Corning SMF-28 Ultra 200 fiber enables the design of smaller, lighter, fully backwards compatible high-fiber, high-density cables. The company said its new fiber complies with the ITU-T G.657.A1 specification while also delivering enhanced bend resistance and seamless integration with the installed ITU-T G.652 fiber base in a 200-micron product. In addition, Corning claims the fiber’s low attenuation improves signal reach up to 10 percent over conventional ITU-T G.652 fiber types and increases coverage as much as 20 percent when served by a point-of-presence or central office.

“Corning SMF-28 Ultra 200 fiber helps solve one of the world’s toughest network challenges – increasing fiber capacity without taking up more space,” said John Igel, vice president and general manager of Corning Optical Fiber and Cable. “With the problem of MFD compatibility eliminated, network operators have the freedom to deploy fiber-rich 200-micron cables to address capacity and congestion – with the proven performance of SMF-28 Ultra fiber.”

Corning's SMF-28 Ultra fiber portfolio can be used for high-performance applications at 100G and beyond, and for next-generation passive optical networks (PONs) and wavelength division multiplexed passive optical networks (WDM-PONs).

NTT Electronics Delivers 20nm Low-Power Coherent DSP

NTT Electronics (NEL) announced the commercial release of its second generation, 20nm low-power coherent DSP for use in high-port-density 100G metro transport systems. The device was developed by NEL in collaboration with Broadcom.

The new NLD0640 Gen2 LP-DSP features integrated 100GE transponder capability, full coverage of operation modes such as the lowest power 80-km ZR mode and power-managed metro mode for distances up to 1200km, and digital equalizer compensating electrical signal distortion to-and-from 100G pluggable Analog Coherent Optics (ACO).  The LP-DSP uses Broadcom's signal-processing-enhanced mixed-signal technologies to intensify the coherent processing core, which has already been widely deployed as NEL's first generation 40nm DSP product NLD0629 Gen1 DSP3.

“I am glad to see that our initiative, to make merchant Silicon DSP solution available for every manufacturer, has evolved into this new generation.” said Masahito Tomizawa, Executive Manager of NTT Network Innovation Laboratories. “Digital coherent is an optical communications innovation, not only for enabling 100 Gbps per wavelength, but also for enabling interoperability among multi-source pluggable coherent optics using lower-cost technologies such as compound semiconductor and silicon photonics. One of my laboratories has already confirmed successful interoperability of the new NLD0640 Gen2 LP-DSP not only with multi-source CFP2-ACO’s but also with other CFP-DCO employing its in-house DSP ASIC.”

New Celtic-Plus GOLD Project Continues Work on

Celtic-Plus, an industry-driven European research initiative, announced results and future plans of lab trials. A new Gigabits Over the Legacy Drop (GOLD) project will initiate the planned second version of the standard. This builds on a recently completed HFCC/ project, which demonstrated throughput of nearly 1Gbps per copper pair at 100 meters, and up to 170Mbps per copper pair at 480 meters, on a 16 pair standard cable.

Sckipio said these tests used its technology.

Some highlights:

  • The 4.2 Million euro Celtic-Plus project HFCC/ (Hybrid Fibre-Copper connectivity using brought together 14 organizations from nine countries and included Ericsson AB (SE), ADTRAN GmbH (DE), BT (UK), Dension Broadband Systems Kft (HU), EUR AB (SE), Orange SA (FR), Lund University (SE), Marvell Semiconductor (ES), Fundacion Tecnalia Research and Innovation (ES), Telefonica I+D (ES), Telnet Redes Inteligentes SA (ES), TNO (NL), FTW Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (AU) and Sckipio Technologies (IL).
  • The 4.4 million euro Celtic-Plus project GOLD (Gigabits Over the Legacy Drop) brings together 12 companies from 8 countries including service providers BT (UK), Orange SA (FR); equipment vendors ADTRAN GmbH (DE), Alcatel-Lucent (BE), Ericsson AB (SE), Sagemcom (FR), and Telnet Redes Inteligentes SA (ES); chip vendors Marvell Semiconductors (ES) and Sckipio Technologies (IL); and researchers at Lund University (SE) and TNO (NL). The 3-year project, which is coordinated by Lund University, will run until December 2017.

Dell Hires a Cisco Exec as CTO of its Enterprise Solutions Group

Dell announced the appointment of Paul Pérez as Chief Technology Officer of its Enterprise Solutions Group, where he will focus on leading the architecture, design and build-out of the next wave of Dell’s future-ready data center technologies. He joins Dell from Cisco Systems where he most recently served as vice president and general manager for the company’s Computing Systems Product Group, responsible for the UCS server and management portfolio. Also at Cisco, Mr. Pérez served as Chief Technology Officer for its Data Centre Business Group, where he oversaw the company’s technology strategy for converged infrastructure, virtualization and private cloud automation. Prior to Cisco, Mr. Pérez was the Chief Technologist at Hewlett-Packard for its ProLiant and BladeSystem infrastructure.

Dell also announced that Rory P. Read will become Chief Operating Officer and President of Worldwide Commercial Sales and will have responsibility for Dell’s global go-to-market initiatives, omni-channel sales planning and enablement. He joins Dell after a 30-year career with global technology companies such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Lenovo and IBM. He served as Chief Executive Officer and President at AMD, Chief Operating Officer and President at Lenovo, and had IBM Business Services leadership responsibilities in the Asia-Pacific region. He is an accomplished industry executive who has led companies through rapid growth and evolving markets.

Amazon Names First Six AWS Managed Service Program Providers

Amazon named the first six companies to be admitted into its new AWS Managed Service Partner program:

  • 2nd Watch
  • Datapipe
  • Smartronix
  • Cascadeo
  • Day1 Solutions
  • RightBrain Networks

To become an approved member of this program, partners must pass an independent audit of their AWS Managed Service capability.

CableLabs Joins NYU's 5G Research Program

CableLabs, the nonprofit research consortium for the cable industry, has joined NYU's research center as it drives development of 5G technology.

NYU WIRELESS, which was launched by the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering in August 2012, is developing fundamental science and mathematical channel models needed to create 5G equipment.

CableLabs becomes the 12th industry affiliate sponsor of the research center, joining Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm, and others, as the industry starts to look beyond 4G and LTE-A, in pursuit of faster connections and greater access.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blueprint: The Future of Cloud Communications

by Pejman Roshan, VP of product management at ShoreTel

Who knows what the future holds? Analysts look for the future in current trends, and businesses attempt to create it by meeting their customers’ present needs. At ShoreTel, we make no claims of omniscience, though we do boast a record of impressive foresight into the future of cloud communications, and strive to make that future a reality.

Hybrid UC

The future does not lie solely in the cloud or on-premises; rather, patterns point toward hybrid solutions being the way of the future. The cloud is an incredibly useful tool for storing, accessing, and managing virtualized applications and data. Yet at the same time, on-site phone systems still offer control, availability and resiliency that softphones can’t guarantee. Fortunately, the choice isn’t an either/or situation, and one can get both through a hybrid cloud communications platform.

However, not all hybrid solutions offer the same balance of cloud and premises features, and are often weighted more toward one or the other – based in the cloud with some on-premises features, or vice-versa. So while hybrid will see more growth than cloud or premises solutions on their own, users will be free to decide what balance works best for them. Regardless of what they go with, though, there’s little doubt that vendors offering hybrid solutions will be set for success.

As communications become a blend of physical and virtual, the workspace will follow. The cloud will continue to expand as more users migrate to it, bringing their work and tools with them. Their own “personal” clouds will be a combination of the various components they need, so working virtually is as effective as working from a corporate office. We’re already seeing a continuous rise in mobility, and it shows no signs of slowing, which will lead to a growing virtual workspace that complements and works in tandem with the physical office.


In order to support the mobile BYOD environment, applications that let people communicate through and between their various personal devices will be necessary. IT departments will need to put more focus on software apps for that, but technology like WebRTC will make it easier to launch Web collaboration meetings right from the client, which will in turn make it easier to create and join meetings.

Yet no matter what tools you can use to work and communicate with, the user experience can make or break the technology. Now that technology is at the point where we can reach across cyberspace to work and collaborate from anywhere, it needs to be doable in a way that doesn’t drive users mad.

The way we see it at ShoreTel, the best way to provide a good user experience is through a good interface. You need a clean user interface, one that makes good use of space to remain clear and easy to use, which remains singular for different modes of communication. The less people have to switch between screens, apps and interfaces, the better the experience will be for them, which leads to improved efficiency and growth all around.

With all this advancement, what will Unified Communications become? It is our view that UC will advance beyond merely transmitting information back and forth, but will incorporate intelligent organization, providing vital context and sorting for the information transmitted. Unified Communications will continue to grow and incorporate both cloud and premises-based communication platforms and include an ecosystem of integrated applications.

The future is not some far-off thing these days; our predictions follow current trends to see what this year will contain, so in many regards, we are already living in it. It’s never too soon to prepare for what’s ahead, so the time is right to get ahead of the curve.

About the Author

Pejman Roshan is the VP of product management at ShoreTel, where he is responsible for product strategy, definition and delivery for ShoreTel’s unified communications cloud and premises product lines.

About ShoretTel

ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a leading provider of brilliantly simple IP phone systems and unified communications solutions. Its award-winning on-premises IP-PBX solution and cloud-based hosted phone system eliminate complexity and improve productivity. Recognized for its industry-leading customer experience and support, ShoreTel’s innovative business phones, application integration, collaboration tools, mobility, and contact center applications enable users to communicate and collaborate no matter the time, place or device, with minimal demand on IT resources. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has regional offices and partners worldwide. For more information, visit

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Acacia Announces Coherent 400G Transceiver Module

Acacia Communications introduced the first flex-rate coherent 400G Transceiver module. Sampling is underway and generally availability is expected in Q2-2015.

The new transceiver, which targets LH/ULH, metro and Data Center Interconnect networks, is powered by the industry’s first dual-core ASIC supporting two optical channels and up to 400Gbit/s capacity including a clear channel single 400Gbps traffic flow, optimized for IP packet transport. Built-in framing functionality supports 100G and 400G OTN and Ethernet clients.

“100G coherent transceivers are currently being deployed in large volumes in long haul, metro and Data Center Interconnect networks,” said Acacia Communications President and CEO Raj Shanmugaraj. “With the availability of Acacia’s low cost flex-rate coherent AC-400 MSA module, we expect to bring even better economies for coherent applications at multiple rates from 100G to 400G.  Powered by the Acacia’s ASIC/DSP and extensive silicon photonic integration for metro and Data Center Interconnect applications, we have been able to extend the performance advantages of an AC-400 module while reducing cost, size and power consumption dramatically. Our new AC-400 provides carriers and content providers with a compelling solution to cost-effectively address capacity needs in their ULH/LH, metro and Data Center Interconnect networks.”

“The ability to launch 400G off a 5x7 Transceiver Module with advanced features like 8QAM and low power is well timed with the growth of the Data Center Interconnect transport market and Acacia’s flexibility to scale from 100G to 400G is a major advantage,” said Simon Stanley, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading. “The module demonstrates Silicon Photonics PIC performance for the higher order modulation schemes and makes solutions like these very cost-effective for the market.”

OpenOptics MSA Consortium Releases WDM Spec for DCI

The OpenOptics MSA Consortium has published the first foundational Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) specification for an interoperable 100G WDM standard for 2 kilometer reach, addressing data center interconnect (DCI) requirements.

RANOVUS said this new WDM specification brings together 1550nm WDM laser and silicon photonics for QSFP and optical engine based solutions, enabling lowest-cost, highest density, and highest bandwidth with single mode fiber pair connectivity, to enable data centers to use up to 32 or more channels per fiber strand.

“Our OpenOptics MSA collaboration with industry leaders has resulted in the definition of a foundational WDM specification for data center network connectivity, and having terabit scalability on a single mode fiber pair infrastructure,” said Saeid Aramideh, chief marketing and sales officer for RANOVUS.  “The availability of this specification is a major milestone for our industry which we believe will not only accelerate the adoption of silicon-photonics based WDM solutions for the data center market, but also allow for a scalable terabit infrastructure for next generation datacenter architectures.”
“Previously, there was no standard for anything beyond 100Gbs,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “Now, the industry will have an architecture standard that scales to a terabit and beyond on existing fiber, substantially reduces the cost of hyperscale data center networks.”

Earlier this month, the OpenOptics Multi-Source Agreement group said it plans to contribute its developed wavelength specifications to the Open Compute Project (OCP). The new specification enables data to be streamed at terabits per second over a single fiber.

The founders and supporters for the OpenOptics MSA for Highly Scalable Interconnect Solutions include Mellanox Technologies, RANOVUS, Ciena, Oracle, Vertilas, and Ghiasi Quantum. The MSA combines 1550 nm WDM laser and silicon photonics for optical networking solutions enabling the lowest cost, highest density, and highest bandwidth single mode fiber (SMF) connectivity, significantly improving terabit-scale data center infrastructure ROI.

NeoPhotonics Intros Low Power 100G Transceiver

NeoPhotonics introduced a new compact and dual rate 100G CFP4 LR4 that requires much less power and is half the size compared to the current generation CFP2 form factor.

The new 100G CFP4 transceiver module, which is targeted at both telecom and datacom applications, is designed to fully comply with the IEEE 802.3 100GBASE-LR4 and CAUI-4 Electrical Interface and OTN OTU4 standards for links up to 10km.  It combines CFP4 MSA and MDIO functionality and is interoperable with previous generation of CFP and CFP2 modules.  The 4-channel PIC-based integrated transmitter utilizes NeoPhotonics proven performance and high volume manufacturing platform of 28G EML lasers and drivers, which enable the best in class module performance, especially in OTN applications, inter-operabability and easy deployment.

“The introduction of our new 100G CFP4 LR4 Client transceiver module underlines our commitment to the ultra-high speed segment of the transceiver market,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics.  “We are pleased to support our customers with their growing demand for 100G by adding production capacity for our CFP2 LR4, which was released last year,” continued Tim Jenks.

In addition, NeoPhotonics announced a micro-Integrated Coherent Receiver (Micro-ICR) which is designed to fully support the OIF implementation agreement OIF-DPC-MRX-02.0, Type 1. The Micro-ICR has a compact form factor that is approximately one quarter the size of the standard OIF 1.2 Type 1 ICR and one half the size of the new OIF 1.2 Type 2 ICR. It is designed to be used in coherent analog CFP2-ACO pluggable modules as well as in high density line cards.

This week at the Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) Conference in Los Angeles, Neophotonics also plans to demo a 16x16 multicast switch (MCS) without drop side amplifiers. The 16x16 MCS will consist of four modular 4x16 MCSs which can be cascaded to encompass 16 directions.

Telstra Invests in Taiwan's Gorilla Tech for Video Analytics

Telstra announced an equity investment in Gorilla Technology Group, a Taiwanese-based global leader in video analytics for business intelligence, security, enterprise unified communications, education, broadcast media and entertainment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Gorilla Technology Group’s software solutions enable their business customers to convert raw video into searchable data and real-time searchable video cataloguing. The retail, security, broadcast and government industries will benefit from Gorilla Technology Group’s solutions for scheduling and management and its video analytic software solutions in intelligent security and forensics.

“Telstra’s equity investment in Gorilla Technology Group will also allow the company to integrate its software into our network, and provide Gorilla the opportunity to resell the integrated solution to enterprise and government customers worldwide through our international connectivity and data centres. Gorilla Technology Group will also provide storage using Telstra’s Cloud solutions to its customers world-wide,” stated Tim Chen, president of Telstra International.

Corsa Raises Funding for its SDN Platforms

Corsa Technology, a start-up based in Ottawa, raised $16.5 million in Series B funding, for its work in SDN.

Corsa Technology, which was founded in 2013, is focused on delivering programmable, configurable data planes. Its DP6400 product line can be configured multiple networking functions, ranging from Layer 2/3 switching and routing at massive scale, to complex Layer4- 7 aware network elements that allow network orchestration to dynamically adjust data forwarding.

The new funding round was led by Roadmap Capital with participation from all previous investors including Celtic House Venture Partners, BDC Capital and a strategic technology company.

“Corsa is excited to be working with our new investor, Roadmap Capital, as we bring the DP6400™ family of advanced SDN data planes to full commercial release,” said Bruce Gregory, CEO of Corsa Technology. “Corsa has established itself as a leading WAN scale SDN hardware company with our innovative approach to SDN switching and routing, and this round of funding will enable us to grow the company and extend our lead in a multi-billion dollar market. To date in SDN, most of the investment and innovation has occurred on the software side of the equation. We know that WAN scale SDN-capable hardware is necessary to deliver the full value of SDN, and Corsa is filling this void in a unique way”

Xilinx Releases 100G 802.3bj Reed-Solomon FEC

Xilinx has begun shipping its 100G IEEE 802.3bj Reed-Solomon FEC (RS-FEC) IP for data center, service provider, and enterprise applications.

The 100G RS-FEC LogiCORE IP solution seamlessly connects to Xilinx's integrated or soft 100G Ethernet MAC IP running on Virtex® UltraScale, enabling emerging optical solutions such as SR4, CWDM4, PSM4 or ER4f.

Xilinx is the first to demonstrate a complete 100G RS-FEC IP solution with Finisar and TE Connectivity (TE) optics showcased in multiple demonstrations at OFC 2015,

Ixia Offers 25 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Validation

Ixia is introducing a 25 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) validation solution that builds on its native QSFP28 XcellonTM-Multis 100 GbE load modules to now provide 25GbE speed.

"25GbE is a good example of the networking industry responding to a growing need in an agile manner. With the unprecedented explosion of bandwidth requirements in the data center, new technologies like 25GbE must be deployed very quickly. Ixia is at the forefront of making this happen,” said Sunil Kalidindi, Vice President, Product Management of Ixia. “Ixia has developed the world’s first validation solutions for many Ethernet technologies, including 100GbE QSFP28, 400GbE, and now 25GbE. Ixia continues to be an industry leader in creating the solutions that help our customers develop and deploy Ethernet technologies, and successfully deliver application performance.”

Thursday, March 19, 2015

@Gigamon: Visibility into Virtualized Environments

Click to see video:

Maintaining visibility into virtualized environments is essential.  In this video, Ananda Rajagopal, VP of Product Line Management at Gigamon, discusses virtual workload monitoring and what it means for security.

PMC's DIGI-G4 Processor Scales OTN Line Card Capacity by 4X

PMC-Sierra has commenced sampling of its new DIGI-G4 chip -- the industry's highest density 4x100G OTN processor and featuring 50 percent less power per port than the previous generation.

The DIGI-G4 OTN processor, which builds on the success of PMC’s DIGI-120G, enabling the transition to 400G line cards in packet optical transport platforms (P-OTP), ROADM/WDM and optimized data center interconnect platforms for OTN switched metro networks. It increases 10G, 40G and 100G line card port density by 4X with flexible client mapping of Ethernet, storage, IP/MPLS and SONET/SDH, while reducing power by 50 percent per port. DIGI-G4 builds on the IP from DIGI-120G, enabling customers to maintain their rich feature set and software investment, which reduces time to market by up to six months and lowers development costs.

Significantly, DIGI-G4 delivers multi-rate, sub-180ns latency OTN encryption, allowing cloud and communications service providers to ensure security without compromising performance. DIGI-G4 supports sub-wavelength OTN encryption and is compatible with OTN switched networks. PMC said these these capabilities, combined with the densest 10G/40G/100G Ethernet ports, enables a new class of low-power, high-capacity transport platforms optimized specifically for the hyperscale data center WAN interconnect market (see whitepaper).

“Without DIGI-G4 the industry would be challenged to transition to 400G OTN switched metro networks,” said Babak Samimi, vice president of marketing and applications for PMC’s Communications Business Unit. “The world’s leading OEMs are designing around DIGI-G4 because our solution allows them to scale their product portfolios to the highest capacities at half the power per port, while leveraging their existing DIGI software investment. Coupled with new capabilities like OTN encryption, we’re solidifying PMC’s position as the industry leader in OTN processors.”

DIGI-G4 Highlights

  • Industry’s first single-chip 4x100G solution for OTN switched line cards
  • Integrated 100G Gearbox for direct connect to CFP2, CFP4 and QSFP28 transceivers
  • Industry’s highest density 10G, 40G and 100G multi-service support, including Ethernet, storage, IP/MPLS and SONET/SDH
  • Industry’s first sub-wavelength OTN encryption solution to secure the cloud
  • Industry’s first 25G granularity flexible framer to DSP interface providing scalable line-rates to match the programmable modulation capabilities found in next-generation Coherent DSPs
  • Multi-chip Interlaken interconnect solutions for scalable compact chassis data center interconnect applications
  • High performance OTN-SDK with adapter layer software accelerates customer time to market

The PM5990 DIGI-G4 is sampling now.