It appears that Ciena has finally made a long-awaited follow up to its flagship CoreDirector platform with the debut of its CoreDirector FS. But when you peel back the layers, the CoreDirector FS is not exactly a new version, but rather an upgraded version of its old faithful product with a swath of new hardware and software features. Customers can upgrade their existing CoreDirector equipment with new Ethernet and OTN switching features.
In addition to the new features, the CoreDirector FS can be integrated with the CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to provide what Ciena says is an end-to-end-automated optical layer to optimize the router layer. By incorporating a multi-protocol fabric and a SONET/SDH-to-OTN gateway, the CoreDirector enables service providers to eliminate standalone SONET/SDH, OTN and back-to-back DWDM muxponder equipment.
What's really new this week at Ciena is the CN 5400 switch family, which consists of two new products: the 5430 Reconfigurable Switching System and the 5410 Reconfigurable Switching System. The initial version of the 5430 is a 44 RU, 30-slot system with 3.6 Tbps of capacity, while the 5410 is a 22 RU, 10-slot system with 1.2 Tbps of capacity. A key component of the 5400 is its reconfigurable switching approach that can address immediate TDM and future Ethernet and OTN needs. Unlike the old ‘God Box' idea of the late 1990s that required service providers to purchase features they may have not initially needed, the 5400 lets service provider customers effectively choose the network elements (optical cross-connect switching, optical transport, or Carrier Ethernet switching) they need for a given network or market.
Ciena's Q3 earnings were down, but not completely out