Ciena ups its control plane ante with new OneConnect offering

Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) is extending the capabilities of its control plane technology across all of its platforms, including the 6500 Packet-Optical Transport System (P-OTS) gear it acquired from Nortel, with the launch of its OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane software.  

With this software, Ciena claims customers can reduce latency by 30 percent in highly meshed networks.

For traditional landline service providers like Verizon (NYSE: VZ), the new software can simultaneously support legacy SONET/SDH and OTN control plane capabilities in addition to enabling them to provide new services such as Optical Virtual Private Networks (O-VPN).

Tom Mock, Ciena


And since every service provider wholesale and enterprise customer has their own unique profile, OneConnect incorporates policy-based programming that allows service providers to assign specific network characteristics including latency, diversity, and restoration priority and timing. The software also supports ASON and GMPLS industry standards.

"One of the things we started talking about is how we're extending control plane to our 6500 Packet Optical Transport System," said Tom Mock, Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications in an interview with FierceTelecom. "What that does is it gives us control plane across a number of different platforms and extends the control plane out of the core and into the metro part of the network and covering longer intercontinental submarine cable networks."

Initially, the lure of optical control plane was seen by large service providers like Verizon, which recently announced it would start leveraging the vendor's 5340 platform with the One Connect control plane technology while setting a timeline to deploy 100G into its metro networks.

Now, the technology is now finding similar utility with regional carriers like Indiana Fiber Network (IFN).

The statewide service provider is leveraging Ciena's 5430 Packet-Optical Reconfigurable Switching System (RSS) and OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane.

IFN will use the 5430 platform as key aggregation switches, delivering regionalized OTN and Ethernet traffic to key points on its network. In addition, the service provider will be able to automate network provisioning and management.

"We're seeing interest in control plane not only in the big carriers, but also with smaller carriers, large enterprises, government, and research and education networks, so the technology is making its way across a number of segments in the industry," Mock said. "A big part of the reason we're doing that as end-user demands change and as applications and services change, the control plane lets the network adapt to it very quickly and do a lot of that adaptation automatically."

For more:
- see the product release
- here's the IFN release

Special report: In detail: Following the Packet Optical Transport Systems (P-OTS) evolution

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