Windstream taps Ciena's Blue Planet to automate wavelength service provisioning

Windstream has implemented Ciena’s Blue Planet to automate the delivery of its managed wavelength services line across its multi-vendor optical network, signaling its intention to automate more of its network processes via an SDN construct.

Specifically, Windstream can leverage Blue Planet’s orchestration capabilities to utilize its optical network as a programmable resource and accelerate the delivery of managed 1 GbE, 10 GbE, and 100 GbE wavelength services to its wholesale, enterprise, media and web-scale customers.

As a major incumbent wireline carrier, Windstream delivers a mix of legacy TDM and SONET as well as Ethernet and optical wave transport services at speeds from 1 Gbps to 100G over its 125,000 mile core network.

Given the growing diversity of its customer base, Windstream is looking to implement automation in its network to enhance service delivery.

By adopting a DevOps-style approach to developing and implementing automation in its network, Windstream collaborated with Ciena, Infinera and other optical vendors it uses in it network. This allowed the project to go from concept to production in less than three months.

Windstream is leveraging Blue Planet’s open architecture to integrate with third-party SDN controllers and enable service orchestration across the company’s long-haul and metro network. The platform gives the service provider a simplified view of the multi-vendor optical layer, through which it can more rapidly develop and provision new services, and manipulate existing ones.

But enhancing network provisioning speed is only one dimension of Windstream’s work with Ciena’s Blue Planet. The software will also enable the service provider the ability to orchestrate multiple technology domains. As a result, Windstream can quickly automate other layers of the physical network as well as future virtual resources.

Deploying Blue Planet in its optical network comes at a time when the service provider has been expanding the reach of the network to accommodate more business and wholesale customers.

In February, Windstream announced plans to expand its fiber network in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is planning additional network builds in Tennessee and Virginia. The service provider has been expanding its on-net fiber footprint, adding new facilities in areas like Charlotte so it will be able to more rapidly respond to customers it lights in these markets.

No less compelling is the data center interconnection (DCI) market. Blue Planet software could enable Windstream to more rapidly provision wavelength services for carrier and enterprise customers.

Building off momentum Windstream created with the 500G route it built from Denver to Chicago to Dallas, the service provider announced in April is working with Infinera to connect data center locations within the Lakeside Technology Center at 350 East Cermak. 

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