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Ciena collaborates on end-to-end WAN

The network is designed to leverage OpenFlow access across packet, transport layers

Ciena collaborates on end-to-end WAN
Ciena has collaborated with Internet2 and StarLight to build the industry’s first network that unites all of the key packet, optical and software building blocks required to demonstrate and prove the benefits of software-defined, multi-layer wide area networks (WANs).

Network specialist Ciena Corporation has announced that it is collaborating with CANARIE, Internet2 and StarLight to build the industry's first network that unites all of the key packet, optical and software building blocks required to demonstrate and prove the benefits of software-defined, multi-layer wide area networks (WANs).

The collaboration is designed to leverage Ciena's OPn network approach to create the industry's first fully operational end-to-end WAN that leverages OpenFlow across both the packet and transport layers, is supported by an open architecture carrier-scale controller and intrinsic multi-layer operation, and incorporates real-time analytics software applications.

"Going above and beyond a simple testbed, this live, fully functional network will drive continued innovation and demonstrate how a truly OPn network architecture can unleash the full power of SDN in the WAN. By building the industry's first fully-featured, fully-open and fully-operational, end-to-end and multi-layer SDN-powered WAN, we can offer a real-world experience for customers and researchers to trial, refine and prove SDN concepts and technologies in both the network and the back office - without having to build a unique infrastructure for every use case," said Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena.

The research network is designed to help spur innovation in the telecommunications industry by giving research and education institutions and other network operators a platform to experiment with Software-Defined Networking and other advanced technologies like agile photonics and real-time analytics software applications.

"SDN promises to change networking fundamentally for the better - lowering costs while expanding flexibility, programmability, and monetisability for service providers. However, it also represents a significant transformation in how networks are built and operated. Plotting the forward course from the status quo is not a simple matter, especially for service providers who operate large networks and operate many revenue-bearing services managed by complex back office environments. By working with R&E partners to create a real and largely fully-featured operating model of a "future" software-defined WAN, Ciena is providing a place and opportunity for relevant industry experiential learning. Such activities are critical to bringing SDN reality closer."

Guru Parulkar, executive director at Open Networking Laboratory (ON.lab)

Ciena believes that SDN is key to the next wave of value creation for service providers as it brings network programmability together with powerful new software intelligence capabilities to help monetise and optimise network assets in dynamic service environments. This new network platform will help speed SDN development for carriers and enable Ciena and its partners to explore and refine practical paths to SDN adoption and realization of its benefits.

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