CALIENT Technologies

Move the light, not the fiber

A Behind the Scenes Look At Why The CALIENT-ADARA SDN Transport Packet Optical Integration Is an Elite Solution

CALIENT_ADARA lightwave award posterJust before OFC 2016, CALIENT made news that its SDN Transport Packet Optical Integration solution – a collaboration with ADARA Networks – had won 4.5 out of five stars in the Lightwave Innovation Review competition.

This was a great achievement because the award was determined by a panel of industry experts and that score put the SDN-TPOI solution in the elite level of the awards. The judges based their evaluation on a 15-page entry form. A lot of work went into the award entry, but only a small portion of it made it to the web.

We want to share a piece of that entry form in this blog post to provide more insight into the customer benefit of the SDN-TPOI solution. So here in unedited form, is a behind-the-scenes peak at what the judges read in making their recommendation:


How The CALIENT/ADARA Solution Helps Customers Meet Their Objectives

The CALIENT/ADARA SDN-TPOI solution offers a solution to the most important yet unmet need in Networking. Customers’ objectives are increasingly focused on High Transaction/Real Time Cloud-based Computing with islands of computation interconnected by Wide Area Networking. The end-to-end delivery of real-time cloud based computing is gated by the latency and capacity of the WAN. There have been significant technological advances (e.g. SRIOV, DPDK) to eliminate latency in the Computing Execution Environment, however still absent is the elimination of latency in the Networking Environment, the management of the Virtual and Physical Infrastructure (Orchestration) and of the Packet and Optical Network.  Key differentiators of the CALIENT/ADARA solution are that (1) it de-risks the deployment of SDN-TPOI by allowing incremental deployments, and (2) accelerates SDN adoption in heterogeneous optical environments’ while being vendor and technology agnostic. Further details of the solution & benefits:

  • Software Defined Networking enables policy-based management and control, and complements the Virtualization of CPE from purpose built equipment to general purpose computing platforms; these vCPE are interconnected by Wide Area Networking.
  • The CALIENT/ADARA Solution SDN-TPOI delivers Dynamic Light Path Provisioning (See Figure Below) over the WAN with ADARA’s SDN Controller and Packet Switches’ with Dynamic Link State Protocol (DLSP) providing a real-time performance and policy based path computation capability to direct packets over the packet layer and optical layer paths reducing OPEX and CAPEX transparently in heterogeneous environments, delivering near-zero latency for critical services, and eliminating vendor lock-in.

SDN TPOI Solution

  • Deploying ADARA’s Packet Switches and SDN Controller and CALIENT’s Optical Circuit Switches (OCS) at the edges of MAN/WAN networks and between network and vendor domain boundaries allows Service Providers and Data Center Operators to virtualize and control all of the disparate resources in their optical transport networks.
  • Dynamic Packet Forwarding to Provisioned LightPath’s enables redirection to Optical paths (See Figure Below) eliminating expensive intermediate layer 2/3 hops (IP/MPLS Layer 3 Networks with a dynamically programmed express packet/optical bypass) to higher capacity/lower latency photonic connections (each of 320X320@100Gbps+). The optical network becomes a pool of resources consisting of both new CD/C and legacy transport equipment, from multiple vendors. The OCS at the network edge allows any client-side resource to be connected to any network resource and supports network-wide SDN control of the optical layer.

Giant Optical Switch

  • SDN management of the MAN/WAN is achieved with or without OpenFlow and REST APIs on all of the transport systems in the network. The substantial operational & economic benefits of multi-layer optimization can be fully realized independent of network and vendor domain boundaries and also across legacy networks.
  • Deploying OCS at the network edge has the added benefit of a much larger range of protection scenarios, including 1:N schemes and Client-Side equipment failure protection (e.g. core router port or transceiver failure).
  • The OCS solution also supports significant new capabilities such as real-time express path setup in DCI networks for large-scale data migrations. The Performance Based Packet Layer Multipath delivers important new Real Time WAN, full use of bisectional bandwidth, and new SLAs.
  • The Converged Packet Optical SDN Controller and Path Computation Engine enable converged packet optical multi-layer, multi-vendor, multi-domain networks.

For more details, check out the dedicated SDN-TPOI solution page on the CALIENT website.

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