CALIENT Technologies

Move the light, not the fiber

Optical Circuit Switching Blog

December 4, 2018
CALIENT at SC18 – Automating The World’s Fastest Temporary Network – And while we’re at it, let’s do it at 400GbE (or “These go to Eleven”!)
by Aaron Hudson

Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of working with the SCinet WAN team to design and build the network that would support this year’s Supercomputing conference (SC18) in Dallas, TX.  SCinet, dubbed “the world’s fastest temporary network” delivered 4.02 terabits per second of capacity to the exhibition hall, allowing vendors and research institutions to demonstrate the […]

January 22, 2018
Optical Circuit Switching Complements Hyperconvergence Infrastructure
by Rohit Kunjappa

New technologies spring up all the time to help combat complicated data center computing architectures. And, why not? Who doesn’t want a simplified and easy to deploy framework that combines storage, computing and networking in an effort to reduce data center complexity and increase scalability? The answer is that every data center manager will at least listen to such a […]

October 16, 2017
OCS and Its Role in the CORD Initiative
by Rohit Kunjappa

There’s been a shift in customer expectations for telecom customers who are more technologically savvy and want better control of what and how they want their services delivered to them and their end customers. They are looking for cost-effective solutions that offer them the flexibility that enables rapid deployment of new services or increases in service levels to match their […]

June 21, 2017
Modular Core Router is Latest in Trend to Make Service Provider Networks More Flexible
by David Altstaetter

New network architectures are emerging to help make service provider networks more flexible and to take advantage of software defined networking (SDN) architectures. One trend is the disaggregation of network systems to more efficiently connect transport networks to local distribution networks. How? That’s where having a zero latency, unlimited bandwidth, optical circuit switch like the CALIENT S320 comes in handy. […]

March 3, 2017
How CALIENT Optical Circuit Switching Can Drive Costs Down In Optical Transport Networks
by David Altstaetter

Service provider optical transport networks have been migrating from SONET to WDM-based optical transport network (OTN) technology for the past several years as standards have evolved and as service providers have realized that muxing multiple signals across the fiber infrastructure can help them to get more value out of their fiber infrastructure. But the explosion in data volumes has service […]

January 9, 2017
Making Data Center Disaggregation a Reality
by David Altstaetter

For years, data centers have been notching incredible performance gains and cost reductions by virtualizing servers. As these virtualization projects have become more mature in their operation, the productivity gains have slowed. In addition, data center managers see performance challenges resulting from the inability to easily re-allocate additional compute, memory, storage or access to special processors like graphics processors to […]

September 22, 2016
Multi-Mode or Single-Mode Fiber for Data Centers?
by Rohit Kunjappa

Selecting the appropriate fiber cabling for a Data Center (DC) is both a financial and a strategic decision. DCs have a choice between multi-mode fiber (MMF) and single-mode fiber (SMF). The shorter distances and slower data rates (i.e., below 25 Gbps) of earlier DC architectures, made it financially feasible to use multi-mode fiber. Also in the past, the comparatively high […]

April 26, 2016
A Behind the Scenes Look At Why The CALIENT-ADARA SDN Transport Packet Optical Integration Is an Elite Solution
by David Altstaetter

Just 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 […]

March 13, 2016
Bringing Multilayer SDN Transport Optimization to Life at ONS
by David Altstaetter

In wide-area transport networks, one of the significant advantages of software-defined networking (SDN) is the ability to deliver multi-layer optimization. This allows traffic to be switched through the IP/MPLS network or pure optical transport paths based on cost, performance, and protection policies. Moving traffic to the optical layer results in lower cost and latency for traffic that doesn’t need to […]

February 3, 2016
Live Sports Broadcasting and Fiber Networks Are New Teammates
by Daniel Tardent

There’s a new player at many live-broadcast sporting events – fiber optic networks. With the sports entertainment industry’s move to deploying large numbers of field cameras, fiber-based networks have a clear advantage because they don’t have the same restrictions as metal-based cabling when it comes to signal loss and distance limitations. The trend to embrace ultra high definition (4K UHD) […]

January 28, 2016
Using OCS to Create Virtualized Pools of GPUs and FPGAs in The Data Center
by David Altstaetter

My recent trip to Supercomputing 2015 opened my eyes to some very interesting new applications for Optical Circuit Switched networking in high‑performance computing (HPC) applications including hosted graphic processor unit (GPU) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGA). Both of these drive new levels of application performance and functionality. And both could benefit from the CALIENT vPod Data Center network architecture. […]

August 24, 2015
How CALIENT Is Making a Difference in Data Centers and Carrier Networks
by David Altstaetter

There is a lot going on at CALIENT as the flexibility, high-performance and low latency of our S-Series Optical Circuit Switch combined with SDN technology lends itself to solving many challenging data center and carrier network issues. To provide an overview of these solutions, we’re republishing a letter from CALIENT President Atiq Raza, which covers some of the latest projects […]

July 17, 2015
Dream of Flexible Telecom Network Becomes Real with SDN and Optical Circuit Switching
by David Altstaetter

In the early part of this decade, the “next big thing” for service provider networks was colorless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) networks. This optical network architecture was designed to allow flexible reconfiguration of optical transport networks for both capacity planning and more short-term optimization of routes based on demand. The longer-term dream included the ability to achieve multi-layer optimization – for […]

February 19, 2015
Lab Automation Proves Value in SDN World
by Daniel Tardent

For the last five years, network test lab automation has been a growing field as networking vendors needed to improve efficiency and productivity to roll out new 10G, 40G and now 100G networking systems. But now that we’re in a virtualized and software-defined network (SDN) age, the complexity of network testing has increased as labs add servers and storage to […]

December 15, 2014
Optical Circuit Switches Become Part of New C-RAN Network Architecture to Boost Mobile Network Bandwidth
by Daniel Tardent

Mobile network operators are considering significantly new network architectures to expand network capacity to accommodate the 61% compounded average growth in mobile data that many analysts expect in the coming five years. One part of this network architecture evolution is increasing the cell site density in a metro area in order to increase the spectral capacity. In essence, this means […]

October 9, 2014
Recap: Our Return to SDNCentral DemoFriday
by Daniel Tardent

Last month we partnered with Cumulus Networks and InMon for a demo with SDNCentral to show how SDN helps IT administrators use real-time traffic patterns and specific application priorities to offload elephant flows from a layer 2/3 network fabric to a pure photonic layer 1 optical circuit switched network. Our own VP of Marketing, Daniel Tardent, VP of Engineering, Jitender […]

September 9, 2014
CALIENT Teams with Cumulus Networks and InMon to Demo SDN Optimization of Hybrid Packet-Optical Data Center Fabric
by Daniel Tardent

On Sept. 19, we’re making a triumphant return to SDN Central’s DemoFriday live event to show how software defined networking (SDN) can optimize the throughput of a data center hybrid packet-optical data center fabric. Hybrid packet-optical networks are gaining traction with scale out data centers because they provide a low-latency, high-bandwidth overlay for “elephant” data flows. This frees up the […]

July 15, 2014
Solving The Elephant-Mouse Data Center Data Flow Challenge
by Daniel Tardent

By Daniel Tardent When elephants stampede in the wild, the ground shakes, the dust flies and everything in the way moves – or else. When elephant data flows stampede in your data center its just the opposite – there’s no noise, no dust and, unfortunately, no movement – as all other packets get stuck behind these long data flows. I’m […]

January 1, 2014
“Unstoppable” Virtualization Means More Network Hits in 2014
by Daniel Tardent

It might be too early to call 2014 the “year of virtualization” but there’s no doubting that use of the technology will grow as will its impact on data center networks. Virtualization is good news for server utilization, power consumption and application performance.  But it is not so good for the network, because virtualization adds extra network loads that can […]

InfiniBand Demo

December 11, 2013
SC13 Report: Hybrid Packet-Optical Circuit Switch Network Comes to HPC
by Daniel Tardent

Now that CALIENT has deployed the hybrid packet-optical circuit switch network to improve the performance of some of the highest bandwidth networks in the data center world, our next step is into high-performance networking (HPC). That’s the reason that CALIENT had a booth at the Supercomputing 2013 show in Denver amidst the cold weather (at least for us Southern Californians) […]

October 1, 2013
Update from ECOC 2013: Hybrid Data Center solution goes mainstream
by Tamsin Douglas

For CALIENT, the ECOC 2013 tradeshow in London, was all about moving our Software-Defined Hybrid Packet-Optical Data Center Architecture front and center in the minds of our customers, partners and competitors in the UK and the European continent. As it turned out, we had some company.  The day before the opening of ECOC 2013, and without naming names, another optical […]

September 9, 2013
Wall Street Hears More About Hybrid Packet-Optical Circuit Switched Networks
by Daniel Tardent

Wall Street financial firms are constantly seeking the highest performance, lowest latency networks. Today, at HPC on Wall Street, they will get a taste of the CALIENT hybrid packet-optical circuit switched network for data centers, which delivers the fastest performance available for persistent data flows. I will be in the CALIENT booth (Roosevelt Hotel, NYC, Booth #312) throughout the show […]

September 4, 2013
What does Software-Defined Networking mean to the business world?
by Daniel Tardent

Software-defined networking (SDN) has been around for about two years now. And even though there are groups still developing SDN standards, as well as other related technologies, some in the investment community are starting to size up just how important SDN can be as a market. Some are also asking whether SDN will be as big as client-server computing? One […]

August 19, 2013
Events: CALIENT on show
by Tamsin Douglas

Summer is drawing to a close and that means trade show season is starting. We are excited to have some real-time face-to-face opportunities to meet with industry insiders and get our message out about the Software-Defined Hybrid Data Center. May be we’ll see you at one of these shows? Drop by booth 312 at the High Performance Computing For Wall Street, […]

August 15, 2013
Podcast: Software-Defined Hybrid Packet-Optical Data Center Networking and why it matters
by Tamsin Douglas

Find out why CALIENT is at the forefront of the Software-Defined Hybrid Packet-Optical Data Center Network Architecture. We are developing a new application for its core 3D MEMS technology in the hybrid data center network. This solution combines packet and pure photonic optical circuit switches to deliver exceptionally high performance and scalable networking capabilities for very large cloud-sized data centers. […]

Newspaper and mouse

July 30, 2013
Putting our money where our mouth is…
by Tamsin Douglas

  On July 24th CALIENT Technologies had the good fortune of announcing a $27 Million round of funding, as well as the arrival on the scene of experienced CFO Jag Setlur. The funding was supplied by new and existing investors with the money being used to extend CALIENT’s 3D MEMS Optical Circuit Switching products and solutions for software defined data […]

July 22, 2013
Why you will love working at CALIENT Technologies
by Tamsin Douglas

It’s no secret that we’re hiring. We’re looking for superior talent in both the engineering and sales engineering fields. Competing against the likes of Cyan, Facebook and Plexxi  and many others, for qualified candidates is not always easy, but we think once we the word gets out about CALIENT, we’ll have more takers than we’ll know what to do with. […]

Flying bird pattern

July 12, 2013
Keeping up with SDN in Real Time: Our Top 20 Twitter Feeds
by Tamsin Douglas

Software-defined networking is a fast moving topic. As the buzz around the technology grows, there is a corresponding upsurge in standards defining activity and news from the industry. Twitter is a vast reservoir of information and a great tool for keeping up, but it can be tough to decide which feed to follow. Luckily, we are here to help with […]

June 28, 2013
Q & A: How Real-Time and Scheduled Events Can Drive Network Optimization
by Daniel Tardent

Our SDN Central DemoFriday Webinar is Now Online Earlier this month, we co-hosted an SDN Central DemoFriday webinar with Plexxi Inc. to demonstrate our joint software-defined networking (SDN) driven dynamic packet-optical data center network. If you weren’t able to catch the show, you can go to the SDNCentral DemoFriday site to view the video and download the accompanying PowerPoint slides. […]

June 13, 2013
Last Chance! Free Webinar on How Real-Time and Scheduled Events Can Drive Network Optimization
by Tamsin Douglas

Earlier this week, CALIENT and Plexxi Inc. announced a webinar demonstrating our joint software-defined networking (SDN) driven dynamic packet-optical data center network. The free webinar will be held this Friday, June 14, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. PST. As part of SDN Central’s Demo Friday series, Andre Viera, Plexxi’s Director of Product Management and Daniel Tardent, CALIENT’s Vice President of Marketing, […]

June 5, 2013
Data Center Knowledge Spreads Word On Hybrid Packet-Optical Circuit Switch Networks
by Daniel Tardent

At a recent software-defined networking tradeshow someone told me that CALIENT’s demo stood out because it really conveyed concrete benefits of adopting SDN. That demo was of the SDN-powered hybrid packet-optical circuit switch networks for data centers.  In a further effort to get the word out about hybrid data center networks, Data Center Knowledge recently published an article that we […]

June 4, 2013
Update from ONS: Networking Innovation Driving SDN Market
by Daniel Tardent

I was at the Open Network Summit last month where attendees were  very much engaged in the growth of software-defined networking (SDN) and the promise the technology offers for innovative solutions for data center and carrier networks alike. From my vantage point at our booth, roaming the show floor, and attending conference sessions, I could hear genuine interest in the […]

cloud networking

May 29, 2013
Tour the world of Optical Circuit Switching and SDN with us
by Tamsin Douglas

The cloud on the hill This week, our gang on the East coast, will be talking up OCS at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in DC on May 30th. This is an opportunity to discuss with us our SDN hybrid packet-optical data center network products. As you know, SDN was front and center at Interop Vegas and with good reason. […]

CALIENT Technologies

April 26, 2013
The History of CALIENT: A Tale of Two Internet Booms
by Daniel Tardent

For CALIENT, as for Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” That sums up the early history of CALIENT, which can be told in a tale of two Internet booms.  The first boom in 2000 that helped get the company started, and the second boom today that has reinvigorated the company and pointed […]

March 18, 2013
The Future of the Data Center Network on Display at OFC/NFOEC
by Daniel Tardent

The OFC/NFOEC show has been an important venue for us to get out the word about our advanced 3D MEMS photonic switches.  Last year, we launched the S320 photonic switch at OFC. At this year’s show, we’re providing a peak at how that switch will change data center networks. In a demo with partner Plexxi, show attendees will see how […]

February 7, 2013
Letter from PTC’13: It’s a 100 GB World
by Daniel Tardent

The telecom world needs more bandwidth.  That’s the message I came away with from my trip to the Pacific Telecom Council’s PTC’13 Conference in Hawaii. The PTC is a group of 50 telcos that share the vision of better telecommunications services for countries in the Pacific hemisphere. The theme of this year’s event was Capacity, Capability and Collaboration, but in […]

January 24, 2013
Big Data Causing Big Network Problems?
by Daniel Tardent

Big data is creating an explosion of data growth resulting in network bottlenecks and slow performance.  If this is your situation, you might want to read our new whitepaper on the hybrid packet-optical data center architecture that can offer a solution. The whitepaper goes into the challenges in data centers where new and expensive server resources and services are being […]

January 17, 2013
2013 To Be The Year of Optical SDN?
by Daniel Tardent

The software-defined network (SDN) market evolved very quickly in 2012.  In a span of 12 months we saw the technology mature, start-ups get funded, data centers start SDN trials, tech leaders get into the market and start-ups get acquired – it was a very compressed market development cycle. One of the areas that emerged in 2012, and is poised for […]

December 13, 2012
CALIENT’s VP of Global Public Sector Featured in Government Security News
by Daniel Tardent

The data center network world is shifting and at a fairly fast rate. We’re beginning to see significant benefits from augmenting hybrid IP and layer-one networks when it comes to managing bandwidth, fiber-optic cables and network operations. Glenn Stern, our vice president of global public sector, was able to share a bit of his insight on this trend in government agencies […]

November 27, 2012
The S320 World Tour
by Daniel Tardent

This fall we had a very busy schedule that included attending three back-to-back trade shows in Europe, China and New York on what I’m calling the S320 World Tour. We first began our tour to debut the newest addition to our photonic switching family, the S320, to the European market at ECOC in Amsterdam. The decision to attend ECOC was […]

SDN Layers

Webinar Report: How Optical Circuit Switching works with SDN
by Daniel Tardent

The explosion of rich media data now underway is having a dramatic impact on data centers and is the driving force behind interest in software-defined networks (SDN), which is perhaps the hottest trend in networking today. By combining SDN technology with optical circuit switching, data centers get the network control and agility that SDN promises, with the ultra-low latency and […]


April 6, 2012
CALIENT Launches S320 Photonic Switch at OFC/NFOEC
by Daniel Tardent

OFC/NFOEC was a lively event this year with 800 technical presentations, 560 exhibitors, and more than 12,000 attendees. With a continuing increase in attendance each year over the last for years, its a clear sign that the Optical Networking Industry is in a growth phase. We chose OFC/NFOEC as the launch vehicle for our new S320 Photonic Switch. Two years in […]