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Ciena software brings SDN to WANs

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 4:20pm
Brian Santo

Supporting the move to software defined networking (SDN), Ciena has introduced a set of software products that includes a controller that enables network operators to virtualize their (WANs), along with three network applications.

The company’s Agility portfolio is built using the OpenDaylight framework. OpenDaylight is designed to be vendor neutral, so network operators can use a mix of open source, self-developed and vendor network components.

Ciena said its Agility Multilayer WAN Controller gives network operators the ability to allocate network resources at the packet, circuit and wave layers. Ciena said it is working with Ericsson to expand the controller's capabilities.

Ciena and Ericsson had been independently developing our own Open Daylight-based controllers prior to our collaborative announcement. We are in the process of merging the best of our respective developments, as well as new, jointly developed components into a single release that we expect to be available in 2015, according to a Ciena spokesman.

What Ciena says it brings to the SDN party with Agility is the ability to dynamically predict and respond to changing demands from high-bandwidth services and applications. This allows providers to monetize and optimize their networks, enterprises to optimize user application experience, and government agencies to ensure mission-critical performance, the company said.

The new network applications include:

Navigate: a multilayer path computation engine that combines a global view of all network resources and service demands with advanced analytics-based algorithms to automatically determine the best possible route through the network to establish a connection.

Protect: a centralized global restoration calculator that speeds and increases resiliency and minimizes restoration bandwidth by pre-computing and distributing an optimal set of contention-free restoration paths for distributed execution in case of any failure.

Optimize: a multilayer network optimizer that defragments the network to free up stranded bandwidth by reallocating raw capacity and fine-tuning connection routing.

V-WAN: a network resource broker and scheduling application that offers immediate or scheduled bandwidth-on-demand to customers through an end-user portal or applications such as cloud and NFV orchestration systems via its open northbound API.

Additional V-WAN applications include a network service health monitoring application; a Web portal application; a data center integration application that orchestrates bandwidth on-demand from the enterprise data center, across multiple network operator domains, to the selected cloud provider based on transaction auto-detection; and On-demand Service VPNs.

Ciena said V-WAN is available today, while the rest of the items in the Agility software portfolio is entering field trials with multiple service providers.

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