Ciena has introduced what it is positioning as a new type of switch that integrates data center and metro network technologies to support high-capacity cloud services, including video distribution.

Cloud services, including those involving streaming video, are driving demand for 10GbE/100GbE services in metro area networks.

Ciena’s 8700 Packetwave Platform is a multi-terabit switcher that combines high-capacity Ethernet switching with intelligent coherent optics and an open software approach. The system is designed to help network operators rapidly deliver high-capacity services, aggregate users, and provide express connections to data centers.

The company describes the 8700 as a programmable, multi-terabit Ethernet over DWDM switching platform that integrates packet aggregation and switching with Ciena’s 100G WaveLogic coherent optics and photonic technologies.

The aim of this integration is to improve the economics of metro 10GbE to 100GbE networking. The company said the new system provides twice the density yet requires only half the power and space when compared to alternative approaches, while also simplifying training and services management.

According to Ciena, the 8700 supports the following applications:

  • High-capacity 10GbE to 100GbE Ethernet aggregation and switching over DWDM applications to support reliable and secure high-bandwidth services.
  • Packet applications including MPLS-TP, G.8032 Ethernet rings, and IEEE 802.1ad (QinQ) for more resilient and scalable architectures.
  • 40GbE/100GbE service demarcation support for differentiated MEF 2.0 compliant services.
  • Automated virtual cross-connect, enabling exchange operators to offer enterprise customers on-demand direct connectivity to cloud providers and network operators with collocated PoPs to greatly reducing cross-connect provisioning time to just minutes.

“Since it is the first product of its kind to combine leading optics with scalable, programmable Ethernet switching, we expect that service providers will want to consider the platform for tackling the growing complexity of router-based networks, while at the same time addressing the need to cut power and space costs,” said Michael Howard, principal analyst & co-founder, Infonetics.

The system will become commercially available this summer.