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Thursday
Jun282018

The key elements of NFV usage: A guide

Orchestration, service assurance, service fulfilment, automation and closed-loop automation. These are important concepts associated with network functions virtualisation (NFV) technology being adopted by telecom operators as they transition their networks to become software-driven and cloud-based. 

Prayson Pate (pictured), CTO of the Ensemble division at ADVA Optical Networking, explains the technologies and their role and gives each a status update. 

 

Orchestration

Network functions virtualisation (NFV) is based on the idea of replacing physical appliances - telecom boxes - with software running on servers performing the same networking role.

Using NFV speeds up service development and deployment while reducing equipment and operational costs.

It also allows operators to work with multiple vendors rather than be dependent on a single vendor providing the platform and associated custom software.

Operators want to adopt software-based virtual network functions (VNFs) running on standard servers, storage and networking, referred to as NFV infrastructure (NFVI). 

In such an NFV world, the term orchestration refers to the control and management of virtualised services, composed of virtual network functions and executed on the NFV infrastructure.

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Tuesday
Jun052018

400ZR will signal coherent’s entry into the datacom world  

  • 400ZR will have a reach of 80km and a target power consumption of 15W 
  • The coherent interface will be available as a pluggable module that will link data-centre switches across sites    
  • Huawei expects first modules to be available in the first half of 2020
  • At OFC, Huawei announced its own 250km 400-gigabit single-wavelength coherent solution that is already being shipped to customers

Coherent optics will finally cross over into datacom with the advent of the 400ZR interface.  So claims Maxim Kuschnerov, senior R&D manager at Huawei.

Maxim Kuschnerov400ZR is an interoperable 400-gigabit single-wavelength coherent interface being developed by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) {add link}.

The 400ZR will be available as a pluggable module and as on-board optics using the COBO specification {add link}. The IEEE is also considering a proposal to adopt the 400ZR specification, initially for the data-centre interconnect market. “Once coherent moves from the OIF to the IEEE, its impact in the marketplace will be multiplied,” says Kuschnerov. 

But developing a 400ZR pluggable represents a significant challenge for the industry. “Such interoperable coherent 16-QAM modules won’t happen easily,” says Kuschnerov. “Just look at the efforts of the industry to have PAM-4 interoperability, it is a tremendous step up from on-off keying.” 

Despite the challenges, 400ZR products are expected by the first half of 2020.

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Wednesday
May302018

Oclaro uses Acacia’s Meru DSP for its CFP2-DCO 

Oclaro will use Acacia Communications’ coherent DSP for its pluggable CFP2 Digital Coherent Optics (CFP2-DCO) module. The module will be compatible with Acacia’s own CFP2-DCO, effectively offering customers a second source. 

Tom Williams This is the first time Acacia is making its coherent DSP technology available to a fellow module maker, says Tom Williams, Acacia’s senior director, marketing.

Acacia benefits from the deal by expanding the market for its technology, while Oclaro gains access to a leading low-power coherent DSP, the Meru, and can bring to market its own CFP2-DCO product. 

Williams says the move was encouraged by customers and that having a second source and achieving interoperability will drive CFP2-DCO market adoption. That said, Acacia is not looking for further module partners. “With two strong suppliers, we don’t see a need to add additional ones,” says Williams.  

“This agreement is a sign that the market is reaching maturity, with suppliers transitioning from grabbing market share at all costs to more rational strategies,” says Vladimir Kozlov, CEO and founder of LightCounting Market Research.

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Friday
May182018

How ONAP is blurring network boundaries  

Telecom operators will soon be able to expand their networks by running virtualised network functions in the public cloud. This follows work by Amdocs to port the open-source Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) onto Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

Source: Amdocs, Linux Foundation

According to Craig Sinasac, network product business unit manager at Amdocs, several telecom operators are planning to run telecom applications on the Azure platform, and the software and services company is already working with one service provider to prepare the first trial of the technology.    

Deploying ONAP in the public cloud blurs the normal understanding of what comprises an operator’s network. The development also offers the prospect of web-scale players delivering telecom services using ONAP.

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Tuesday
May012018

ONF’s operators seize control of their networking needs

  • The eight ONF service providers will develop reference designs addressing the network edge.
  • The service providers want to spur the deployment of open-source designs after becoming frustrated with the systems vendors failing to deliver what they need. 
  • The reference designs will be up and running before year-end.
  • New partners have committed to join since the consortium announced its strategic plan

The service providers leading the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) will publish open designs to address next-generation networking needs.

Timon SloaneThe ONF service providers - NTT Group, AT&T, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Comcast, China Unicom, Turk Telekom and Google - are taking a hands-on approach to the design of their networks after becoming frustrated with what they perceive as foot-dragging by the systems vendors.

“All eight [operators] have come together to say in unison that they are going to work inside the ONF to craft explicit plans - blueprints - for the industry for how to deploy open-source-based solutions,” says Timon Sloane, vice president of marketing and ecosystem at the ONF. 

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Saturday
Apr212018

Ciena goes stackable with 8180 'white box' and 6500 RLS

Ciena has unveiled two products - the 8180 coherent networking platform and the 6500 reconfigurable line system - that target cable and cellular operators that are deploying fibre deep in their networks, closer to subscribers.

The 6500 line system is also aimed at the data centre interconnect market given how the webscale players are experiencing a near-doubling of traffic each year.

Source: Ciena

The cable industry is moving to a distributed access architecture (DAA) that brings fibre closer to the network’s edge and splits part of the functionality of the cable modem termination system (CMTS) - the remote PHY - closer to end users. The cable operators are deploying fibre to boost the data rates they can offer homes and businesses.

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Monday
Apr162018

COBO issues industry’s first on-board optics specification

  • COBO modules supports 400-gigabit and 800-gigabit data rates   
  • Two electrical interfaces have been specified: 8 and 16 lanes of 50-gigabit PAM-4 signals. 
  • There are three module classes to support designs ranging from client-slide multi-mode to line-side coherent optics. 
  • COBO on-board optics will be able to support 800 gigabits and 1.6 terabits once 100-gigabit PAM-4 electrical signals are specified. 

Source: COBO

Interoperable on-board optics has moved a step closer with the publication of the industry’s first specification by the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO).

COBO has specified modules capable of 400-gigabits and 800-gigabits rates. The designs will also support 800-gigabit and 1.6-terabit rates with the advent of 100-gigabit single-lane electrical signals. 

“Four hundred gigabits can be solved using pluggable optics,” says Brad Booth, chair of COBO and principal network architect for Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure. “But if I have to solve 1.6 terabits in a module, there is nothing out there but COBO, and we are ready.”

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