Orchestrating network operations is no small feat. Innovation in the cloud and the growing popularity of SaaS applications and content delivery is tasking today’s network with a higher performance bar than ever before. This is simply the beginning. While the IoT reaches maturity, 5G comes to fruition and content delivery continues to evolve, so too must the network. And, as network operators work to support today’s operations, while keeping an eye to the future, Web-scale whiz Ciena announced its newest solution suite set to empower the next generation in network performance and control.
Liquid Spectrum melds the best in innovative software with flexible, coherent optics to address bandwidth demands and allocate capacity in real time. In short, operators know that when dealing with fluctuating bandwidth demands and Web-scale network hurdles, a static network won’t cut the mustard anymore. It is for this reason that Ciena is providing a blueprint to create an agile, dynamic and open software-defined optical architecture to ensure tandem growth with network requirements.
“With Liquid Spectrum, Ciena brings together optical hardware enhancements with an expanded Blue Planet portfolio. The result is a strategic framework for how network operators can evolve toward more streamlined operations and start on the path towards autonomous optical networks,” noted Heidi Adams, Senior Research Director, Transport Networks, IHS Markit.
Let’s get into the components. On the software side of things, Blue Planet MCP will unify network and service management, planning and control via a single interface. Open APIs are utilized in conjunction with modern data models to support real time network telemetry and measurement. Included in the initial release are four applications, each adding significant value.
- Performance Meter – provides real time insight into performance, empowering proactive system optimization.
- Wave-Line Synchronizer – automated self provisioning in multi-vendor networks.
- Liquid Restoration – increased service availability.
- Bandwidth Optimizer – a faster and easier means to turn up wavelengths.
In terms of hardware, there are three key cogs. WaveLogic Ai coherent optics allow for tunable capacity. The Ciena WaveLogic Photonics system provides an easily reconfigurable, flexible grid photonic layer, and 6500 and Waveserver platforms ensure efficient matching of line capacity to client services.
Blue Planet MCP and WaveLogic Ai will be available in Q2 2017. Liquid Spectrum and its “core four” initial applications offerings are expected to be ready for delivery by the end of the calendar year.
“There was a time when network operators could easily predict their network traffic demands and capacity needs at any given time. But we’ve entered a new world with new rules where networks are more complex and mobile and cloud applications can disrupt overnight. With Liquid Spectrum, we are sharing our full vision and blueprint for the way future optical networks should be built to tackle the challenges of the next 10 years and beyond,” explained, Steve Alexander, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ciena.
With Liquid Spectrum, network operators are empowered to take a “set and forget” type approach – this is optical reloaded, people! The future network is an amalgam of software and hardware components enabling high-performance in a highly automated fashion. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
How’s your network handling today’s demands? Ready for tomorrow?
Edited by Alicia Young