The evolution of optical networking has placed emphasis on autonomy and software-defined smart architectures capable of dynamic management and monitoring. Networks are transforming out of necessity, as bandwidth demands and workloads grow exponentially at the pace of the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT). Consequently, real time visibility is an absolute necessity to ensure networks are performing at peak efficiency and may scale according to demand.
Ciena is one of the companies actively involved in transforming optical networks to meet the demands of Web-scale applications and services. The company recently announced its Liquid Spectrum solution, designed to monitor and mine all available network assets so operators can allocate capacity in real time. The offering combines Ciena’s extensive experience in optical networking technology with software-defined automation and autonomy.
Liquid Spectrum features Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai coherent optics along with its Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) software platform. Both of those components will be available in the second quarter of this year, while the full Liquid Spectrum solution, including new companion software applications, will be delivered by the end of the year.
The new solution offers open APIs and standardized interfaces in support of open and accessible network architectures. In addition to the WaveLogic Ai tunable coherent optics and Blue Planet platform, the offering will feature a reconfigurable photonic layer to enable operators to deliver the ideal amount of bandwidth at any time. Features include a Performance Meter to ensure optimal performance; a Bandwidth Optimizer that utilizes customer-defined service policies for ideal hardware configuration and capacity; increased service availability for routing services across any available path throughout the network; and a Wave-Line Synchronizer to accelerate service provisioning and reduce manual provisioning.
“There was a time when network operators could easily predict their network traffic demands and capacity needs at any given time,” said Steve Alexander, senior vice president and CTO at Ciena. “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.”
“We are at the beginning of this new world of operating networks,” added Helen Xenos, director of portfolio solutions marketing at Ciena. “Going forward, there will be an increasingly level of sophistication that will be built into the software.”
Liquid Spectrum is the next step toward an agile and cognitive optical infrastructure, according to Xenos. The key change will be real time visibility into the state of the network, which will give operators the tools they need to better manage and configure networks to meet the demands of Web-scale networking.
Edited by Alicia Young