By Mark Showalter
Sr. Director, Corporate Communications
Based in the UK, Capacity Magazine has long covered the global carrier market place with a strong focus on wholesale capacity providers. We were delighted to hear Capacity recognized Infinera for Best Technology Innovation at their 2013 Global Carrier Awards ceremony. The 2013 awards brought the Global Carrier industry’s finest together in Amsterdam to celebrate innovation, vision and excellence. Over the last nine years, the Global Carrier Awards have grown into the biggest and most prestigious event of the wholesale telecoms calendar. This year continued that trajectory with more than 300 attendees gathered in Amsterdam for the gala dinner and awards presentations.
Infinera continues to lead the optical industry with the world’s only commercially available 500 Gb/s photonic integrated circuit (PIC), embedded into our market leading DTN-X packet optical transport platform. This technology innovation has resulted in two other awards this year. At the 2013 WDM Next Generation Optical Networking event, judges named Infinera’s 500G PIC the Best Optical Component Product Beyond 100G and Computer Weekly’s European Users Awards named Infinera together with our customer DANTE for Best Technology Innovation.
Why is technology innovation so important? Here is our view: Innovation drives value. Innovation drives value for our customers and innovation drives value for our shareholders. As carriers around the world upgrade their core optical transport networks to deliver 100 gigabit Ethernet and 4G mobile services at the edge, Infinera’s unique 500G super-channels enable scale, efficiency and automation to accelerate the delivery of new services and lower total cost of ownership. Infinera’s 500G PICs enable carriers to deploy long-haul 500G super-channels today, while some of our competitors will be offering shorter span 200G super-channels in the future.
Technology innovation enables market differentiation in that Infinera’s technology helps carriers differentiate their services. A good example of that is TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) and their recently announced North American network expansion with Infinera. With Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth™ feature, TSIC uses time as a weapon to differentiate their services – offering service providers and cloud providers short lead times for low-latency, highly-resilient 10Gbps and 100Gbps Ethernet services. Instant Bandwidth enables service provider business model innovation which is ultimately enabled by our unique photonic integrated circuits.
Our thanks to the judges at Capacity for recognizing Infinera’s 500G PICs as the Best Technology Innovation in 2013.
By Renée Glowacki
If there’s one unsung advantage to having a mobile demonstration lab like the Infinera Express, it’s that it is perennially tailgate-ready. Sunday, November 17, marked an exciting day for the truck as it rolled into Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado for the much anticipated Sunday Night Football matchup between the then-undefeated-in-2013 Kansas City Chiefs and beloved home team the Denver Broncos.
NFL fans already know what happened during the game: Peyton Manning played a great game, throwing for 323 yards and a touchdown, and the Broncos put an end to the Chiefs’ nine-game winning streak, much to the elation of most of the 77,076 fans in attendance. But before the game, spirits were high as fans looked forward to what promised to be a showdown no matter the outcome.
Infinera executives including CEO Tom Fallon and SVP of Worldwide Sales Bob Jandro were on hand for Infinera’s first-ever tailgate party, which took over a large corner of Lot C with approximately 80 attendees and a buzz of activity. “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to spend a day with more than 50 of our customers at the Broncos football game. In addition to utilizing the product demonstration capabilities that the Infinera Express offered, having the time to meet our customers in an informal setting is an invaluable way to build long lasting relationships,” said Tom of the event.
In addition to the usual food and beverage options that most tailgates entail, a live TV feed featuring other ongoing sporting events, and lawn games like bean bag toss and ladder ball to help get the competitive juices flowing, we had a few elements that you aren’t often likely to see at a football game.
On board the Infinera Express, which is equipped with Infinera’s DTN-X, DTN and ATN platforms and our DNA management system, customers were able to experience firsthand the operational ease-of-use that Infinera equipment is known for, watch 500G coherent super-channels in action, and learn how the automation, convergence, and scalability built into the Infinera Intelligent Transport Network can help them evolve to the Terabit Era. And that wasn’t the only unusual vehicle present – we also had a NASCAR from Denver-based Furniture Row Racing on hand, so attendees were able to look inside and take photographs with the vehicle. A couple of us Infinerans even got to climb inside before the party began, which was quite an experience. Since racecars have no doors, it involved quite literally climbing inside, through the window, after the steering wheel had been removed from the steering column to allow enough room to get into the seat! I have a new respect for anyone who can sit in one of those things for 500 miles (at speeds of 200+ miles per hour!), since I was ready to get out after about 30 seconds.
The tailgate culminated in a drawing for a number of Broncos- and NASCAR-related prizes, including the highly coveted grand prize of a signed Peyton Manning jersey. A small group of extra-lucky customers had the rare opportunity to join Tom on the field before kickoff, as the Broncos and Chiefs warmed up for the game.
Thanks so much to all of our Denver-area customers who joined us for this exciting pilot event. We hope to be able to bring the Infinera Express to more stadiums and local customers across the country in 2014 (I hereby cast my vote for a stop in New England; let’s go Pats!)
Director, CATV Marketing
U.S. service provider subscriber metrics for video, high speed data, and voice are now in for Q2/2013. The previous trends continue as Telcos and MSOs swap more subscribers. MSOs continue to lose basic video subscribers (-607k in Q2 alone), while Telcos continue to gain them (+403k in Q2). But interestingly, broadcast satellite providers also lost subscribers in Q2 (-162k), which means there was an overall net loss of 366k video subscribers in Q2 as consumers shift to OTT video or just plain drop video. Telcos now have a 10.7% market share for basic video subscribers vs. MSOs’ 55.3% share, while broadcast satellite has the remaining 34%.
High speed data continues to be a bright spot for MSOs, who added 303k subs in Q2 versus Telcos’ 3k added subs (Ouch for the Telcos—MSOs got 99.2% of the net new adds). The Telcos’ ongoing loss of legacy DSL subs is not being outpaced by their higher-speed FTTx HSD adds. MSOs now have a 58.6% share of the HSD market and are slowly gaining more every quarter. The bad news for everyone in this service segment is that the rate of growth has leveled off significantly.
The U.S. landline phone business continues to collapse as more consumers cut the cord for mobile-only service. While Telcos continue to bleed voice subs, MSOs nevertheless continue to add them, largely due to effective bundling strategies. Telcos lost a staggering 45 million landlines from Q2/07 to Q2/13, while MSOs have just passed the 27 million voice subscriber mark with 222k net adds in Q2/13. MSOs now have a 34% market share for landline voice subs. The bad news for MSOs is that their rate of growth here has also leveled off.
U.S. Phone Subscribers Q2’12-Q2’13
Sr. Director, Corporate Communications
Tom Fallon – Chief Executive Officer of Infinera and proud University of Texas Alum – was recently ranked among the prestigious Global Telecoms Business Power 100. Each year judges from the Global Telecom Business publication search the globe for the most influential players in the telecom industry.This year GTB Judges rank Tom number 67 in the Global Telecoms Business Power 100, putting him alongside Ernest Cu of Globe Telecom and Rakesh Bhasin of Colt.
Under Tom’s leadership, we’ve had a record year for Infinera. Not least, it has been a record year for Infinera because we achieved a Guinness World Record for the fastest provisioning of optical capacity on GÉANT, Europe’s largest Research and Education Network with DANTE . This incredible achievement was carried out with our DTN-X platform, featuring commercially available 500 gigabit per second super-channels. We were proud to provision an optical line with eight terabits per second (Tb/s) of capacity in less than 20 seconds! Eight Tb/s is more than the amount of all Internet traffic in 2005.
Also under Tom’s leadership, this year Infinera was named by Infonetics Research as the fastest growing WDM supplier in Europe. This leadership is the result of Tier-1 and other carriers in Europe deploying an Intelligent Transport Network from Infinera. Infinera’s innovative 500 Gb/s Photonic-Integrated Circuits (PIC) have propelled Infinera to disrupt the market, taking market share from traditional system-makers and boosting network capacity for carriers across the globe.
The momentum continues as we look ahead to 2014 thanks to the latest technology trends – tablet computing, high definition video and cloud services appear likely to drive demand for core network capacity.
Director, Corporate Marketing
Back in the days of FDDI optical and 10Base5 Thick Ethernet technologies (you remember them, don’t you?), I came across the phrase, “Switch where you can, route where you must.” As a young professional I wondered about it, and applied it to the situation at hand – designing a campus network for a mobile operator. The Synoptics 5000 system was deployed at several places in the network providing Layer 1 and 2 transmission hub and switching functions, while a single Wellfleet Backbone Concentrator Node (BCN) system provided Layer 3 routing (the two companies had actually merged several months before to form Bay Networks). The operator’s campus infrastructure worked perfectly, scaling as traffic volume exploded driven by the mobile revolution.
I recalled having debates with my manager on the role of OSI Layer 1, 2, 3 technologies in network devices – can or should they be combined, can or should one of them be eliminated, what about processing power, can the store-and-forward technique catch up with cut-through in performance, and more. We in the field close to customers continued deploying validated designs, but R&D labs in companies were feverishly changing the technology landscape and thus attracting Wall Street. Meantime I went back to school and after two years, as I completed my post-graduate degree, the network was still functioning healthily. New technologies like Fast Ethernet and VLANs were beginning to surface and it was only in early 2000 that the FDDI system was upgraded to Ethernet switching.
I remained in the industry and witnessed tectonic shifts in the telecom technology and business cycles. Now before nostalgia completely overwhelms me, let’s come to the present. The networking world has changed in many ways – we talk terabits, coherent transmission, label switching, and more. But I still reflect on the old adage, “Switch where you can, route where you must,” and wonder on its application today. What really brought this question back to the surface was the fact that Cisco, a routing technology company, has announced an OTN switching platform that integrates DWDM optics which should be available sometime in 2014.
Here at Infinera we pioneered the integration of optical transmission and digital switching technologies in a single system on the DTN in the mid-2000s. Customers validated this Digital Optical Network architecture and deployed over 2.7 Pb/s of capacity on over 18,000 chassis. They increased efficiency on their network while rapidly provisioning network capacity using standards-based GMPLS control plane and the Infinera Bandwidth Virtualization solution. Last year we extended our portfolio and started shipping the massively scalable DTN-X, which is on a rapid growth trajectory with 39 customers having deployed over three quarters of a Pb/s of super-channel capacity.
The reason for its success is clear – a no performance compromise philosophy while integrating various functions in a single system. For example, the DTN-X supports 5 Tb/s of capacity across any configuration (100% transmission or 100% switching or any ratio in between) which is scalable to 10 Tb/s per bay and 240 Tb/s in a multi-bay configuration without compromise.
This aspect is quite important as networks are never static – they keep changing due to multiple reasons. One way to understand this is the number of circuits that get deleted or added every year (i.e. churn). We analyzed the data across several global operators for over 18 months, and found some interesting facts – on average, 29% of circuits get churned, and one large content provider had this figure at 79%. We continue to dig deeper into the data for further insights and will share more.
The constant change means that the network must be flexible and simple from an operational standpoint. Technologies that provision and move circuits efficiently, like switching, need to be widely deployed instead of just using fixed transmission pipes. This is evidenced in the recent global operator survey by Andrew Schmitt of Infonetics on OTN, MPLS and Control Plane Strategies. A significant number of them (94%) plan to use integrated WDM transmission (Layer 0) and OTN switching (Layer 1) technologies in a single system in the core by 2016. Furthermore, 89% of respondents would like to have OTN and packet switching (i.e. MPLS label switching or Layer 2/2.5) in the same platform by 2016. Andrew further dissects these trends in a brand new whitepaper on multi-layer transport networks. It explains why integrating transmission and switching (Layer 1, Layer 2/2.5) is the right architecture to build an Intelligent Transport Network, with the routing layer staying separate. It also examines why IPoDWDM is not being adopted (hint: layer elimination not integration).
We have seen many other vendors following in this direction. Ciena and Alcatel-Lucent are working on bringing an integrated switching and DWDM transmission system into their portfolio. And of course, we saw Cisco announce a new system introducing OTN switching for the first time in their portfolio last month.
Today, the provider core architecture is benefiting from the use of an integrated switching solution at most places in the network, with routing being used in a separate layer at only those places needing it. Some adages stand the test of time and it looks like the one I came across early in my career is continuing to endure. Now if you know who coined it, please share here or drop me a line.
Vice President, Corporate Marketing
Infinera, Brocade and ESnet recently collaborated on a demonstration to show how provisioning and optimization of bandwidth services can be automated across the multi-layer network leveraging Infinera’s DTN-X platform equipped with prototype Open Transport Switch (OTS) software, OpenFlow capable router/switch elements from Brocade, and an open source SDN controller and applications developed using RESTful northbound APIs from ESnet. From Infinera’s perspective in particular, this demonstration shows the elegance and effectiveness of an intelligent transport layer, which integrates DWDM and OTN switching into a single platform in order to abstract digital bandwidth services from the underlying optical super-channel layer. In this demonstration we showed two very simple but powerful use cases in the SP WAN:
On-demand Multi-layer Provisioning: demonstrated single-step single-GUI provisioning of bandwidth services spanning the multi-layer network, orchestrating and triggering provisioning activities at both the router/switch and intelligent transport layers which can benefit operators by speeding service delivery and saving operational costs.
Flow optimization across a Multi-Layer network: demonstrated how existing packet flows can be re-optimized based on real-time monitoring of flow characteristics and re-provisioned through the network to minimize transit traffic at the packet router/switch layer by bypassing intermediate router/switch hops, saving capex and reducing energy consumption.
The demonstration was comprised of three DTN-X packet-optical transport network platforms, interconnected with long-haul fiber in a physical ring topology, with 500Gb DWDM super-channels deployed on each link. The DTN-X is part of Infinera’s Intelligent Transport Network which provides DWDM integrated with digital OTN switching and an intelligent GMPLS control plane, enabling rapid provisioning of Ethernet over OTN bandwidth services over massive pools of DWDM capacity to inter-connect the L2/L3 packet systems.
A second generation OTS prototype was installed on each DTN-X which, in addition to supporting the OpenFlow wire protocol for transport layer data plane provisioning, was enhanced with management and configuration functions, including topology management and discovery, OTS lifecycle administration, and OTS multi-tenancy for enabling L1 Optical VPNs. OTS can be used in explicit mode where the OpenFlow protocol is used to directly program bandwidth services on every DTN-X node or in implicit mode where the SDN controller communicates only with a single OTS instance, which in turn leverages GMPLS for path set up. The hybrid implementation of both implicit and explicit provisioning modes within OTS enables flexibility in mixing and matching bandwidth service creation based on the specific needs of the network operator and better supports migration to an SDN framework. Additionally, native support on the DTN-X for multiple instantiations of OTS allows for resource partitioning and virtualization directly on the network element, allowing multiple third-party controllers to view and manage their own transport network overlay, independently of other virtual networks.
At each DTN-X location, an L2/L3 packet system was connected to the transport layer via 10GbE and 100GbE short-reach optical interfaces. OpenFlow enabled Terabit class Brocade MLXes, which can handle up to 128,000 simultaneous flows, were equipped with 4x10GbE and 1x100GbE interfaces that were located at two of the DTN-X locations and the NEC IP8800 was equipped with 2x10GbE at the remaining DTN-X location.
The SDN control layer was implemented using Floodlight as the base OpenFlow controller and ESnet’s OSCARS application, which is a set of networking services applications that support multi-layer provisioning and optimization capabilities. While this demonstration used Floodlight, the demonstration was designed to support any open source controller including OpenDaylight, Ryu, etc. OSCARS supports a multi-layer topology database that presents a unified, flattened view of the transport and packet layers.
The collaboration efforts showed how multi-layer provisioning and optimization can be achieved within an SDN framework leveraging an Intelligent Transport Network. It also demonstrates how GMPLS in transport can be leveraged to achieve higher-level abstraction and ease some of the transactional challenges with provisioning in a node-by-node manner across the WAN. Finally, the demonstration shows how network programmability and the concepts of centralized topology and control can help aid in not just simplifying the operations across multiple network layers using a single GUI, but also how leveraging an intelligent transport layer can optimize network resources, especially at the IP router layer, in order to lower capex and reduce energy consumption.
While SDN may take a few years to take hold in the SP WAN and deliver on this vision, we believe it is important for operators to deploy a transport platform that can provide a digital abstraction of bandwidth services separated from the optical layer vs approaches that advocate direct control of the analyst transponder layer — so that when the service provider does decide to implement SDN they have the right foundation in place.
See press release for additional disclaimer information.
Sr. Director, Corporate Communications
We are delighted to announce today that Rostelecom has initiated deployment of an Intelligent Transport Network™ from Infinera.
This is a significant Tier-1 win for Infinera, as Rostelecom is the largest nationwide telecommunications operator in Russia, serving more than 100 million subscribers. The Russian government is Rostelecom’s majority shareholder, controlling over 55% of the company according to their annual report.
The Rostelecom win marks the latest success in a multi-year journey to expand the Infinera footprint in Russia. To date, Infinera has achieved deployments with seven service providers in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which is comprised of former members of the Soviet Union.
The journey began in 2008, when Russian network operator RETN began enjoying the Infinera Experience by deploying the Infinera DTN platform. This year the Infinera footprint with RETN spans 23,000 km of fiber.
In 2010, Infinera strengthened the company’s commitment to the Russian market by meeting with the Russian Ministry for Communications, Svyazinvest, when they toured innovative Silicon Valley companies.
While adding more service provider customers across Russia and the CIS, Infinera started meeting with Rostelecom to discuss Infinera’s Intelligent Transport Network solutions. These meetings lead to Infinera testing the DTN-X at ZNIIS in 2013, which provides a rigorous testing environment where Rostelecom evaluates technology innovations from around the world to identify candidate solutions for their network.
Today’s announcement of Rostelecom’s selection of Infinera brings its customer count in Russia and CIS to seven, across a breadth of operators including Tier-1 operators, cable operators, bandwidth wholesalers and competitive operators.
Rostelecom initiated the deployment of the Infinera DTN-X platform to extend the reach of Rostelecom’s transport IP/MPLS network. Mr. Ivan Zima, senior vice president for network development at Rostelecom, OJSC, had this to say:
“Being the largest telecommunications provider in Russia, Rostelecom sees the need to respond to immense growth of traffic volumes in a quick and proactive manner. We are happy to embrace the challenge of the dynamic and ever-growing market together with Infinera.”
Underscoring the progress Infinera has been making across Europe, Russia and the CIS, Andrew Schmitt, Principal Analyst, Optical at Infonetics Research, reports that through Q2’13:
“Infinera is the fastest-growing supplier of WDM equipment in Europe as a result of the introduction of the DTN-X.”
See press release for additional disclaimer information.