San Jose, CA — Calient Networks, a developer of carrier-class, all-photonic switching systems, announced the establishment of a multi-vendor Optical Platform Peering Program (OP3), designed to test Calient’s DiamondWave 256 switch and numerous existing and emerging network elements in a two-layer IP services and photonic network. Three distinct phases of testing are scheduled, to focus on interoperability and applications deployment with network elements that support the IETF Multi-Protocol Lambda Switching (MPLambdaS) draft standard.
“The open photonic networking model on which OP3 is based is the result of collaboration with other networking leaders and customers, to create open architectures that leverage several key breakthroughs in photonic switching,” said Calient’s vice president of marketing, Tim Dixon. “Our goal is to aggressively prove standards-based interoperability among top-tier players, so that service providers can shorten implementation cycles, reduce risk and leverage best-of-breed performance across the vendor community.”
In Phase 1 of the OP3 testing, Calient will work with a broad range of vendors to demonstrate the value of transparent switching at speeds ranging from Gigabit Ethernet to OC-768, with protocols and applications ranging from MPLS to HDTV. Testing will be conducted through the same switch and termination ports without modification. Phase 1 is scheduled to begin in Q4, 2000.
In Phase 2, MPLambdaS will be introduced to promote interoperability in the control plane as a crucial step toward the migration from opto-electronic to photonic networks. In this phase Calient will collaborate with industry- leading high-end router, metro DWDM, long-haul DWDM and SONET equipment vendors in both open and closed testing environments. Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in Q1, 2001.
In Phase 3, the final phase of testing, Calient will leverage the first two phases in working with industry leading vendors to develop, operationally define, and test end-to-end advanced service offerings such as rapid wavelength provisioning, seamless traffic engineering and shared protection and restoration mechanisms. This testing is scheduled to begin in Q2, 2001.
Calient believes the greatest progress in industry-wide interoperability will be achieved through an open testing approach, which addresses not just a single class of optical element, but crosses multiple classes on an application-by-application basis. Thus, the OP3 testing will include metropolitan network platforms, SONET network systems, ultra long-haul transmission systems and IP services equipment. Multi-layer interoperability is key to advancing the viability of optical and photonic technologies in local switching, SONET integration applications, packet infrastructure buildouts, photonic switching and full lambda switching.
“Today’s Service Providers want the option of bringing new best-of-breed products and technologies into their networks that can help them maintain existing service offerings while establishing new service offerings,” said Mark Bankes, senior director of business development. “Calient has played a leading role in the development of the MPLambdaS standards suite, and will continue to promote projects and testing geared toward the best interests of service providers.”
“We see this step toward practical implementation of two-layer networking as important in helping service providers deal with the exploding traffic loads in their networks in an effective manner,” said John Ryan, principal and chief analyst at RHK. “The move is in sync with the trend we see toward using intelligent optical network elements to create efficient mesh networks.”
These thoughts were echoed by industry leader Charles Chi, former vice president of marketing for Ciena Corporation and general partner with the venture firm, Greylock. “This initiative is focused on the rapid and practical development of solutions that customers value. Using MPLS, a known and proven protocol, means more rapid adoption of advanced photonic systems by service providers. At the same time they can maintain, and even enhance, their existing SONET networks.”
Calient Networks is a new developer of intelligent, all-photonic switching systems and software that help service providers scale their networks for explosive bandwidth demands and deliver a new generation of wavelength services. Calient’s architecture and DiamondWave switching system will provide a seamless, ‘opto-electronic-to-photonic’ migration path that is non-disruptive to legacy operations, and near-term opportunity for carriers to offer revenue-generating optical services from their photonic infrastructure. Founded in March 1999, the company is headquartered in San Jose, California with engineering and manufacturing operations in Santa Barbara, California. For additional information about Calient Networks, visit http://www.calient.net .