Ciena announced that it is introducing a series of new optical network capabilities – branded Liquid Spectrum – that empower network operators to tune, control and dynamically adjust optical capacity as on-demand technologies like 5G, IoT, content delivery and cloud rapidly redefine network requirements.
By combining fully-instrumented flexible optics and innovative software, Liquid Spectrum can monitor and mine all available network assets so operators can instantly respond to new bandwidth demands and allocate capacity across any path in real time, Ciena says.
Liquid Spectrum is the cumulative value of a series of next-generation optical and software technologies. It includes Ciena’s reconfigurable photonic layer, WaveLogic Ai coherent optics, Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP), and new advanced software applications. Liquid Spectrum utilizes APIs and standard interfaces to support operators’ requirements for an accessible, open architecture.
Operators recognize that the traditional, static method of building networks is no longer sufficient to keep pace with today’s web-scale network challenges and unpredictable bandwidth demands. To address this, Ciena is redefining how optical networks are built by providing a blueprint for software-defined optical architectures that are more agile, dynamic and open to meet the networking requirements of the next decade, said Steve Alexander, Ciena’s senior vice president and chief technology officer.
“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,” Alexander explained. “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.”
Supported by Ciena’s Blue Planet software platform, WaveLogic Ai tunable coherent optics, and a reconfigurable photonic layer, Liquid Spectrum helps operators ensure the ideal amount of bandwidth is used at any given time. Open interfaces for high-performance telemetry are applied at both the software and hardware level, giving operators more choice in their architecture implementation.
In its initial introduction, Liquid Spectrum will feature advanced software applications including:
- Performance meter helps operators proactively ensure optimal system performance by providing access, for the first time, to real-time, accurate planning data for both the existing hardware and new planned services.
- Bandwidth optimizer uses customer-defined service policies and suggests the ideal capacity, hardware configuration and spectral placement for any channel, across any network path.
- Liquid restoration increases service availability with flexible adjustment of deployed coherent optical capacity as needed to route affected services across any available path in the network.
- Wave-line synchronizer accelerates service provisioning, reduces manual provisioning steps and eliminates associated human errors across multi-vendor optical deployments.
Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai and Blue Planet MCP – two key elements of Liquid Spectrum – will be available in the second quarter of 2017. Liquid Spectrum and its initial software applications are slated for delivery by the end of this year.
“With Liquid Spectrum, Ciena brings together optical hardware enhancements with an expanded Blue Planet portfolio,” said Heidi Adams, Senior Research Director, Transport Networks, IHS Markit. “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.”