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Ciena extends Waveserver DCI platform into the long haul

The web-scale effect isn’t confined to metro networks – it is driving network providers to invest heavily in interconnecting data centres across long distances as well as in cities, says Ciena.

The vendor has responded to that need with plans to enhance the capabilities of its Waveserver data centre interconnect (DCI) platform with an expanded set of reach and capacity options.

Introduced back in May 2015, Waveserver is compact, stackable, high-capacity interconnect system tailored for the specific needs of the DCI market (see Ciena makes waves with new DCI platform). The emphasis in the original design was that it would support two 200G wavelengths using 16-QAM, creating 400G of optical capacity on the line side.

The new technology inside Waveserver allows a wider selection of modulation formats and capacity. The long-haul version of the product can provide 200G wavelengths at greater than 1,000km distances and 100G wavelengths in excess of 10,000km, according to Ciena. Support has also been added for the intermediate 8-QAM format over an unspecified distance.

“A direct response to customer demand on the heels of our Waveserver introduction earlier this year, the enhancements that support DCI for any distance deliver another industry first in coherent technology and overcome the DCI capacity and distance trade-off paradigm,” said Francois Locoh-Donou, senior vice president, global products group, Ciena. “Competing platforms lack the high-performance of our WaveLogic Extreme chips and its breadth of advanced network monitoring and optimisation capabilities.”

That optimisation capability, which Ciena dubs ‘any haul’, allows Waveserver to monitor network parameter to make intelligent decisions about which modulation format is most appropriate to the application.

Powered by Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 Extreme chipset, Waveserver monitors network parameters in real-time, applying best-in-class soft-decision forward error correction, signal shaping and recovery techniques to overcome distance challenges when operating across long spans and ROADM sites. With a view into margin levels, channel counts, and grid utilisation, Waveserver will have the ability to determine if capacity can be maximised by changing modulation formats and dynamically assigning 100G, 150G and 200G wavelengths on flexible grid networks.

“We continue to see surging demands for DCI – not just in the metro, but also for long-haul networks,” said Ron Kline, principal analyst, intelligent networks at Ovum. “Ciena continues to build on its history of innovation by bringing 16QAM and 8QAM long-haul capabilities to its Waveserver DCI product, providing increased flexibility and spectrum efficiency for this extremely demanding application.”

Waveserver is in customer trials today and will be generally available in October 2015. For the long-haul optics capabilities on the platform, customers will have to wait until the first quarter of 2016.


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