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February 19, 2019

An Infinite Network? Count On It

By Rob Shore
Senior Vice President, Marketing

Today’s launch of The Infinite Network paints a bold vision:

Instantly scalable, self-optimizing networks that
dynamically adapt to the demands of users and applications.

Let’s be honest: you may not believe that vision is achievable, and you are quite certain that no network can actually be infinite.

That’s fair. Real networks are not infinite. But what if we could make them seem infinite? What if we could stop worrying about the limits networks impose on us? What if networks started doing exactly what we want – always, everywhere, instantly?

That’s what The Infinite Network vision is all about.

Clearly we aren’t there yet. But we are taking bold steps.

Counting the Steps to The Infinite Network

Mathematics gives us the concept of a “countably infinite” set, which, roughly speaking, means that you can count the steps on the way to infinity. You can actually measure your progress.

So what steps are we taking toward The Infinite Network? Let us count just a few of them:

  1. Instant Bandwidth: For years Infinera has been the only company offering customers the ability to pre-deploy capacity and software-activate it on demand. The reason we can do this is that we are the only company with a fully vertically integrated optical engine and business model.
  2. ICE: The Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE) leverages that vertical integration to deliver industry-leading performance today in ICE4 and tomorrow in ICE6. With ICE6, we’re also dramatically increasing flexibility and configurability to optimize performance in any network. And looking just a bit further ahead, we’re extending ICE advantages to the network edge, with pluggable coherent optical modules and a disruptive new technology, virtualized lasers.
  3. Multi-layer networking: Building on those industry-leading optics at Layer 0, we add integrated Layer 1/2 switching for core networks, application-optimized Layer 2 switching for the edge and the industry’s only carrier-grade disaggregated Layer 3 (IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching [MPLS]) routing solution.
  4. Real-time operations: Our Transcend application suite is going real time, including Aware for real-time network performance monitoring, vASON for real-time multi-layer restoration and real-time network planning and optimization.
  5. Application awareness: We are already demonstrating integration with third-party software that enables dynamic application traffic flows to trigger automatic adjustments in network connectivity and resource allocation, and we are experimenting with machine learning technologies that can turn a responsive network into a predictive one.

Step Back for Perspective

Now take a step back and visualize what we can achieve as we tie all of those things together:

When application awareness drives automated, real-time, multi-layer network responsiveness – all the way down to on-demand activation of ICE optical capacity via Instant Bandwidth – the network will actually become instantly scalable, self-optimizing and dynamically adaptive to users and applications.

In other words, we are well on our way to The Infinite Network vision. You can count on it.

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