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Tags: Submarine
January 26, 2017

Transforming Subsea Networks to Cloud Scale

By Abhijit Chitambar
Principal Product and Technology Marketing Manager


“Changing Realities” was the theme at PTC’17, the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s annual conference held last week in Honolulu, where panelists from across the industry and academia converged to discuss the challenges faced by subsea operators as they strive to address the unprecedented growth in bandwidth demand due to the rise of new cloud-based services. Many subsea cable systems are running out of capacity faster than previously expected, due in large part to web-scale flows that are predominantly point-to-point with bursty traffic demand patterns. To address this change, subsea network operators need to maximize the fiber capacity and reach of their cable plants while simultaneously optimizing their networks to efficiently handle these 100 gigabits per second (100G) flows and to support smooth scale-out capacity expansion. To meet these challenges, subsea network operators require cloud scale networks that are scalable, programmable and flexible, with best-in-class techniques for robust security and rapid reconfigurability.

In response to this need, Infinera announced the next generation of Intelligent Transport Networks, bringing cloud scale technology to subsea transport networks. During PTC’17, Infinera introduced the DTN-X XTS-3300 and XTS-3600, the industry’s first compact web-scale meshponders for subsea, and upgraded the DTN-X XTC series to 12 terabits per second (12T) of non-blocking Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching with a new 1.2T subsea line card. The new platforms and upgrades are powered by the Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine, which provides multi-terabit sliceable super-channels.

Scott Jackson, Vice President Subsea Business Group shows off the compact “pizza box” XTS-3300 at PTC’17

 

At PTC’17, Infinera also announced new software tools that enhance Infinera’s open and programmable subsea network architecture. Dynamic spectral sharing allows subsea operators to partition and monetize valuable fiber spectrum so that it can be securely shared with multiple tenants independently of both cable and submarine line terminal equipment suppliers. Access to real-time subsea link performance enables mission-critical performance data to be made available in real time, on demand, via open software-defined network application programmable interfaces. This enables subsea operators to monitor transmission health and to identify opportunities for capacity adjustments. Infinera’s Advanced Coherent Toolkit enables increased capacity and reach on submarine cables and includes the industry’s first implementation of innovations, such as Nyquist subcarriers, soft-decision forward error correction (SD-FEC) gain sharing, 3QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) and matrix-enhanced phase shift keying (ME-PSK). All these new capabilities are controlled by the Infinera Xceed Software Suite and managed by Infinera’s Digital Network Administrator, also referred to as DNA.

These new platforms and tools, along with Infinera Instant Bandwidth, enable operators to instantly change network capacity as well as duration, creating a dynamic Intelligent Transport Network that enables operators to closely match traffic patterns to bursty service demands from customers, match bandwidth to revenue, and instantly reroute bandwidth in the case of network disruption. With these announcements, Infinera once again reaffirms its ongoing commitment to bring advanced coherent technologies and leading capacity-reach performance to subsea, delivering the tools needed to transform subsea networks to cloud scale.

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