Infinera – The Ambien of Optical Networks?

April 09, 2019

By Geoff Bennett
Director, Solutions & Technology


There are lots of news stories these days about how we just don’t get enough sleep.  I have to say that I mostly don’t have that problem – unless I’m on a long-haul flight sitting in economy class.  So what’s keeping us awake?

For optical network architects, more than anything else, the answer seems to be uncertainty. Sometimes I picture a network architect at one of the hyperscale internet content providers (ICPs) waking up every morning in a cold sweat, wondering if they will be able to turn up enough capacity that day to keep pace with traffic growth in their network.

And what about a network architect at a classic communication service provider (CSP)?  They probably lose sleep because they know that when they create a traffic forecast, it’s already wrong – they just don’t know by how much or in what direction!

So, how can Infinera’s Infinite Network solution help both these types of architects sleep peacefully at night?

Imagine you’re an ICP network architect.  If you need to turn up a lot of capacity in a short amount of time over a fiber with finite capacity, you need the world’s most efficient optical engine – Infinera’s fourth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4).  In the same amount of time you would spend installing a conventional 200 gigabits per second transponder, you could deploy a single XT-3300 with SIX TIMES that capacity, or a single XT-3600 with 12 TIMES that capacity. That’s a lot of sleep-enabling networking capacity. Additionally, if there is a fiber constraint, such as in networks with leased fibers or long-haul or subsea links, then the fear of exhausting fiber capacity can induce some sleepless nights. Here Infinera’s ICE4 comes to the rescue again. With industry-leading spectral efficiency, Infinera enables 30 percent more capacity per fiber than competitive solutions, enabling network architects to rest easy.

Now for the CSPs, ever-larger demands for capacity at shorter and shorter notice and constantly shifting traffic patterns are the most likely root cause of sleepless nights. In those cases, it’s the ICE4-enabled Instant Bandwidth operational model that is the cure. Instant Bandwidth allows multi-terabit capacity to be deployed in the network on Day 1 and then activated in granular chunks as service demands appear.  This capability – which is unique to Infinera – creates a broadly “forecast-tolerant” network architecture that is virtually infinitely responsive to unexpected service demands. When new demands appear, whatever and wherever they are, the network architect will already have the tools in place to instantly meet them…and sleep easy at night.

So, if any of these problems are keeping you up at night then I’d recommend you ditch the pills…and take a look at Infinera!

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