Infinera’s founding vision is to enable an infinite pool of intelligent bandwidth that the next communications infrastructure is built upon. Infinera is well-recognized in the technology segments of optical wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) transport and packet Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching across the long-haul, subsea, metro and data center interconnect markets. The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network architecture delivers unparalleled scalability, convergence and automation, including the industry’s only software defined capacity, enabling service providers to enter the Terabit Era and move toward a future of autonomous cognitive networking while addressing growing bandwidth demands, increasing complexity and competitive pressures.
A Clean-slate Design
With photonic integration, Infinera pioneered a new approach for networks. Photonic integration provides the massive WDM capacity needed to handle growing bandwidth demand in a small power and space footprint. It also allows the transport system to scale in other dimensions – adding multi-layer packet-OTN switching without any compromise in performance while injecting software intelligence. This clean-slate design differs from competitive solutions that may need to be retrofitted for scale or performance or completely refreshed within a couple of years. We believe that the Infinera Intelligent Transport Network offers strategic business value to customers and protects investments for the next decade.
The New Simplified Model of Layer C and Layer T
IT and network architectures are being drastically transformed. Scale and virtualization are fundamental trends driving this transformation. These trends are disrupting the old model of hierarchical, functionally heavy, ring fenced networks comprising several layers of devices, and giving rise to a simplified model of cloud services and intelligent transport. Cloud services are growing at a phenomenal rate. IT functions including compute, storage and network in a single super point of presence (POP) are being distributed to multiple cloud data centers. As a result, operators need to scale, simplify and increase flexibility in their networks. They are constantly seeking efficient ways to reduce their IT complexity. Network functions virtualization (NFV) is enabling operators to migrate Layer 3 through 7 services like security, voice, customer premises equipment (CPE), and broadband remote access server (BRAS) from standalone devices to software services on x86 hardware within cloud data centers, giving rise to the cloud services layer, Layer C.
Meanwhile, transport functions at the lower layers (Layers 0 through 3) are converging as operators encourage vendors to design the most cost-effective network elements, giving rise to an intelligent transport layer, Layer T. It combines packet services like Ethernet and MPLS technologies, the digital functionality of OTN switching, and optical transmission and switching with WDM and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) functionality. Software-defined networking (SDN) abstracts the services and functions of Layer T and presents standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) such that control can be offloaded to Layer C.
All this is conceptualized as Infinera’s Intelligent Transport Network architecture, which is a judicious mix of packet, digital, and optical functions on a single, scalable, flexible, and programmable platform exposed to virtualized control and network applications via APIs using SDN.
Leading the way to Cognitive Networking
Building on Infinera’s Intelligent Transport Network architecture, Infinera introduced Instant network, the next generation of software defined capacity (SDC) for cloud scale networks and a necessary foundation for cognitive networking. Emerging 5G mobile services, the Internet of Things (IoT), streaming video, Carrier Ethernet and cloud-based on-demand business services require increased optical network agility. With Instant Network, service providers activate SDC when revenue-generating services demand it, reducing capital expenditures by diminishing idle optical network capacity, and lowering business risk by shrinking the time between paying for capacity and activating revenue-generating services. Instant Network also enables service providers to accelerate service delivery and lower operational expenditures by automating optical capacity engineering and by reducing truck rolls to install additional hardware.
The future of the Intelligent Transport Network is cognitive networking, which includes advanced analytics, machine learning from streams of network telemetry data, autonomous operation of routine tasks, predictive analysis of network problems before they occur and proactive recommendations for network optimization to further reduce operational expense and improve service reliability. Instant Network builds a critical foundation for cognitive networking, including implementing and advancing the industry’s only software defined capacity offering.