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Cisco's Word for Quick Scale-Ups: nLight

Cisco's Word for Quick Scale-Ups: nLight
By Jennifer LeClaire

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Cisco's nLight for its Carrier Routing System converges IP and optical transport networks by introducing programmability. The idea is to minimize network complexity while maximizing service intelligence and monetization. Cisco's nLight makes possible 100-Gbps transport services over a distance of 3,000 km without costly signal regeneration.
 



What if you could cost-effectively launch and scale revenue-generating services in minutes instead of months? That's the promise Cisco is making to carriers with its new elastic-core networking capabilities.

Cisco said its new solution includes an integrated coherent 100-Gbps Internet Protocol over dense wave division multiplexing (IPoDWDM) and Cisco's new nLight technology for the Cisco Carrier Routing System, or CRS.

In case you aren't familiar with the technology, nLight converges IP and optical transport networks by introducing programmability. The idea is to minimize network complexity while maximizing service intelligence and monetization opportunities.

Cisco said this approach, which is a key element of the Cisco Open Network Environment, significantly reduces network total cost of ownership. Cisco ONE integrates an operator's underlying network infrastructure with application environments, creating opportunities to deliver application-specific services.

The Power of nLight

According to the most recent Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast, global IP traffic has increased eightfold in the last five years and will increase threefold over the next five years. This explosive reality, combined with complex traffic patterns, is leading service providers to seek core solutions that deliver converged IP and optical networks, for agility and efficiency and to provide bandwidth scale to interconnect data centers.

Cisco's nLight technology makes possible 100-Gbps transport services over a distance of 3,000 km without the need for costly signal regeneration. And IPoDWDM solutions offer service providers a new way to introduce 100-Gbps technology in their networks and deliver ultra-long-haul, high-speed transport services. With nLight silicon, Cisco said its 100-Gbps solution allows operators to tap their existing fiber plant investments.

CESNET, the national research and education network that connects nearly 100 science, research and education institutions in the Czech Republic, is transitioning to the Cisco CRS with 100-Gbps coherent IPoDWDM solutions, using Cisco's nLight technology.

"IPoDWDM is a very innovative technology that will serve as the foundation for our high-speed data services, while helping us reduce network costs and improve network operations," said Jan Gruntorad, managing director and member of the board of directors at CESNET.

"The Cisco CRS provides an intelligent core solution with the ability to scale up to 400-Gbps per slot, which will meet our service demands well into the future. The CRS enables reliable and continuous operation, as well as a very smooth migration path from the CRS-1 to the CRS-3 platform."

If You Build It....

Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, said Cisco's latest innovation could help solve a problem for carriers looking to converge IP and optical networks. And that, he said, is especially important from a bandwidth perspective.

"Cisco and everyone else, including myself, predicts that bandwidth is going to explode. Cisco is saying it's going to increase three-fold over the next five years," Kerravala told us.

"I think that's a conservative estimate. With the amount of video content out there I think we could see a 10-fold increase over the next five years. I think one thing that's been proven over time is that no matter how much bandwidth we have, we find ways to use it up."
 

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