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Transforming the optical layer into an Intelligent Transport Network™.

Infinera has just one mission: to build the world's most innovative network solutions to help our customers win.

Infinera Technology Overview
Since the advent of DWDM in the mid-1990s, most equipment vendors have envisioned an all-optical, highly analog future. According to this vision, amplifiers, filters, and mirrors replace all electronics in networks, and seamlessly transport digital services as waves of light. It's an attractive idea, since the translation between optical and electrical domains--the so-called "O-E-O" conversion--historically accounts for significant network costs. So why not just get rid of it?

It turns out there's a catch. Analog, all-optical networks are at odds with the digital information streams they carry. They are complex to design, and react very slowly to unforeseen changes in service demands – something that is increasingly common in today's cloud architectures.

Infinera's Digital Experience
From the outset, Infinera's vision was to enable DWDM transport networks to be more responsive to the digital services they carry. To do this we had to solve the challenge of reducing the cost of those OEO conversions, and we did this by integrating the optical functions of our switches into a single pair of Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). Our unique PIC technology allows us to combine DWDM capacity with the efficiency and ease of use that digital OTN switching can bring. We call the combination of service-ready PIC capacity and distributed OTN switching "Bandwidth Virtualization."

Our first iteration of this vision – the Digital Optical Network – helped to revolutionize the DWDM industry in the "10 Gigabit Era." More recently, the introduction of the DTN-X platform has taken the 100 Gb/s long haul market by storm, and now we've brought our vision of the Intelligent Transport Network to the rapidly growing metro cloud market in the form of Infinera's Cloud Xpress platform.

Click on the links below for more detail on the Intelligent Transport Network, and its technology building blocks.

The Intelligent Transport NetworkThe 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 network 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 of compute, storage and network in a single super point of presence (POP) are being distributed to multiple Cloud datacenters . 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 Function Virtualization (NFV) is enabling operators to migrate Layer 3-7 services like Security, Voice, CPE, and BRAS from standalone devices to software services on x86 hardware within Cloud datacenters, giving rise to the Cloud Services layer, Layer C.

Meanwhile, transport functions at the lower layers (layer 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 of Ethernet and MPLS technologies, digital functionality of OTN switching and optical transmission and switching with WDM and 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.

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