By Ciena

Continuing its drive to help service providers boost revenue and better differentiate the customer experience, Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, today unveiled OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane, its next generation control plane software. OneConnect introduces a new level of programmability and advanced virtualization features for the Wide Area Network (WAN) as well as enables rich policy-based control more extensively across the network. As a result, many network operators deploying Ciena OneConnect can benefit from more than 40 percent bandwidth savings for service restoration, up to 30 percent latency reduction in highly meshed networks, and new differentiated service offerings including secure Optical Virtual Private Networks (O-VPN).

Ciena’s leadership in control plane technology stems from a 12 year history of innovation and live field deployments in some of the world’s largest, most mission-critical and most performance-demanding networks, representing thousands of nodes and hundreds of thousands of circuits. In fact, more than 90 percent of field-deployed Ciena Packet-Optical Switching systems run Ciena’s control plane for automated service creation, mesh restoration and service differentiation with some customers reporting unprecedented 99.9999 percent (six-9s) reliability due to the performance and robustness of Ciena’s control plane technology.

Building on this heritage, OneConnect includes numerous engineering innovations and optimizations – it creates, manages and restores bandwidth services faster, and with a richer set of policy options, than competitive control plane offerings. The next-generation OneConnect control plane software is also being made available on Ciena’s multi-layer 6500 Packet-Optical Transport platform, amplifying the benefits of a common intelligent control plane broadly across the network when combined with Ciena’s switching systems.

Key Facts:

OneConnect supports ASON and GMPLS industry standards for interoperability, as showcased in the recent multi-vendor Optical Interworking Forum (OIF) Interoperability 2012 demo.

OneConnect allows very rich policy-based programming, allowing network operators to specify detailed behaviors taking into account network details including latency, diversity, and restoration priority and timing. As a result, Ciena customers can enable their network to behave with greater speed and accuracy, which is critical to service providers’ ability to meet subscriber’s unabated demands for bandwidth-hungry services and cloud-based applications.

Using the new virtualized model enabled by OneConnect, service providers can boost revenue potential by providing virtualized Optical-VPN services that leverage their existing switched infrastructure to offer secure, private line services over a virtual fiber network. For example, a service provider can offer dynamic bandwidth-on-demand services to deliver low-latency HD video during a major sporting event or concert.

New latency-aware routing capabilities, enabled by OneConnect, help ensure that time-sensitive applications are routed across the network with the lowest latency possible. This gives financial services and media distribution organizations a significant advantage because even the smallest delay in service can amount to loss in revenue. Parameters may also be pre-determined and set to meet particular SLA or customer requirements. Network operators who use this feature, rather than relying on latency-blind provisioning, can benefit from as much as 30 percent reduction in average service latency.

Ciena’s control plane software also offers self-healing capabilities to make networks more resilient by dynamically re-routing services around failures caused by natural disasters or unexpected fiber cuts. Ciena’s control plane software has been proven to restore around multiple simultaneous failures and is designed to continually identify a viable network path for high priority services. Service providers can also incorporate “what if” scenarios to “right size” the network and observe network failure performance in re-routing traffic.

OneConnect can simultaneously run SONET/SDH and OTN control plane capabilities, thereby enabling seamless network modernization and migration to next generation networks. With this capability, service providers can support legacy services while accommodating interoperability between network layers to support troubleshooting and restoration.

Industry Comments:

A diverse range of customers around the globe are reaping the benefits of Ciena’s industry-leading control plane technology, including:

More than 15 Tier One service providers leverage Ciena’s control plane for global mesh capabilities for service differentiation, streamlined service activation, and increased network reliability

Regional operators for local capacity expansion and service flexibility in backbone networks; and,

Global enterprises for mission-critical Enterprise IT with distributed intelligence and dynamic restoration.

“Automated control plane-based optical networks have been operating for years in the core of the network with great success. Extending control plane functionality to the network edge and adding policy-based programming control substantially increases an operator’s ability to differentiate and create new services to monetize network assets. Therefore, we anticipate growing interest in such features.”

Ron Kline, principal analyst, Ovum

Executive Comments:

“Ciena’s intelligent control plane software acts as the brain of the network by allowing service providers to fine tune their networks to be more intelligent and to quickly respond to changing network demands – without manual intervention. OneConnect is the result of Ciena’s 12 years of success in optical control plane design and innovation. With today’s announcement, we are extending that leadership across the entire network and also giving our customers new revenue streams through latency-based routing and Optical VPNs for new and yet to be discovered virtual, dynamic service offerings.”

Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena

About Ciena

Ciena is the network specialist. We collaborate with customers worldwide to unlock the strategic potential of their networks and fundamentally change the way they perform and compete. With focused innovation, Ciena brings together the reliability and capacity of optical networking with the flexibility and economics of Ethernet, unified by services and software that delivers the industry’s leading network automation. We routinely post recent news, financial results and other important announcements and information about Ciena on our website. For more information, visit