Senior Director, Channel Sales
Infinera recently announced its new Partner Program, developed to provide our partners with the tools to win, while simplifying and accelerating the process of bringing innovative optical networking technology to market in order to quickly meet (and exceed) end-user demands. Built upon the premise of efficiency through simplicity, the program offers channel partners an application-optimized portfolio spanning access, metro, long-haul and subsea networks, while improving our partners’ ability to build and grow their businesses. Simplicity includes a focus on the ease of doing business and providing partners with the right tools to effectively build their knowledge, promptly resolve customer challenges and efficiently expand their market presence to deliver an exceptional experience to their customers.
Partner Portal 2.0: A key element of the program is the new Infinera Partner Portal, planned to be fully available to our channel partners in Q1 ’17. The program, through the portal, will provide our partners with leads, easy-to-find assets, and marketing and sales materials, while offering seamless navigation through Infinera’s other enablement functions, such as training and Marketing Development Fund (MDF) requests.
Over the past year, Infinera has conducted extensive research, evaluated half a dozen portal technology vendors and ultimately decided to choose a platform that was highly rated, and most importantly, gave us the ability to scale to meet the needs of our partners and their customers. This portal technology platform enables us to operate a state-of-the-art partner portal that makes it easier for Infinera and its global channel partners to do business together.
Benefits of the new portal include: (more…)
Principal Manager, Cloud & SDN Marketing
With the launch of the Cloud Xpress 2, the second generation of Infinera’s market-leading Cloud Xpress Family of data center interconnect (DCI) products, we like to say we’ve raised the bar. The Cloud Xpress 2 is built with our most advanced optical technology, the Infinite Capacity Engine, and delivers incredible performance in a small package – 1.2 terabits per second (Tb/s) in one rack unit (1RU) – that also offers simplicity, efficiency and security. It’s a great fit for the largest DCI operators, the hyperscale cloud and internet content providers, whom we often refer to as ICPs.
But what about the rest of the DCI market? How does this new product apply to the much larger community of data center operators, who don’t yet need dense 100 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) data center interconnects over multi-terabit wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) links? (more…)
Midco makes every effort to stay on the leading edge. In fact, we continuously enhance and expand our services to serve our customer base, which includes 300,000 residential and business customers in 335 communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
We recently announced that we’ll be upgrading most of our residential systems with DOCSIS 3.1 by the end of 2017 to provide gigabit internet access speeds. With this upgrade, Midco Gig downloads will be 35 times the national average and five times faster than Midco Xstream® 200 – something we are pretty proud of.
On the business front, we recently acq (more…)
Director Product Marketing
In 2009, Kate Greene, a technology writer based here in Silicon Valley, coined a new term to describe Stanford University’s OpenFlow project in an article that appeared in the MIT Technology Review. That term – software-defined networking (SDN) – was seen as tautological by some, with the state-of-the-art approach confirming the pre-existing separation of the forwarding and control planes. Today, SDN has evolved from a descriptor to an entirely new market category. There has been a lot of hype surrounding SDN and its ability to enable network operators of all types to simplify transport networks, reduce capital and operating costs, and quickly and easily deliver new, on-demand services.
Or so the story goes.
In fact, use cases such as network functions virtualization (NFV) service chaining are driving the first phase of SDN adoption within the data center domain. Central offices are being re-architected as data centers (CORD) and mobile operators are virtualizing their evolved packet core, also known as vEPC. At the other end of the network, the customer premise equipment (CPE) is also being virtualized. Network operators have, however, yet to deploy SDN widely across the packet-optical transport domain.
Why is this so? After all, Transport SDN controllers have been available for several years now, and the industry has made the network more programmable through open, standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs). On the demand side, service providers and enterprises increasingly require more dynamic bandwidth services, driven primarily by the adoption of cloud-based applications and content.
A big reason for the slow progress in Transport SDN lies in a simple truth about networks: any control plane is only as good as its underlying data plane. In today’s networks, service providers require frequent truck rolls and manual installation of line cards just to turn up additional wavelengths in the data plane. Even if an SDN controller is available to automate provisioning functions – determining when, where and how additional capacity should be activated – the network often lacks the ability to respond quickly. Another reason is the development approach vendors have chosen for their Transport SDN solutions, with element and network management systems being retrofitted for SDN control. Given these challenges it should come as no surprise that today’s Transport SDN offerings have not met customer requirements for openness and multi-layer control.
How SANET Created a Different Kind of Network Backbone: A discussion between Marian Ďurkovič, SANET and Geoff Bennett, Infinera
Marian Ďurkovič is the network architect for the Slovak Republic’s National Education and Research Network, SANET. Last year SANET selected Infinera during a public tender for a new network backbone, and Marian is now taking full advantage of the capabilities of the Infinera Cloud Xpress platform to create a new and highly cost-effective backbone architecture. Here Geoff Bennett, Director of Solutions and Technology at Infinera, interviews Marian about this novel network architecture.
Geoff Bennett: Marian, welcome to the Infinera Blog. Just to set the scene perhaps I can summarize for our readers that SANET has recently deployed a national research and education transport network backbone across the Slovak Republic. Here’s a diagram of that network, which has seventeen 100 gigabit per second (100G) point of presence (PoP) locations, and supports packet-based services for the academic and research community in the Slovak Republic. The reason that I wanted to talk to you about this network is that it uses a rather innovative combination of technologies, and I’d like to ask you to explain why it is so unique.
Marian Ďurkovič: Yes, I think it is really quite unique. So what we did was to take a step back from a typical transport network architecture, which I think we can characterize as having dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM), optical transport network (OTN) and packet layers, and ask how much of this traditional set of technologies do we really need. After all, the distances for each hop are not very far, and we can define the set of services we support as packet-based. So this avoids the need to support legacy time-division multiplexing (TDM) service types, and gives us the opportunity to optimize the functionality.
Geoff Bennett: Excellent – so what does this architecture actually look like? (more…)
Director of Solutions and Technology
As a confirmed technogeek, I was delighted when my recent purchase arrived this week – the Samsung Gear virtual reality (VR) headset, which uses the Oculus VR technology recently acquired by Facebook.
These headsets have really dropped in price recently, and part of the reason they’re such a good value is that they use one’s existing Samsung phone as the screen – combining it with good stereo optics and high-resolution, low-latency accelerometers built into the headset. While the resolution of high-end phone screens is great for everyday use, the VR headset has to share the phone screen resolution between both eyes, which means I occasionally notice individual pixels. But I quickly discounted that as the 3D VR experience drew me in, and within minutes of starting to use the VR headset I was totally immersed in travel photos and 3D movies.
The experience made me realize that an entry-level device like this one foreshadows the enormous potential of VR technology. A great illustration of these trends was used in a presentation at the recent Next Generation Optical Networking (NGON) conference by Steve Grubb, PhD, a senior network architect at Facebook. I was much impressed by Steve’s description of the new Oculus VR technology that is projected to one day deliver 4K or even higher resolution. Now that I’ve seen the power of what I consider low-definition VR, the idea of ultra-high-definition, pixel-free VR piped into each eye, with 360 degree video data synchronized to head movement, is truly exciting. More importantly from the network operator perspective, imagine the impact on network bandwidth that this level of resolution will demand, since many of these VR experiences are streamed rather than downloaded and run locally.
This is yet another answer to the perennial question of “why would anyone ever need more than X megabits per second of bandwidth?” (in which X moves up quite a bit every year). In fact, an immersive, 4K VR experience would make a big dent in a 1 gigabit per second (1G) feed. (more…)