SCTE member since 2003 Title : CTO of Metro Transport and Switching, Ciena Broadband Background: Nuss joined Ciena through its acquisition of Internet Photonics, an optical Ethernet transport and switching firm. He was one of the founders and the CTO. Prior to Internet Photonics, Martin was head of the optical data networks department at Lucent Bell Labs. What do you see as the most critical challenges facing cable operators today from an optical infrastructure perspective? MSOs today are pushing for network convergence to reduce operational expenses. At the same time, the industry is in the midst of a massive transition from proprietary and synchronous optical network (SONET) networks to an all Internet protocol (IP)/Ethernet network to support broadcast, video on demand (VOD), high-speed data, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and commercial services. The challenge is how to pursue a low-risk convergence strategy that simultaneously protects capital investments during the transition to an all IP/Ethernet network. What are the most important points they need to consider as they move to a packet-based network? It’s all about reducing and managing risks. MSOs want to roll out new IP/Ethernet-based video, voice and commercial services as soon as possible to stay ahead of the competition, but it needs to be simple, reliable, easy to operate and easy to manage. MSOs need to find a way to roll out these services without being stuck in their technology choices when business conditions change, customers churn or as networks migrate to all IP/Ethernet. That’s why we created the FlexSelect architecture featuring programmable hardware with service-oriented management functionality, to automate delivery and management of any mix of services including SONET/synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH), Ethernet, storage and video. So instead of dozens of line cards for all the different services it supports, the CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services platform features a single card that can be programmed to any protocol, any speed, any function and any wavelength with integrated multi-degree sub-wavelength reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexing (ROADM) capability. When customer needs change or new services need to be configured, the CN 4200 can simply be reprogrammed remotely to perform these new functions or deliver new services. How can an optical control plane reduce service provisioning and migration times? Most MSOs are looking at reconfigurable transport technologies not because they want to reconfigure their network on a daily or even hourly basis, but because they want to eliminate the network planning cycle and also to be better protected from customer and capacity churn in their networks. With a flexible and programmable architecture, you really need an automated control plane that has real-time awareness of network conditions and can adapt to changing needs to automate topology, capacity, service discovery, provisioning and management. All this translates to more flexible networks that are easier to set up, provision and reconfigure than traditional networks. What is the time differential? It’s dramatic. Leveraging the programmability and optical control plane automation of the FlexSelect architecture, new service-provisioning time is reduced by up to 95 percent from an industry average of 45 days down to two, and that presumes that it takes a service provider about two days to process an order. And for updates or changes to existing services, it’s essentially on demand via remote provisioning. No more truck rolls, new boxes or new line cards needed. How does your company’s FlexSelect architecture compare to ROADM-only solutions? The CN 4200 features a lower cost alternative to ROADM known as sub-wavelength grooming. In fact, sub-wavelength grooming actually is more efficient than ROADM in terms of network efficiency. What all-optical ROADMs provide is wavelength agility, which is nice to have, but it does not solve the problem of better network utilization. The CN 4200 will implement full optical ROADM capabilities in a future release, which combined with sub-wavelength grooming provides full dynamic wavelength routing. This third-generation ROADM will optimize network efficiency, provide wavelength agility and be considerably more cost-efficient. What are the plans for migration to a full 10 Gbps solution? We fully support all services up to 10 Gbps today and have demonstrated 40 Gbps with a few customers. The beauty of the FlexSelect solution is that you can groom many SONET and Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) circuits onto 2.5 Gbps wavelengths initially, aggregate them to 10 Gbps later when capacity demand increases, and finally reprogram SONET interfaces to GigE and 10GigE when completing the IP/Ethernet migration. Most importantly, all of those capacity increases and service changes are done with the same line cards—they are simply changed remotely through the management system. The goal is to build an on-demand, service-selectablenetwork that maximizes the investment in current-generation services while empowering the network to also deliver efficient packet services that are more cost effective to deploy, scale and manage. How do capital costs compare to other solutions? All the significant OpEx savings are great for our customers, but initial cost is always an issue in deployments. Because the CN 4200 FlexSelect can perform grooming of lower- speed services into as few 10 Gbps wavelengths as possible with the built-in multi-degree sub-wavelength ROADM, we can usually reduce the number of required wavelengths by as much as 75 percent, which will significantly lower network CapEx.