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Bill St. Arnaud is a R&E Network and Green IT consultant who works with clients on a variety of subjects such as the next generation research and education and Internet networks. He also works with clients to develop practical solutions to reduce GHG emissions such as free broadband and dynamiccharging of eVehicles (See . View my complete profile

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Infinera Offers Bandwidth Virtualization

[It is exciting to see that the concept of "virtualization" and "Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)" is starting to take hold in the telecommunications world. Virtualization of computers and networks will also go a long way to addressing the challenges of CO2 emissions by the ICT industry. Companies like Inocybe ( have also extended and generalized the concept of network virtualization to all types of networks and services. Excerpts from]

Infinera Offers Bandwidth Virtualization over Optical Transport Infinera is promoting the concept of "Bandwidth Virtualization" over optical transport networks based on its digital circuit technology as a means to meet the needs for a faster, more responsive Internet.

In a traditional optical network using Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM), each service that a service provider sells is typically linked to a specific wavelength, which is installed and turned up after a customer commits to purchase that service. Each service to be sold typically requires pre-planning, engineering activities and testing at time of installation, and there is often a significant delay between customer commitment to purchase and turn-up of the corresponding service. Service providers introducing new services, such as 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps services, must frequently re-engineer or overbuild their WDM networks to support the new services, creating long cycles between end-user service requests and service delivery, as well as inefficient network utilization, operational complexity, and the need for additional capital outlays.

Infinera said Bandwidth Virtualization overcomes these challenges and accelerates operators' speed of service provisioning by decoupling the service layer in the network from the underlying optical transmission layer.

Bandwidth Virtualization is enabled by an Infinera Digital Optical Network using high-capacity photonic integrated circuit technology on every route in the optical network, and integrates sub-wavelength digital switching with end-to-end software intelligence. This provides operators with a readily available pool of WDM bandwidth to meet immediate service requests, and allows new services to be deployed over the same infrastructure. The transmission layer can be configured to support any service simply by installing a service interface module at each of the two service endpoints and activating new end-to-end services using software rather than via hardware-based re-engineering of network resources.

Bandwidth Virtualization also yields significant operational benefits for service providers. By deploying hundreds of Gigabits of capacity at initial installation and being able to turn up additional services with digital plug-and-play ease, service providers can operate their network with smaller skilled engineering teams and at lower cost than on traditional WDM networks.