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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Pacnet launches first network virtualization for the optical layer with Infinera open transport switch

Learn more about PEN.

Infinera, a provider of Intelligent Transport Networks announced that Pacnet, a leading provider of integrated network and technology solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, has deployed Infinera’s new Open Transport Switch (OTS) software to extend network virtualization into the optical layer.

Pacnet deployed Infinera’s OTS within its award-winning Software-defined Networking (SDN) platform, Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), across the most extensive, solely-owned 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s) enabled trans-Pacific and intra-Asia submarine network in the Asia-Pacific region. Pacnet’s existing Intelligent Transport Network is based on the Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform.

PEN delivers scalable bandwidth and software-enabled intelligence, allowing customers to dynamically provision bandwidth in minutes through a custom portal based on their business needs. PEN is an SDN-based service delivery platform that has successfully offered Layer 2 Ethernet services on-demand from 1 megabit per second to 10 Gb/s. Today the combined power of the OTS software and the DTN-X platform allows PEN to offer a Layer 1 transport bandwidth on-demand service in increments of N x 10 Gb/s, and it is designed to allow services in increments of N x 100 Gb/s for high-capacity customers in the future.

Leveraging a DevOps model, Pacnet was able to integrate the Infinera OTS together with the PEN platform and deploy the new service in a matter of a few months – in an industry where new service creation and introduction is known to typically take 12 to 24 months. In addition, Pacnet has deployed the Infinera OTS into its existing DTN-X production network by running in Hybrid Control mode, with new services leveraging bandwidth under SDN control, while existing production services continue to operate using their Infinera DNA network management system.

The Infinera OTS was designed from the ground up with an IT mindset, is constructed with a lightweight and open web 2.0 architecture, and can rapidly integrate new features supporting service providers who are transforming to a DevOps model. The Infinera OTS software abstracts and virtualizes the underlying multi-layer Intelligent Transport Network taking advantage of the highly scalable and software controllable DTN-X platform. OTS then presents modern, open application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable simple programming of the transport network by any SDN controller or orchestration system. Alternate solutions in the market often require the deployment of heavyweight network management software (NMS) and a vendor-supplied controller to support SDN deployments, resulting in the possibility of slower feature velocity and vendor lock-in.

"This new service offering highlights how Pacnet continues to lead through innovation, particularly in the area of Software-defined Network services," stated Michael Howard, principal analyst, Carrier Networks at IHS-Infonetics Research. "While many providers have been doing SDN lab evaluations or performing SDN proof of concept tests, Pacnet today is delivering the first large-scale, commercially available Transport SDN-enabled service, and it is based on the Infinera Open Transport Switch."

“In November 2013, we launched the industry’s first fully-automated, SDN-based service delivery platform, Pacnet Enabled Network, on Layer 2 Ethernet. Today, we are excited to continue to lead through innovation by bringing this capability to our optical layer," said Jim Fagan, president, managed services at Pacnet. "With this deployment, Pacnet can deliver to our customers a true Cloud experience to better utilize our unrivalled network assets.”

“The production deployment of the Infinera Open Transport Switch to support Pacnet’s innovative new service demonstrates how an open networking approach, combined with a DevOps model, reduces time to market for new services,” said Stu Elby, senior vice president, Cloud network strategy and technology at Infinera. “We believe the availability of the Infinera Open Transport Switch makes the Infinera Intelligent Transport Network the most programmable optical networking solution available, enabling our customers to rapidly develop new services with the SDN controller of their choice.”

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