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Cisco: Buyer of Potential Finisar-JDSU Combo?

December, 2014

If Finisar purchases JDSU’s CCOP division, would a systems integrator be interested in buying the combination? Unquestionably, there have been rumors in the past that Cisco Systems would buy Finisar, which with CCOP, would make Cisco’s previous component acquisitions pale in comparison in terms of cornering the market. Moreover, the full system supplier has been Finisar’s biggest customer for a long time. There is a school of thought that when Cisco decided to cease having a distinct transport business unit, it was making a statement that optics stopped being an end in itself – it was really a means to an end. While selling optical network gear remains part of its general strategy, its principal purpose is supposedly to tie routers and the server farms as well as offer the backbone for its software. According to this theory, Cisco’s purchases of CoreOptics and Lightwire are more evidence ...

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Optical Hardware Innovation Permanently

February, 2015

At the OFC 2015 show next month, the Rump Session is entitled, “Is it 'Game Over' for Hardware?” The discussion will be about “[s]ome industry trends like SDN appear[ing] to make optics hardware engineering and innovation irrelevant and shift innovation into software-based network control [while] [o]ther industry trends like [s]ilicon [p]hotonics appear[ing] to create great new opportunities for hardware innovation.” Of course, while around the world, all kinds of fantastic developments in fiber optic gear continually take place in laboratories, the really important focus should be on actual implementation of new solutions in the telecom space, which has historically tended to be driven by events or needs that were unpredictable in nature. Just the specific network requirements of one large carrier can determine the success of a particular solution. In the same way, the decision of a sin ...

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ROADMs Instead of Metro 100G Systems?

March, 2015

At the OFC 2015 conference, one of the most highly respected network engineers in the business from Xtera Communications will be legitimately asking the question on a panel, “What on Earth is a ‘100G Metro System?’” Bill Szeto will be asserting that because 100G currently means a whole wavelength, there is nothing wrong serving the needs with just taking a 100-gig channel off of a ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer). In doing so, it would also take care of the potential problems with stranded capacity that would occur in mesh networks as we outlined in a previous blog article. Bill will also argue that a so-called 100G metro system would provide no additional features/functionality. Also, there would be the avoidance of the issues today, such as with compatibility between different vendors' equipment at that data rate. Obviously, service providers would not want to get lo ...

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ADVA Should Look at Buying Xtera

September, 2015

ADVA Optical Networking’s CEO mentioned that it “is considering a ‘larger deal [than the Time4 Systems purchase] more in the mid-term’ that could give it access to a new group of customers,” according to a recent article in Light Reading. Xtera Communications, which we suspect would love to find a graceful exit opportunity, and so it would presumably be amenable to a price quite attractive to ADVA, somewhat fits the bill, even if it is not necessarily "small enough to absorb into...its operations in a pretty seamless manner." Xtera is a pure long haul/regional play both on the submarine and terrestrial sides of the network, offering technology truly unique in the industry. Actually, it is that very last aspect that could be the most interesting to ADVA. More important than any products the supplier will introduce as a result of the Oscilloquartz acquisition, taking over such a major play ...

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Juniper’s Impulsive BTI Acquisition

February, 2016

Regardless of a news report of a very low purchase price for BTI Systems, and despite Juniper Networks’ contention about the acquisition “not [being] a new strategy,” the move is actually a watershed moment for the corporation, and it does not seem to reflect its historic reputation for investments in a deliberately thoughtful manner with regard to the long-term ramifications of such a purchase, as it is based more on short-term expediency to try to satisfy Wall Street investors now. There is a huge difference between “developing optical interfaces…on [its] routers” and delving totally into the optical systems space, which Juniper has previous avoided because of its lack of comfort level in getting too far beyond the IP piece. In addition, while the vendor’s assertion that the buyout will be quite targeted in “captur[ing] what [it] believe[s] are very significant market inflection points ...

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