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Big Need for MPLS-TP?

August, 2014

At the service providers across the globe, the most widespread and native selection is MPLS and not MPLS-TP. The former has broader acceptance, superior interoperability, and operational intimacy for the engineering folks. In Asia, particularly China, MPLS-TP has taken off in a big way. While some industry observers view that part of the world as exceptionally unpredictable and may suggest that “TP” could even be replaced, it seems that at least one of the large Chinese operators has such a critical mass of deployment that such a move is not imaginable. On its face, one would think customers should want to go with MPLS-TP over MPLS because the former is a newer version. Ordinarily, any supplier that would happen to start product development from scratch would definitely be inclined to begin in the “TP” direction. Theoretically, MPLS-TP should be a slam-dunk in a greenfield situation at ...

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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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To Infinera: Let Transmode Run as Freely as Possible

June, 2015

Infinera would be better off allowing Transmode Systems to operate as an independent division than to integrate it much into its own corporation. Despite all of the assertions to the contrary, their cultures could not be more unalike – the former, a high-profile, Silicon Valley-type of company with people consistently logging long hours, oftentimes grappling with very quick deadlines – the latter, a Swedish, low-key, usually pragmatic kind of firm with historically fixed, lengthy timeframes for R&D completion, with a strong belief in the necessity for taking long vacations to recharge one's batteries as well as to help maintain a relaxed demeanor in its development work. The biggest difference is that Transmode has been going after the sweet spot of the metro DWDM market – targeting the Tier II and below types of service providers and other customers in which there has not has been as mu ...

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Intel's Credibility Problem with Optics?

June, 2015

While the hype machine on the latest and greatest technology always reigns supreme in the fiber optics market, Intel appeared to take Silicon Photonics (SP) to an unprecedented level for an extremely long period of time. Just the sheer amount of money spent by the supplier, specifically the Silicon Photonics Solutions Group’s (SPSG) promotional efforts, including the use of professional graphics artists for its presentations, was remarkable in not only helping to convince certain potential customers of the viability of these solutions, but it likely cannot be ruled out that the funds played a role in misleading high-level executives at the supplier in exaggerating progress. It remains to be seen what the long-term effects will be on Intel’s credibility of not coming through on the promised deliveries of these devices several months ago, especially as the vendor has somewhat pulled back t ...

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Mellanox’s Messaging Resonance Not Key to Success

July, 2015

Mellanox Technologies is a typical Israeli-based firm in the datacom/telecom space in that it excels at technology development, but not necessarily from a marketing/sales perspective. While the vendor has expanded internationally and has its second headquarters in the US (including several of the top CXOs), which is potentially helpful to corporate communications, it appears that much of the culture still reflects Yokneam rather than Sunnyvale. Nonetheless, although getting its fair share of appreciation for its technical strengths may at times be problematic for Mellanox, its rather consistently positive financial performance as well as its impressive installed base of customers speak volumes – and when the supplier happens to place an emphasis in its messaging in a potentially questionable way, insufficient outside attention may actually be quite beneficial. A good illustration of the ...

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