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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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AT&T's “Open ROADM”: More Skepticism

April, 2016

In defiance of AT&T’s uniquely leviathan network involving layers of infrastructure built over many years, the service provider continues to promote further leading-edge concepts that would ostensibly change the fundamental nature of its cost structure as well as its spider web of operational entanglements. These major shifts have been projected to occur in an immense way a long way down the road, whether it was getting to all-IP by 2020 (somehow in 2012, all of the T1s would be expected to disappear and OTN would cease to becomes a reality), and in 2014, it projected that over 75% of its network would be software-centric by the end of the decade. AT&T’s latest scheme was introduced at OFC 2016, the “Open ROADM", and while also based on the notion of "software control," it brings in the idea of “open hardware” or Open Line Systems (OLS) in which Verizon, at the same conference, discredit ...

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Microsoft's Enduring Google Envy

April, 2016

Quite a few articles have been written over time about the jealousy suffered by Microsoft over Alphabet’s Google, but they have not really addressed that the same dynamic exists in the optics realm. One cannot help but discern the palpable pain caused by the dominant search engine provider to the software giant in having a bigger fiber optic network despite the latter starting its construction on its infrastructure in general about two decades earlier. Most interestingly, the characterizations of leaving Google (as well as others) in the “digital drone dust” or offering “dramatic new ways of running big data applications,” as it relates to its partnership with Inphi is way over-the-top rhetoric in that the adoption of this technology is just an extension of Microsoft’s strategy at 10G for short distances. At an OIF workshop that took place in Anaheim during the week of OFC 2016, a presen ...

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Cisco Systems’ Optics Pastime

September, 2018

It all began for Cisco Systems last century during the bubble with its purchase of Cerent for a whopping amount of money, as it was a startup merely providing a basic SONET transport system. Although for about 15 years, Cisco made optical networking a prominent part of its corporate messaging, since then, it has been pretty much ignored at that high level in presentations, and any comments about the technology are confined to an occasional announcement, such as at OFC. Also, optics development is restricted to a relatively small, seemingly contented operation without too much pressure of having to make a significant impact on the bottom line, especially with the overall performance of the firm having improved in the last couple of quarters. While it had to be a minor relief to the optical division that the Service Provider (SP) segment finally had some revenue growth to report after over ...

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24 Tough Queries for Vendors/Users at ECOC 2018

September, 2018

Unfortunately, this writer will be unable to be in Rome, as I will be attending a much happier, personal event later in the week. fibeReality thought it might be a good idea to propose some hard-hitting questions that our loyal readers might consider asking suppliers at the annual hype-fest, just to shake things up, if nothing else. Here are 24 suggestions: 1.     To any supplier, associated with COBO, is it not time to move on to co-packaged optics, which although would not be easy to pull off, it would be a more practical means of accomplishing the chip-to-chip concept, if it ever does happen in the foreseeable future? 2.     For Macom, is it not a little disingenuous to say that lasers in your PICs are integrated, since the former cannot be accomplished with silicon photonics, and is the company adequately able to differentiate itself from products offered in a similar 200G/400G annou ...

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