What’s your take on Alcatel-Lucent IP+Optical integration?

Approximately a month ago Alcatel-Lucent launched Converged Backbone Transformation (are they sharing marketing wizards with Cisco … or is the excessive hype an industry-wide phenomenon?): a visionary(?) convergence of IP and optical technologies. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you could try to start with the IDC report published on Alcatel-Lucent’s web site (I’m always amazed how some people manage to tell so little in so many words).

Once you get past the fluff to the details, it could be that they're implementing a lot of common-sense. For example, it looks like the lambda-level grooming replaces GBIC/SFP transceivers with something that can generate multiple lambdas on the router and feed these lambdas directly into the DWDM gear. In my understanding, it replaces the GE port-GBIC-fiber-GBIC-GE port-lambda generation-DWDM chain with the shorter and cheaper GE port-lambda GBIC-fiber-lambda port-DWDM chain (obviously, I might be completely wrong; it’s hard to deduce the details from a press release).

Anyhow, I’d really appreciate your thoughts on this launch. Does it make sense? How does it compare to what Cisco and Juniper are doing? Is this a move in the right direction … or is Alcatel-Lucent playing a catch-up and trying to cover it with a grand marketecture?

7 comments:

  1. Hi,

    This is being pushed by all Vendors.

    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps5763/prod_white_paper0900aecd80395e03.html

    http://www.juniper.net/us/en/local/pdf/whitepapers/2000283-en.pdf

    Mgmt is G709. Which in time (I guess) will be replaced by GMPLS. It's not mature yet but I'm sold.

    its all Ethernet from the router side..

    a) LANPHY IPoETHo(ProboDWDM)
    b) WANPHY IPoEthoSDH(ProboDWDM)
    c) WDMPHY IPoDWDM

    It DOES look good and looks to me to be going in the right direction.. Just needs to mature as a IP Backbone technology.

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  2. Marko Milivojevic26 October, 2009 12:00

    ALU has been doing many things right in the past few years. It largely goes unnoticed, because ALU has *really* bad reputation with smaller ISPs and Telcos from the old days of Telephony world (in short, they would "talk" to incumbent only). They have been trying to get away with that and with some really great products. For example, their ESS switches are masterpiece that solves so many problems people using Cisco are facing every day.

    This new launch is probably continuation of that policy and thinking. It remains to be seen how it does on the marked, dominated by C&J.

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  3. Former- Newbridge-Alcatel Worker26 October, 2009 12:23

    Sounds strangely familiar to the Newbridge IP-over ATM Convergence campaign (of which I was a part) in the late90's. Lets see.. lets move IP directly to ATM (over fiber) Converge Video, Image, Voice & Data on one medium and one transport.
    Great Idea then, never quite made it.

    Good luck Newbridge-Alcatel-Lucent ;)

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  4. What do you think about the Ciena strategy?

    http://www.ciena.com/files/The_Intelligent_Path_to_a_Service_Enabling_Infrastructure_WP.pdf

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  5. Let me guess ... these guys don't sell routers, right? :-P

    Obviously I need to do some heavy reading and thinking ...

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  6. Come for a visit to this neck of the Kalahari and you can experiment with the DWDM kit we have acquired from them.

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  7. Give Martin a good reason to send me over 8-) I definitely won't object.

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Ivan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354, is the chief technology advisor for NIL Data Communications. He has been designing and implementing large-scale data communications networks as well as teaching and writing books about advanced technologies since 1990. See his full profile, contact him or follow @ioshints on Twitter.