There is an optimistic sense of inevitability among investors that the optical network will transition from 10Gbs to 40Gbs. This inevitability is misplaced, as the rules that applied during the transition to 10Gbs no longer apply today. There is little technological, architectural, or economical reason for a widespread move to 40Gbs technology.
Sacred cows are always slaughtered last. Ciena gave the equity markets an unwelcome surprise yesterday and triggered a broad market sell off in the sector. This event challenges Ciena’s status as a sector favorite as well as the perception that a video boom will save us all.
Lane Patterson, Chief Technologist of Equinix (EQIX), shared his thoughts on data centers and the challenges facing his industry at the 2007 Gilder Telecosm conference. He coined the term ‘bitmile’ and shed some light on how application providers such as CDN’s are adjusting their optical transport architectures to optimize cost.
This is a collection of notes and observations gathered during the LightReading Ethernet Conference that didn’t merit a standalone article. Unless noted, these conclusions were from conversations I had while at the conference, and not the opinions of presenters.
Infinera (INFN) had a very successful first day of trading after seven years of working counter to the popular and misguided beliefs of a Gilderesque all optical future.
Great controversy surrounds the company and investors wonder whether the valuation attached to company is justifiable. The valuation is indeed debatable and is predicated on their success penetrating the PTTs & Bellcos.
I know two American engineers who have relocated to China to lead optical module design teams at Chinese equipment companies. They live and work in China for Chinese companies, using their skills to build custom modules – skills no longer in demand from their American Tier-1 telecom equipment employers.
Infinera took the bold and stunning risk of angering the Gilder priesthood by illustrating that an all optical network was not the future and not the best solution.
OK, since I’ve been called out by Om Malik, I’m going to let rip with a stream-of-conciousness monologue on optical. No backspace key, no delete key, spelling corrections ex-post-facto. Here goes.
This is yet another example of technology research not keeping accurate score by focusing on the more traditional equipment vendors (Nortel, Alcatel, Lucent, Siemens, Fujitsu) and not counting the emerging Chinese vendors, particularly Huawei and ZTE. Huawei and ZTE both make wavelength switches and ship them in large amounts. Vitesse and Mindspeed supply the components at the heart of these switches and it is the Chinese vendors (and Nortel) who consume the most. Infinera’s not at the top of their list as a commercial partner though Mindspeed considers them a strong technical partner.
We don’t have a copy of the Del’Oro report, but it is an impossibility that ZTE and Huawei are not included in the top 5 vendors. We continue to see a lack of proper accounting for these vendors in carrier optical equipment and think the Nortels and Lucents of the world are radically underestimating the impact these companies will have at their core ILEC accounts. Just ask Marconi (uh… Ericsson) about Huawei and their experience bidding for the 21CN contract at BT.
Infinera is staffed by some very sharp ex-Lightera people, including a few of my ex-colleagues from Vitesse. They are certainly a company worth watching, particularly in an area that Om Malik fails to recognize- long reach, DWDM PON (warning, .pdf link), other than a throwaway reference to IPTV.