Ciena brings SDN functionality to new network architecture- OPn (July ComSocSCV meeting)

Ciena has introduced a networking platform that includes many of the principles of software-defined networking (SDN) to support full programmable switching using application programming and network-to-network interfaces. OPn is designed to provide superior network functionality at the control plane by making networks more responsive to applications and services such as VoIP and network virtualization.

OPn spans Ciena’s optical and packet layers and will involve programability at multiple layers of the network, enabled both through application programming interfaces (APIs) and through network-to-network interfaces that are “subtly different,” said Ciena CTO Steve Alexander.  OPn will also involve bypassing certain network functions, thereby simplifying data forwarding plane functionality.  

Every major vendor is declaring an SDN plan, it seems, and there might be a fight brewing over who gets to provide the control plane that will reach into multiple layers of the network and orchestrate tasks such as moving virtual-machines.

SDN will be the focus of the IEEE ComSocSCV July 11 meeting in Santa Clara, CA (organized by this author):

Software Defined Networking (SDN) Explained- New Epoch or Passing Fad?


After several years of research, Software Define Networking (SDN) has finally become a reality. At this year’s Open Networking Summit, Google announced it had already deployed its own SDN design in the backbone network that interconnects all its Data Centers. NTT and Verizon hinted that they’d deploy SDN soon, while network equipment vendors indicated they were committed to the concept. IT executives and managers are also taking notice. One pundit predicted a ‘new epoch’ in networks based on SDN- for data centers, campus networks and WANs. But what exactly is SDN and the associated OpenFlow protocol that the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is standardizing?


  • Guru Parulkar is the founding Executive Director of Open Networking Research Center
  • Dan Pitt is an Executive Director at the Open Networking Foundation


More info at: