Yearbooks. Anniversary cards. Monuments. Tattoos. There are countless ways we recall the important moments of our lives so that we can look back on them and be reminded of just how far we’ve come. Remembering these times is on the top of our minds as this year formally marks the 25th anniversary of the Ciena brand.

In addition to the well wishes of our friends and customers, a podcast featuring some of our most tenured leaders, or even this interview with our former mascot Lightworks Lou, today’s post is focused on reminiscing about the most important moments in Ciena’s history. These are the times that collectively tell the story about why Ciena continues to thrive as a network strategy and technology company - and what it took to get here.

While there are simply too many significant moments to try to list them all, we’ve collected a few that really shaped and defined who we are today. So here are those moments, those 25 milestones, going all the way back to when it first began in 1992:

1992: Ciena is officially founded, brought to life on November 8th with the vision of helping cable companies squeeze more television channels through their lines to end consumers.

1994: Patrick Nettles is named the company’s first CEO.

1994: Ciena actually becomes “Ciena”, as Patrick Nettles coins the name. The original company name: HydraLite.

1996: Ciena introduces MultiWave 1600, the first commercially available 16-channel DWDM platform.

1996: Ciena announces its first customer, Sprint.

1997: Ciena goes public with largest venture-backed IPO of a startup ever with first-day valuation of $3.4 billion.

2000:  Ciena ships the industry’s 1st 10G Metro DWDM solution.

2001: Ciena launches the first intelligent optical core switch in the world, CoreDirector.

2001: Then President and COO Gary Smith named CEO of Ciena. Patrick Nettles becomes Ciena's executive chairman of the board of directors.

2004: Ciena marks its tenth acquisition with Ethernet transport and switching company, Internet Photonics.

2006: Ciena opens a new R&D facility in India.

2008: Ciena acquires World Wide Packets, which forms the basis for Ciena’s entry into the Packet/Ethernet market.

2009: Ciena launches the first Optical Transport Network (OTN) control plane.

2009: WaveLogic powers the industry’s 1st 100G deployment with Verizon from Paris to Frankfurt.

2010: Ciena acquires Nortel Metro Ethernet Networks, making Ciena the industry leader in coherent optical technology.

2011: Ciena Cares, the employee social responsibility program, is born. By 2017, over 28% of Ciena employees are involved in the program.

2011: Crossed 25,000th shelf shipment milestone for Ciena’s most popular product, the 6500.

2012: Ciena launches WaveLogic 3, the industry’s first coherent chipset to integrate digital signal processing in the transmitter (Tx DSP).

2014: Ciena rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate our company listing moving from NASDAQ to NYSE.

2015: Women at Ciena initiative is launched to encourage gender diversity and mentoring, coaching, and career planning.

2015: Ciena enters the software space with new Cyan acquisition and creation of the Blue Planet brand.

2016: WaveLogic AI is unveiled, providing tunable capacity from 100G to 400G in 50G increments, and distances up to 14,000 km.

2017: Ciena extends market reach of its WaveLogic coherent modem technology by making it available to a range of partners such as a Lumentum, NeoPhotonics, and Oclaro.

2017: Ciena opens a new 425,000 sq. foot R&D campus in Ottawa.

2017: Vodafone announces the world’s first live deployment of 400G on a single wavelength leveraging Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai.

BONUS STAT... 2017: Ciena officially crosses the $25 billion mark in total revenue since its founding back in 1992.

Hungry for more? Check out all the Ciena 25th anniversary happenings on the Ciena website or take a look at some out best pictures from the past 25 years in our photo album.