What is submarine networking?
Without submarine networks, the global Internet that we all know, use, and utterly depend on each day for business and personal uses simply would not exist.
There’s a popular misconception that satellites carry data from continent to continent. The truth is, satellites account for a miniscule amount of the data that speeds around the globe every day. Submarine networks do the serious work—all from hundreds or thousands of feet below the surface of the world’s oceans.
Submarine networks carry more than 95 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic. It’s not long ago that submarine networks were seen as distinct from terrestrial networks for historical, technological, and geographic reasons. As such, they were treated differently than terrestrial networks, which had seen significant technological advances.
Recently though, the submarine networking industry has undergone several technological evolutions, including the rapid adoption of coherent detection modems originally developed for terrestrial networks. Coherent detection modems changed how and how much capacity was added to transoceanic corridors, extended the life of existing wet plant assets, opened existing wet plants to best-of-breed upgrade vendors, and completely changed legacy business models.
Rolling out coherent technology over subsea cables was a key step in uniting land, sea, and cloud networks. It enabled submarine networks to maintain pace with voracious bandwidth demands by maximizing optical spectrum efficiency, which optimized the monetization of submerged network assets. It also guaranteed network availability by proactively and reactively addressing network faults via software intelligence and automation. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it protected revenues and margins by utilizing optimized network designs that reduce the total cost of end-to-end network ownership.
Submarine cable operators can now mix and match building blocks to create purpose-built end-to-end network solutions. There’s also an openness movement in submarine networking, similar to what’s happening in the terrestrial networking space, that aims to make proprietary subsea networks a thing of the past. Open submarine networks are a quantum leap for a market that has traditionally been relatively static and highly conservative. Open networks dramatically change the modeling, design, deployment, and management of subsea networks.
Submarine networking is the process by which data is carried on subsea cables to connect continents. Submarine networks carry 95 percent of the world’s intercontinental electronic communications traffic.
Now that cable operators can select from a broad array of vendors’ best-of-breed technologies, they can streamline operational processes, accelerate service innovation, reduce time to market, and keep up with the demands of web-scale content players that account for an ever-increasing share of transoceanic bandwidth growth.
Ciena’s unique submarine network architecture—GeoMesh Extreme—combines the best of our hardware, software, and professional services, allowing subsea cable operators to scale information-carrying capabilities, protect multiple terabits of traffic from inevitable cable faults, and lower the total cost of network ownership to protect revenues and margins.
Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme has four building blocks:
- Optical: Submarine WaveLogic Ai; Liquid Spectrum™; WaveLogic Photonics; L-Band Support; Integrated Test Capabilities
- Switching: 5430 Packet-Optical Platform; 6500 Family; 8700 Packetwave® Platform; OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane
- Management: Blue Planet V-WAN for connectivity services; Blue Planet Manage, Control, and Plan (MCP); Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration
- Services: Cloud-based SLA Portal; PinPoint C-OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer); Managed NOC Services; Network Health; Topology Discovery; Alarm Correlation
Submarine cables are optimized for distance and capacity and thus have unique personalities. GeoMesh Extreme enables operators to construct purpose-built networks that address specific market requirements over unique submarine cable performance with only the building blocks they need.
Ciena’s original GeoMesh was introduced just a few years ago and blurred the lines between submarine and terrestrial networks by viewing them as end-to-end service paths. GeoMesh Extreme takes that network architecture to the next level by adding a significant number of new features, technologies, and services built on cloud-based software innovation.
With GeoMesh Extreme in your arsenal, you’ll be able to optimize and monetize assets by designing a purpose-built network from end-to-end, overland and undersea. You’ll keep up with voracious global bandwidth growth, protect multiple terabits of traffic, avoid outages from inevitable faults, and protect your revenues and margins by combating ongoing price erosion.
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