Edge-to-metro and metro dynamics are causing bandwidth  demands to grow at an unprecedented rate. Enterprise business services traffic  is growing as are requirements for that traffic to reach the cloud. High-speed  broadband and content-delivery networks are also on the rise. All of this is  driving the need for 100/200/400 GbE connections and services in the metro.

Today’s  metro network architecture challenges
Current metro  routers are inefficient when it comes to meeting today’s rack, space, power,  and cooling budget requirements—they  lack the flexibility to adapt to controlled environmental constraints. Consequently,  operators are forced to make trade-offs between scale, space, power, and  cooling. Metro wholesalers are thus evaluating what their architecture can  support and what value they might extract from converging the metro. Their  chief goal is always to retain current customers and to drive new revenue  growth through expansion of enterprise, mobile, and broadband services, while  keeping Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sustainability in check. As operators look to competitively evolve their  metro architecture and meet ever-increasing industry requirements, they are  considering converging all services onto a single layer. Currently, there are  three options to do this—all leave something to be desired:

Traditional chassis (mid-plane/backplane chassis)Traditional chassis (mid-plane/backplane  chassis)
Traditional big  chassis are fixed and limited in overall scalability and multi-chassis  extensibility. This requires you to dispose of them when upgrading your  network, causing additional waste.

Leaf spineLeaf-spine
Leaf-spine suffers  from operational complexities and the ability to cost-effectively scale up.

Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC)Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC)
DDC suffers from  reduced energy and thermal efficiency, as well as operational challenges,  making it a less sustainable option for customers.

With each  option, operators don’t have a holistic view across all layers to optimize  design, planning, and utilization of network resources for the mix and scale of  these multi-layer connections and services. Operations teams work in silos at  each layer. The impact on the metro means it takes longer to coordinate and complete  any step of lifecycle management: planning, commissioning, provisioning,  monitoring, and troubleshooting. Moreover, inaccuracy from manual data  correlation and task execution  can lead  to human errors, time delays, and suboptimal network designs, resulting in operational  inefficiencies and increased costs.

Ultimately, these siloed views can hinder operators’  ability to service future trends in the metro, resulting in increased costs, reduced  Return on Investment (ROI), and limited sustainability benefits.

A new approach to metro routing
Image of Ciena's WaveRouter Coherent Metro RouterCiena takes a  holistic approach to metro convergence to support edge-to-metro and metro dynamics. WaveRouterTM—a reimagined routing  platform architecture for the converged metro—represents a true break from a  legacy of constraints. WaveRouter has a lower first-in cost than traditional  chassis design, is simpler to deploy and manage than leaf-spine options, and  provides a better integrated hardware/software experience than DDC metro  routers.

WaveRouter’s converged  architecture is built to scale—today and tomorrow. Operators can easily scale  up when and where they choose with disaggregated compute clusters for route  processing. Unlike other metro routers there are NO trade-offs when  using independent scalable compute. The extensible switch fabric and flexible  cabling options for non-adjacent rows offer metro operators choice—again, where  and when you wish to scale out. There are no slot restrictions for thermals or  stranded bandwidth scenarios when adding high-speed optical ports.

The angled  faceplates on WaveRouter are unique for metro routers, enabling a zero-power,  ultra-thin, low-cost interconnect. With modular granular increments of 6 Tb/s  to minimize blast radius, metro operators can easily scale up and out to 192 Tb/s. This means on-demand scalability and any-to-any  connectivity in the metro at any distance with minimal equipment and reduced  space and power.

Operational simplicity
While other metro  routers require multiple management IP addresses, WaveRouter’s single IP  address for management simplifies operational concerns even with stacked  housing chassis. Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan (MCP)domain controller  provides a unified view of WaveRouter’s IP and optical components and services,  enabling holistic lifecycle management of WaveRouter network services—including  visibility, planning, provisioning, assurance, and optimization. You can quickly  plan for converged metro network deployments with guaranteed optimal path  design and performance, and minimal equipment and protocols—while at the same  time adapting to market demands on the fly.

Sustainability to the metro
WaveRouter’s  600 mm depth is a space-efficient design that fits in a large variety of  locations in the metro. WaveRouter can support a wide range of plugs and  submodules without stranding chipset or fabric capacity—whether pluggables,  including WaveLogic™ 5 coherent optics, ultra-long-haul submodules, and beyond. Recent sustainability  models have shown that evolving the network to 48 Tb/s via Ciena’s 8110 to 48  Tb/s via WaveRouter results in a 65 percent reduction in footprint and 55  percent reduction in power. The unique ability to be deployed in  non-adjacent racks and even in non-adjacent rows can provide significant space  and resource allocations savings for metro network builders. WaveRouter can  reduce blast radius, spread thermal load over multiple racks, and even take  advantage of fragmented racks.

Bringing convergence to the metro
Designed for multi-layer  convergence, WaveRouter cost-effectively addresses unprecedented demands for coherent routing, or the convergence of  IP and optical layers. WaveRouter is designed for this convergence in the metro  using a next-generation Network Operating System (NOS) and is integrated with  the industry’s leading coherent pluggables and optimized photonics. WaveRouter  can be deployed as part of Ciena’s open and flexible Coherent Routing Solution for the metro.

The traditional way  of building metro networks is no longer a viable solution to support any-to-any  high-capacity routing and switching metro applications. Ciena’s WaveRouter converges  edge-to-metro and metro traffic using multi-dimensional, ultra-high metro  capacity, and multi-layer awareness and coordination. It’s metro routing done  differently, because you asked.