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Ciena Announces Ethernet Aggregation and Switching on CN 4200 for Converged Ethernet Infrastructure

Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN), the network specialist, today announced new G10 and G10X Ethernet Service Modules that deliver Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation, switching and transport capabilities as simple plug-and-play upgrades to the Companys CN 4200® FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform family. The new modules simplify IP/Ethernet service architectures and optimize the cost and efficiency of network resources by reducing the number of router ports, metro WDM client ports and wavelengths, and standalone Ethernet switchesoften resulting in capex savings of more than 50 percent. In addition, with CN 4200 platforms deployed by more than 100 service provider, government and enterprise customers worldwide, the new modules also quickly and economically expand the reach of Carrier Ethernet services to metro or regional locations that have CN 4200s but no carrier-grade Ethernet switches.

As the volume of Ethernet traffic grows between the access and the core, significant cost and management burdens are being placed on traditional Layer 0/1 metro transport networks because they were not designed to multiplex Layer 2 Ethernet. An example of this is the migration of DSLAMs from ATM over SONET/SDH backhaul connections to Gigabit Ethernet to support IPTV and other triple play requirements. This results in the waste of the vast majority of new backhaul connections because the network is not aware that only minimal traffic may be running across them. Without the intelligence to allocate lower speed services into smaller bandwidth increments, every connection must be transported individually thereby increasing the number of ports, wavelengths, and switching and routing resources.

To address this issue, Cienas MEF-certified CN 4200 platform is now Ethernet-optimized at Layers 1 and 2. By combining programmable service interfaces and robust OTN transport with the new G10 and G10X Ethernet Service Modules, the CN 4200 can aggregate and switch a large number of 10/100/1000 Mbps and 10 Gigabit Ethernet services into right-sized and efficiently-utilized OTN metro transport connections. This integration of intelligent optical transport and service-aware packet switching enables service providers to gain significant operational efficiency by requiring fewer, more-centralized routers with better port utilization, and reduces or eliminates the need for deploying standalone Ethernet switches in most aggregation sites.

Network convergence is a key driver in the emergence of packet optical transport systems that integrate various features of optical transport and packet switching to support the requirements of Ethernet transport and Carrier Ethernet services, said Michael Howard, Principal Analyst at Infonetics. Solutions such as the new G10 modules on Cienas CN 4200 enhance the flexibility of these types of platforms and provide an effective way for service providers to add Layer 2 aggregation and packet switching to the existing transport network without the cost and complexity of proliferating standalone Ethernet switches or IP/MPLS routers.

Targeted applications for the CN 4200 with new Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation and switching capabilities include Metro Ethernet Forum-based Carrier Ethernet services, broadband aggregation for triple play and IPTV services and 3G wireless backhaul. Key to the enablement of these applications is the ability of the G10 and G10X modules to ensure strict quality of service (QoS) and to support connection-oriented Ethernet for deterministic, reliable and manageable IP/Ethernet services and transport. For connection-oriented Ethernet, the G10 modules initially support provisioned VLAN cross-connects and will support Provider Backbone Bridging-Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE) as it gets closer to standardization by the IEEE.

Converged Ethernet infrastructure is much more than simply putting more services across one network or combining data with transport. It is the creation of a single network infrastructure to optimize network resources, reduce costs and simplify network engineering and management using the efficiency of Ethernet, the resiliency and manageability of OTN and the scalability of ROADM, said Steve Alexander, CTO of Ciena. These Ethernet Services Modules mark a key milestone in our FlexSelect Architecture for creating performance-grade Ethernet networks that have the critical provisioning, management and control to scale IP/Ethernet services in a practical, success-based manner from access through to the core.

The G10 Ethernet Services Module features 10 ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet while the G10X Ethernet Services Module features 1 port of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Both modules provide advanced Layer 2 switching including support for Ethernet Operations, Administration & Maintenance (OAM), Link Aggregation, hierarchical QoS and connection-oriented Ethernet features. In addition, the Layer 2 switching fabric of the G10 and G10X cards is fully distributed and available to traffic entering on Layer 1 ports in other modules on CN 4200 platforms. For complete investment protection and accelerated deployments, both modules are compatible with all new and deployed CN 4200 MC, CN 4200 and CN 4200 RS platforms. In addition to the G10 and G10X modules, other key CN 4200 enhancements include both new hardware and software to support regional networking distances as well as for building a lower cost auto-engineered optical layer. The G10 and G10X modules will be available for trials in the first calendar quarter of this year.

About Ciena

Ciena specializes in network transition. We provide the flexible platforms, intelligent software and professional services to build converged networks for enhanced services and applications. With a growing global presence, Ciena leverages its heritage of practical innovation to deliver maximum performance and economic value in communications networks worldwide. For more information, visit

Note to Ciena Investors

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof; and Ciena's actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, due to risks and uncertainties associated with its business, which include the risk factors disclosed in its Report on Form 10-K, which Ciena filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 27, 2007. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Ciena's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "should," "will," and "would" or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Ciena Corporation
Press Contact:
Nicole Anderson, 4106945786
Investor Contact:
Suzanne DuLong, 8882436223

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