By Lisa Crewe | Posted on March 16, 2021
Having been in business for more than 20 years with its products firmly established in over 60 countries across the globe, PacketLight Networks has a reputation that speaks for itself. PacketLight has been successfully selling its DWDM and OTN equipment to carriers and enterprises such as banks, trading houses, broadcast companies, utilities, government organizations, education networks, and more.
We sat down with PacketLight’s CEO, Koby Reshef, to find out the secret behind their success and discuss their newest product – a 400G per wavelength muxponder. He began by highlighting some of the key differentiators that have enabled PacketLight to become a leader in the industry today.
- Quality – Reshef says this is paramount to everything they do. “We always need to excel, and we do this through our ongoing commitment to quality and service.”
- Total Solutions – While other companies offer parts of the total solution, PacketLight has always focused on providing a complete system solution that includes the whole optical layer in one box. “With our products, customers get the key optical network elements needed for their transport solution, such as amplifiers, mux/demux and optical switch devices, as well as optional Layer-1 encryption functionality . These are all integrated and optimized in our 1U system and managed by PacketLight LightWatch™ NMS” said Reshef.
- Innovation – Being first-to-market with new innovations has always been important to PacketLight. That means getting access to leading edge technologies from companies such as Acacia so that PacketLight’s customers can be on the cutting edge of innovation. According to Reshef “PacketLight partnered with Acacia, who’s silicon photonics and DSP technology are mature and have industry leading performance and low power consumption.”
PacketLight’s New 400G Muxponder Lives up to its Reputation
In early February 2021, PacketLight announced its 400G per wavelength muxponders and once again the company delivered on innovation, quality, and total solution. The muxponders feature Acacia’s recently announced 400G pluggable coherent modules in both CFP2 and QSFP-DD form factors and are designed to speed implementation of new services or quickly and affordably increase network capacity for DCI, metro, and long-haul applications.
Image courtesy of PacketLight: PL-4000M 400G Muxponder
PacketLight’s PL-4000M 1U modular device delivers 400G capacity over a single wavelength cost-effectively, by aggregating any mix of 10/25/100GbE, 16/32G FC, and OTU2/2e/4 services into one 400G coherent uplink. Being able to transmit everything over a single wavelength reduces the total transport solution costs because it takes up minimal rack space and lowers the power consumption per transmitted bit. The device also offers high levels of security with embedded Layer-1 GCM-AES-256 optical encryption using elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman key exchange.
PacketLight’s PL-4000M provides full demarcation between the service and the OTN/DWDM uplink and offers complete interoperability with third-party switches and routers. The product delivers full visibility and performance monitoring of both the line OTN and service interfaces. It uses globally adopted, standards-based technology, which ensures an extended lifespan, eliminating vendor lock in, reducing long-term total cost of ownership (TCO), and speeding ROI. All optical modules are replaceable and pluggable from the front panel, which simplifies growth and maintenance. The PL-4000M also supports pluggable fan units and dual redundant hot-pluggable AC/DC power supply units.
An Early Adopter of 400G Pluggables
PacketLight is a long-term Acacia customer and it was this partnership that provided them access to the newest 400G pluggable technology used in its PL-4000M. “We always try to be first in the market with new technology, and we are proud to be the first systems vendor to put a 400G pluggable coherent module to use,” said Reshef. “We owe that to Acacia.”
Reshef believes 400G pluggables represent a key architectural change to the future of networking. “Because these modules can be plugged to the front panel, compared to the older bulky models used in today’s solutions, they are easier to maintain and you can grow as your capacity grows by adding more pluggable modules,” he said. “They also consume a third of the power compared to previous solutions, and are standards based so customers have no interoperability issues.”
Reshef sees a wide variety of applications for the PL-4000M including finance entities such as banking and insurance, utilities, and government entities. “These applications all need to support a mix of services such as Ethernet and Fibre Channel at different rates, running over the same fiber and they also need encryption which is supported by the Acacia module,” said Reshef. As he explained, PacketLight’s encryption solution is certified and compliant with the leading standards. “Increasing the trust our customers have in the security of their network,” he stated.
Point-to-point Over Dark Fiber
One application example is an Alien wavelength over a ROADM/OTN network. Alien wavelengths enable to drive more capacity over existing OTN/DWDM network infrastructure. The solution enables network providers to increase existing network capacity and offer additional private wavelength services such as encryption, without replacing existing infrastructure. This eliminates the need for large investments in infrastructure, as the wavelength is added to the network as needed, with clear ROI.
PacketLight Alien Wavelength ROADM/OTN Solution
PacketLight provides its customers with a solution designed to fit their requirements and applications. “For example, a customer that requires performance with encryption for a long-haul application, will need the CFP2 module,” said Reshef. “A customer that needs a short distance solution, will use the ZR+ module.”
The Future Looks Bright for PacketLight
PacketLight expects its PL-4000M to start shipping in May 2021 after going through its standard quality assurance and testing procedures. The PL-4000M will join the company’s portfolio of WDM and OTN products that support any mix of data, storage and video services such as 10/25/40/100Gb Ethernet and 4/8/10/16/32G FC over dark fiber, WDM and OTN.
According to Reshef, all of PacketLight’s devices are compact and simple to install, deploy and manage, using PacketLight’s NMS for the whole deployment lifecycle. In fact, PacketLight put together this short video below for their website showing how easy it is for a customer to work with them to build a DWDM network. 5 simple steps are all it takes between a customer and a working link.
On behalf of the Acacia team, we wish PacketLight continued success and look forward to helping them continue their legacy of quality, complete solutions and technology innovation.