Cumulus Networks and Vodafone Complete Successful Trial of Telecom Infra Project’s Voyager to Transform Boundaries of Optical Networks

The trial represents a major step forward in proving the readiness and possibilities of Voyager to disrupt the telecommunications industry for a mobile-first world

Mountain View, CA - July 2, 2018 -- Cumulus Networks, the leaders in building open, modern, and scalable networks, and Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, today announced a successful live network trial with the Facebook-designed Voyager optical “whitebox,” the industry’s first open packet-optical transport system. Voyager was initially contributed by Facebook to TIP, a community focused on accelerating the pace of innovation in the telecom industry, and now several companies are working together on the development of the platform. The success of the trial demonstrates the readiness of the Voyager technology and its possibility to transform the boundaries of optical networks for telecommunications companies around the world. 

With the increased demand for internet and bandwidth-intensive apps on mobile devices, companies like Vodafone are seeking a scalable yet cost-effective long-haul interconnect solution to bring a disaggregated networking model to optical networks. The goal of the live trial was to showcase the future of applying this approach to optical networks and to provide more flexibility to handle real time dynamics using Voyager, combined with a Software Defined Network (SDN) controller. Vodafone used the Voyager devices with a network OS by Cumulus Networks and a NetOS Software Defined Network orchestration from Zeetta Networks on a live network in Spain. With the support of ADVA as one of the architects of the platform, the trial demonstrated how the solution can be implemented over an existing optical infrastructure, yielding positive, impactful results.

The results of the trial include:

  • Demonstrated ability to deliver 800 Gigabits per second (GBPS) per rack

  • Demonstrated ability to dynamically adapt the system modulation as fibre conditions changed

  • Use of SDN principles to conduct real-time monitoring of the optical line performance

  • Proved that “a live network can set up optical services and keep them running”

  • Reduced unnecessary and lengthy customer service interruptions

  • Improved utilization of the network

"We wanted to show how Voyager's variable-rate transceivers can be used to match speeds and modulation formats with actual line conditions,” said Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone’s Group Head of Networks Strategy and Architecture. “Thanks to a streamlined network operating system and SDN automation, we showed how our live network can set-up optical services and keep them running, reduce unnecessary and lengthy customer service interruptions, and improve network utilization."

“The successful results from Vodafone’s live trial represent a significant step toward how optical networks will be designed in the future,” said JR Rivers, Co-founder and CTO at Cumulus Networks. “Cumulus has found success bringing disaggregation to the data center and we are now applying that model to optical networks, which haven’t been disrupted in decades. We believe buy-in from top providers like Vodafone validates the importance of shifting to a disaggregated model in telecommunications. By sharing the success of the trial, we hope to encourage other providers in the optical industry to consider the benefits of moving away from traditional vendor lock-in and embracing open alternatives.”

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Cumulus Networks’ continued momentum in helping optical companies expand coverage areas through scalable, flexible optical transport networks. Along with Vodafone, Cumulus Networks recently announced early access of Cumulus Linux for Voyager for NYSERNet, Internet2, GRnet and CESNET. Because Voyager solves challenges in metro and long-haul fiber optic transport networks, the collaboration opens up a market for Cumulus outside of just the data center to that of Data Center Interconnect (DCI). More than 1,000 customers, including over a third of the Fortune 50, use Cumulus Networks technology to enable web-scale networking in their data centers.

About Cumulus Networks

Cumulus Networks is leading the transformation of bringing web-scale networking to enterprise cloud. As the only systems solution that fully unlocks the vertical network stacks of the modern data center, Cumulus Linux allows companies of all sizes to affordably build and efficiently operate their networks just like the world’s largest data centers. By allowing operators to use standard hardware components, Cumulus Networks offers unprecedented operational speed and agility, at the industry’s most competitive cost. Cumulus Networks has received venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Peter Wagner and four of the original VMware founders.

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