CALIENT Technologies, Inc. has announced two new optical circuit switch subsystems that allow data center, telecom or media networking vendors to integrate optical circuit switching into their routing and switching systems.

The new subsystems are based on CALIENT’s proven 320-port S320 Optical Circuit Switch that uses the company’s patented 3D MEMS optical switching technology. The subsystems will give cloud data centers, enterprises and service providers the ability to buy the technology tightly integrated with packet switching and optical transport systems from a single vendor.

Data centers and service providers use optical circuit switches in their networks to provide very low latency, high-speed overlay transport networks for persistent traffic flows. 

In data centers, for example, optical circuit switching offloads persistent flows such as data backups, virtual machine migrations and Hadoop cluster traffic from packet switches to pure physical-layer optical connections for better performance and lower cost. In carrier networks, optical switches are an integral part of colorless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) remote optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM) network solutions.

CALIENT has several successful deployments of the S320 into cloud data center and service provider networks where its small size, ultra-low 45W power consumption, and unlimited scalability are enabling new breakthroughs in reducing network costs and improving efficiency.

The new subsystems include the MSM-320, a 320x320-port pure optical switch with complete protocol independence and bandwidth scalability to 400 Gbit/s and beyond. This low-power module includes the 3D MEMS switching core, mirror driver circuitry and a redundant Linux-based control processor. The control processor manages all system functions including switching and real-time insertion loss optimization.

The second OEM subsystem announced today is the OMM-320, a 320-port optical power-monitoring module that uses scanning mirror technology to monitor power levels on up to 320 optical fibers. The OMM provides feedback to the MSM control processor to dynamically adjust mirrors on all 320 connections to minimize optical insertion loss. Alternatively, the OMM-320 can be deployed in other optical networking applications where low-cost, high-port-count power measurements are required.

The subsystems can be easily integrated with element and network management solutions from OEM vendors via standard APIs including TL1 and SNMP. An OpenFlow API is also available for software-defined networking (SDN) applications. The subsystems can be used separately or together as a complete optical circuit-switching platform.