News Release

Earthlink Deploys Cisco 400G Digital Coherent Optics in EMEAR with Converged IP and Optical Long-Haul Network

Cisco Press Release

News Summary:

  • Earthlink takes first step towards Routed Optical Networking with Cisco 400G Digital Coherent Optics (DCO) to meet growing demand on its national long-haul network.
  • Earthlink is the first service provider to leverage Cisco DCO optics while lowering the bit-rate for ultra-long-haul restoration scenarios.
  • Cisco software including its System Virtualization and Orchestration Platform and Evolved Programmable Network Manager provides increased automation and centralized network management.

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 4, 2021 Cisco announced today Earthlink has upgraded its national long-haul network using Cisco 400G Digital Coherent Optics (DCO). For investment protection, Earthlink is leveraging its existing Flex Spectrum CDC-based DWDM network to upgrade to 400G, enabling the provider to scale well into the future with increased capacity and more efficient use of wavelengths. The new Earthlink network will also provide increased programmability and automation.

Included in the network expansion is the Cisco NCS 2006 with 1.2 Tbps muxponders and 400G DCO optical transceivers. The new Earthlink network has the ability to self-heal in the event of a fiber cut using Spectrum Switched Optical Networks (SSON) restoration capabilities. Now, an optical circuit can be associated with a specific spectrum containing one or multiple carriers instead of a single lambda.

Earthlink is also the first provider to leverage Cisco DCO optics at 400G in EMEAR while lowering the bit-rate if needed for ultra-long-haul restoration scenarios. Both the muxponder and the DCO optics enhance the overall fiber capacity from aggregation to core, as well as core-to-core connectivity. The Cisco ASR9000 routers are deployed in the aggregation networks with 400G connected to the NCS 5508 core routers also deployed with Cisco 400G DCO optics.

The software deployment for the Earthlink network is enabling virtualization and automation using Cisco’s System Virtualization and Orchestration (SVO) platform along with the Evolved Programmable Network Manager (EPNM). The Cisco EPNM provides centralized control and network management. Earthlink is also engaged with Cisco’s Customer Experience (CX) team to perform the network migration and configuration, as well as the deployment of the new components.

“We have been facing increasing traffic volume, now doubling every two years. With Cisco we have been able to expand capacity at the core, aggregation, and access areas of our network.” said Sarmad Ahmed, CEO of Earthlink. “With this network upgrade we can now meet more capacity at both the IP and optical layers.”

“We are thrilled to be helping Earthlink take the first step toward a Routed Optical Network, expanding to 400G DCO optics and continuing IP and Optical convergence with automation and virtualization capabilities,” said Reem Asaad, Vice President Middle East, and Africa, at Cisco. “Moving forward, the 400G technology with Cisco routers and Cisco DCO optics will provide better investment protection, wavelength utilization, and scalability Earthlink’s long-haul national network.”

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