EXFO, Telescent partner on physical layer network automation diagnostics

Jan. 25, 2023
The partners contend that physical layer automation fortified with diagnostic capabilities transforms network management, enabling seamless and efficient operations.
Telescent Exfo

Telescent, a manufacturer of automated fiber optic cross-connects for data centers, and communications industry test, monitoring and analytics experts EXFO, have announced a new partnership, adding EXFO diagnostic capabilities to Telescent’s Gen 4 Network Topology Manager (G4 NTM), an automated interconnect system that provides accurate and proactive monitoring of network infrastructure, leveraging a remote-controlled, reconfigurable fiber-optic patch-panel.

The firms contend that the combination of EXFO’s remote fiber testing and monitoring capabilities with Telescent’s physical network layer automation platform transforms the way companies manage, operate and maintain metro and long-haul network infrastructure.

Telescent’s robotic patch panel system addresses the requirements for automating fiber management, while EXFO’s remote fiber testing system adds visibility of reconfigured optical circuits -- closing the network automation loop and making diagnostics and proactive management easier than ever before. Telescent’s fiber-based system offers low loss, latched fiber connection that matches manual patch panel performance.

When an add, move or drop is requested, the Telescent robot grabs one end of the fiber and weaves it around the other fibers in the system to the requested port, avoiding any blocking or knotting. This preserves the ability of the system to make any connection request (i.e. non-blocking) while scaling to over 1,000 duplex ports per system.

Test equipment such as power meters, visible and infrared light sources and optical time domain reflectometry can be included with the Telescent system to allow certification and monitoring of any fiber when requested. The Telescent system meets the reliability requirements for data centers and has passed NEBS Level 3 certification as well as multiple customer trials and has over 1 billion port hours in operation.

The new partnership stands to bring future-proof capabilities to new network deployments, while providing revolutionary network upgrade solutions with a software-defined network (SDN) technology that transforms the way companies operate their network infrastructure, as exemplified by Telescent’s recent announcement with MOX Networks in November 2022.

Allen Meeks, COO for MOX Network, asserted:

“As a company that builds, owns, operates and services dark fiber networks for large-scale bandwidth solutions, finding a vendor that streamlines the maintenance and upkeep of our deployments - while future-proofing our network - is of utmost importance. With most long-haul networks largely built 15-20 years ago, the opportunity to deploy Telescent’s platform in our brand new network allows us to reconfigure all of our network infrastructure - on the fly. In addition, with in ground cables getting larger, a platform with a high port count patch panel is crucial. By deploying Telescent along with EXFO OTDRs, we are now able to test and monitor traces and power measurements, marry the information with historical data, and gain near exact visibility into the quality of our network and operations seamlessly and effectively.”

In addition to network operators, data center operators are embracing Telescent’s capabilities by implementing a system of network topology managers to automate physical network configurations in data centers, as highlighted in a Quantum Loophole announcement in October 2022.

Mark Nixon, SVP Adaptive Service Assurance at EXFO, commented:

“Combining EXFO’s market-leading technology solutions with Telescent’s industry-leading automatic connectivity platform empowers network operators to streamline operations with greater efficiency and accuracy for metro and long-haul connectivity. We are committed to transforming the way companies deploy network infrastructure - empowering the future of software-defined network automation - wherever networks are deployed.”

Anthony Kewitsch, CEO of Telescent, remarked:

“With EXFO, Telescent is bringing even more network diagnostic solutions to our customers, further enhancing remote monitoring, management and enabling automatic cross connects to advance the way companies deploy and manage new network routes. It is exciting to be able to work with the best technology developers in the industry to bring the future of software-driven network management to our clients today.”

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