Cyan Inc. (Nasdaq: CYNI) is making a bid for the "webscale" datacenter market with the announcement of the N-Series, a 100 Gbit/s optical networking product line that is built on an open architecture, combining commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) silicon and photonic components with a modified Linux operating system.
It's a bold move for Cyan. It's going to be making an optical networking system in the style of a Software Defined Networking (SDN) "white box," in which the software elements and an open operating system (OS) can run on commodity hardware. This gives customers more flexibility. Most networking systems in the optical market are still integrated with proprietary OSs and run on purpose-built chips.
The N11, the first product in its N-Series, will deliver a total of 8 100G ports for 800 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) of optical capacity in one rack unit (RU). When the products are stacked in a rack, Cyan says it can deliver as much as 34 terabits per second (Tbit/s) in a seven-foot rack. It's scheduled to have trial customers by the second quarter of 2015 and will ship in Q3 2015.
The product is targeted at the Data Center Interconnect (DCI) market, where large content providers and social networking companies need large amounts of capacity to connect hyperscale datacenters together. Companies such as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) have been pushing the limits of scale and openness.
Infonetics indicates that 100G metro optical is the fastest growing segment of the optical market.
Petaluma, Calif.-based Cyan is also responding to its Northern California rival, Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN), which in December introduced its own 100G optical networking product for the DCI market, the CloudXpress. Infinera's stock price has jumped about 40% since introducing the product, indicating investor excitement for the cloud DCI market.