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CALIENT Technologies and Packetcounter to Partner on New 40 Gbps Data Center Networking Solution
[March 11, 2014]

CALIENT Technologies and Packetcounter to Partner on New 40 Gbps Data Center Networking Solution

SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)--

CALIENT Technologies, Inc., the global leader for Optical Circuit Switching (OCS) technology, and Packetcounter Inc., a new Silicon Valley networking startup, today announced a partnership to deliver a hybrid packet-optical data center network architecture that will allow data center operators to deploy 40 Gbps network capacity at up to seven-times lower cost than current packet-based solutions.

The companies will present the new architecture at the OFC 2014 Exhibition, taking place March 11-13, 2014, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The solution consists of a new hybrid packet-circuit controller currently in development by Packetcounter, together with CALIENT's flagship S320 Optical Circuit Switch. Not only does this new approach offload traffic from packet-based networks very efficiently and cost effectively, it also offers ultra-low path latency of less than 50ns.

How the Solution Works

The new Packetcounter OCS Controller monitors network traffic between racks in a data center cluster. If a rack is sending a significant amount of traffic to another rack, the controller creates a physical optical circuit from the sender rack through the CALIENT S320 Optical Circuit Switch to the receiver rack, and modifies the routing tables in the sender top-of-rack switch to route traffic over the dedicated circuit.

This is done reactively and transparently so that the servers are unaffected by the change, yet are able to take full advantage of the increased network capacity. Network traffic is not disrupted during the changeover because routes using old circuits are removed before taking down the old circuits, and new circuits are setup before new routes are added.

"We're very excited about our partnership with Packetcounter," said Daniel Tardent, CALIENT's Vice President of Marketing. "The hybrid packet-optical network offers huge economic advantages for data centers but until now it has only been realistic to deploy for the very largest cloud data centers with significant internal development capabilities. The new Packetcounter OCS Controller will support new 'out-of-box' solutions that will allow these economic advantages to be enjoyed by a much larger range of data centers."

"The Packetcounter founders have dedicated a number of years to demonstrating the benefits of hybrid packet-optical networks in research projects," said Nathan Farrington, CEO of Packetcounter. "The explosion of 40 Gbps traffic in data centers was the signal to us that the market is ready for a commercial solution. CALIENT has the highest port-count optical circuit switch in the data center industry so choosing to partner with them was a clear win-win for both companies."

CALIENT's S320 Optical Circuit Switch is shipping in volume today. The Packetcounter OCS Controller is planned to be available for proof of concept deployments in Q2 2014.

The combined CALIENT-Packetcounter solution will be presented in booth 302 at OFC (March 11-13, 2014, in San Francisco, Calif.). OFC is the largest global conference and exposition for optical communications and networking professionals. For more information, visit

About CALIENT Technologies

CALIENT Technologies is the global leader in pure photonic Optical Circuit Switching with systems that enable dynamic optical layer optimization in next generation datacenters and software defined networks. CALIENT's 3D MEMS switches allow data center operators to cost-effectively deploy 40 Gbps services at up to seven-times lower cost than conventional packet-based solutions. The company designs and fabricates its systems using state of the art MEMS equipment in its own fabrication facility located at its corporate headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. For more information, visit us at, on Twitter and LinkedIn or contact us at

About Packetcounter

Packetcounter, Inc. is a computer network software company founded by two researchers from Amin Vahdat's team from UC San Diego who pioneered the field of optically circuit-switched (OCS) data center networks. Packetcounter's OCS controller provides the missing control plane needed by data center operators wishing to offload traffic from more expensive "big iron" packet switches onto low-cost and low-power OCS switches. The company is located in Cupertino, California. For more information, contact us at

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