Cyan Blue Planet (now part of Ciena) provides carrier-grade software-defined networking (SDN) and a network functions virtualization (NFV) orchestration platform created specifically for network operators and the WAN.
Blue Planet disaggregates software from hardware, allowing software to control network management, service orchestration, and control. A scalable multi-layer SDN system with open APIs, Blue Planet also enables quick service deployment and application development in a multi-vendor network environment. Blue Planet allows for network virtualization and management across several network layers.
Cyan launched in 2006 with a focus on building optical networking gear for telco providers and was acquired by Ciena in 2015. Despite success selling hardware, Cyan noticed movement in SDN, and shifted its business model to focus more on software, leading to the creation of Blue Planet. Controller software that provides the ability to work with switches and underlying gear from any vendor, Blue Planet also offers APIs that enable the gear and applications sitting above the Cyan controller software to communicate with the networking hardware. Most providers offer a northbound API that lets the switch talk to the applications, but Blue Planet has both northbound and southbound APIs, allowing applications to communicate with the switches, and vice versa.
Cyan Blue Planet Features
As the first purpose-built SDN platform made for service providers, Blue Planet simplifies development, deployment, and orchestration of scalable network-based services. It also offers the below features:
- Includes a family of applications for making end-to-end service deployment easier, including Planet Orchestrate, Planet Operate, Planet View, Planet Inventory and Planet Design
- Heightens service flexibility and service velocity while limiting network complexity
- Lower OpEx and CapEx through software-driven network control
- Programmable architecture supports open northbound and southbound APIs that enable interaction and integration with third party software systems and network elements
While many SDN products and services focus on the data center, Blue Planet targets Cyan customers. Blue Planet can still be used in the data center, but its main market is customers that have already purchased Cyan’s optical networking gear.
In October 2014, Cyan announced Blue Planet WAN orchestration will work with some members of the Cisco ASR and Juniper MX lines of routers. Earlier in the year, it announced it would extend the Blue Planet orchestration into NFV.