BelWü Completes Transponder-less IP Network Upgrade to 10 Gbps with Menara Networks’ OTN System in a XFP

DALLAS & SUTTGART/ULM, Germany--BelWü, the Research and Education network of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, and Menara Networks, an optical Ethernet transport system specialist, successfully completed an in-service network upgrade over existing DWDM infrastructure of BelWü IP backbone network to 10 Gbps.

“Baden-Württemberg Extended LAN" scientific network (BelWü), the Research and Education network funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg connecting more than 32 universities and universities of applied sciences, universities of cooperative education and other colleges, scientific institutions, hospitals, libraries and more than 1500 schools in southwestern Germany, successfully completed its IP core network upgrade to 10 Gbps based on Menara Networks award winning OTN System in an XFP module. The upgrade consisted of populating Cisco GSR 12000 series routers with Menara’s OTN XFPs and connecting the routers over a wide area network utilizing the existing optical infrastructure. Menara’s 100% MSA compliant XFP transceivers transparently mapped the native 10 GE LAN PHY signal from the Cisco GSR 12000 series router into an ITU-T G.709 compliant OTN frame and performed all necessary forward error correction and OAM processing, thus avoiding the deployment of costly DWDM transponders. No modifications to the Cisco 12000 series routers or the existing optical physical network were required for the upgrade. BelWü also deployed Menara’s “Link Checker” feature, which allows BelWü to continuously monitor channel Forward Error Correction margin statistics in real-time via the Cisco IOS CLI interface for assured network high availability and SLA compliance.

“Menara’s OTN system in XFP modules allowed us to seamlessly upgrade our IP backbone to 10 Gbps without having to deploy and maintain DWDM transponders,” noted Prof Dr. Hans Peter Grossmann, Director of the Communication and Information Center at Ulm University and head of BelWü Technical Committee. “Our network connects several state-of-the-art super computing and HPC facilities and we have very stringent performance and availability requirements. Having OTN based Forward Error Correction capabilities and BER monitoring in real-time is just as crucial to our operations as the significant savings from this architecture; a first among European research networks. This upgrade is part of our on-going efforts to maintain a cutting-edge, high performance research network in the state of Baden-Württemberg.”

“We are pleased to have collaborated with BelWü on this important milestone,” said Sri Nathan, Vice President of Business Development of Menara Networks. “This latest deployment of our OTN system in an XFP further demonstrates the viability and efficiency of our solution and underlies its disruptive economics through the elimination of the costly DWDM transponder systems that plague the network. We are also proud to have helped BelWü towards attaining its goal of a greener network by reducing the DWDM optoelectronics power consumption by 75% with out OTN XFP.” For more information, please contact Menara Networks.

About BelWü

The Regional Research Network BelWü (Baden Württemberg's extended LAN) is a pooling of the region's universities and research centres to include more distant DP installations using rapid data-communication equipment. BelWü currently links together over 330,000 computers for around 2,000 participants. Around 280,000 of these computers are at universities; others are for students and schools. The initial set-up was in 1986, and was developed into a high-speed data network from 1996. For more information visit

About Menara Networks

Menara Networks develops innovative products and solutions that greatly simplify today's layered optical transport networks. Leveraging the company's proprietary high speed ICs and its extensive expertise in optical networking and system design, Menara products provide optical networks with superior performance and improved service velocity while reducing network elements and overall network cost. Menara's MSA-compliant transceivers with integrated ITU-T G.709 OTN enable OEM customers to seamlessly and rapidly unlock the potential of their platforms by offering unique opportunities for expanded addressable markets and faster revenues. The Company is funded by Sigma Partners, Spark Capital, Concept Ventures, and Applied Materials venture capital arm. Menara is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit