Ciena Environment for Network Innovation (CENI) Software Defined Switchinf (SDX) - ON-083

Preferred Disciplines: Masters/PHD System Architecture/Software/Computer/Electrical Engineering 
Company: Ciena 
Project Length: Flexible
Desired start date: June 1, 2017 
Location: Ottawa/Ontario
No. of Positions: Multiple. Masters : up to 3 per year
Preferences: Ontario & Quebec. Language: English

About the Company: 

Ciena Corporation, the network specialist, offers leading network infrastructure solutions, intelligent software and a comprehensive services practice. Ciena leverages deep expertise in packet and optical networking and distributed software automation to deliver solutions in alignment with OPn, Ciena’s approach for building next-generation networks that are programmable, scalable and that can automatically adapt to handle the changes created by cloud/data center migration, mobile broadband and the surging demand for high-bandwidth 100+ Gbps applications and services. The company’s solutions form the foundation of many of the largest, most reliable and sophisticated service provider, enterprise, government, and research and education networks across the globe.

Project Description:

Ciena’s CTO External Research Program has built an international testbed network connecting its Ottawa R&D facility to researchers in the United States and Europe. Through 2014 this Testbed was used for software defined networking (SDN) switching experiments and demonstrations.  This project, called the Ciena Enviroment for Network Innovation (CENI), adds virtual cloud and compute resources to allow experiments in Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and protocoals needed for distrubuted virtual infrastructures. This project is to investigate Software Defined switching exchanges (SDX). 

Research Objectives:

Research and create SDX solutions to based on a virtual environment for Ciena advanced technology demonstrations of dynamic network control and selected NFV’s.

Apply Ciena Blue Planet tools to explore SDX in CENI.

CENI is based on American National Science Foundation ExoGENI hardware but adapted to Ciena software. This is the 3rd year of a multi-year project in which we advance network architectures for high capacity, high performance research networks where capacity flows are at 100Gbps and beyond. We expect to learn how topology descriptions based on script performance can handle very specific operations on the network elements. These network elements are capable of handling Layers 0-1-2 and three layers of the OSI stack. This will help us explore next generation software defined infrastructures for different types of applications.


The specific methods are fairly simple in principle and they are hands-on. The expected candidate will learn and understand the network element to be handled by the scripts, learn and understand the overall scenario and use provided software tools to alter the architecture or services from the network. Different SW languages are available but some are specific to our product platform of Blue Planet and Interns will have the opportunity to learn these. Based on understanding these scripts, the Intern will explore ways to orchestrate fluid (changing) services and use Ciena tools to analyze the topology and performance of the new services. As mentioned, this will be done on real machine with a real testbed and with real applications creating new network services from 1 GE to 100GE each on a multi-layer, intercontinental environment deployed over multiple sites. A potential outcome may include demonstrations at public events, for example Super Computer SC17 conferences, or internal Ciena R&D events.

Expertise and Skills Needed:

    Any of the following skills would be useful :

    • Solid knowledge of software design patterns
    • Adaptation of existing code and architectures (open or proprietary)
    • Open Daylight or similar SDN controller
    • Layer 0 through 2+ networking
    • Database programming techniques (SQL & || NOSQL)
    • Datapath/Control Plane algorithms
    • Network management protocols
    • ava and Python
    • Eclipse, Maven, GIT
    • Experience in writing multithreaded applications
    • Knowledge of Ciena's networking technologies, 5410/5430/6500/Carrier Ethernet

    For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

    1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
    2. Complete this webform. You will be asked to upload your CV. Remember to indicate the title of the project(s) you are interested in and obtain your professor’s approval to proceed!
    3. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Jesse Vincent-Herscovici, jvh(a)