Such comments were clearly planted to sow doubt with service provider decision-makers about the leading-edge capabilities of the Cerent platform.
I aggressively documented the facts against this falsehood, among many other misleading charges posed by Nortel, and reported, “No, Nortel’s assertion is false. Cerent can download a new software load from its Cerent Management System (CMS) to any Cerent 454 network element over a contiguous connected optical network or across any TCP/IP network directly to a Cerent 454 of the operator’s choosing. From there, the new software load propagates itself to all of the other Cerent 454 network elements. Then, when the customer is ready, the new software load is activated and runs the newly upgrade optical transport network. All of this activity may be done while the system is in-service and without dispatching maintenance personnel to each and every site housing Cerent 454s .”
This memory was recently triggered when I read a story in Bloomberg-BusinessWeek’s technology section. Craig Venter, the entrepreneur who first decoded human DNA, talked about his need for speed and desire for the latest gadgets. The Tesla Model S fit the bill for his need for fast driving and the use of cool technology. The article addressed the importance of ease of maintenance when dealing with new technology, “When the car suffers from glitches, like the time its 17-inch touch-screen panel died, nobody had to come to [Craig’s] La Jolla, California home to repair it. ‘While I slept that night, a software engineer logged on to the car, found the problem, and fixed it,’ Venter says. ‘I mean, it changes everything about transportation. It’s a computer on wheels.’”
 The Cerent Transport Controller (CTC), later the Cisco Transport Controller, was the software located on the Timing and Control Card (TCC). The role of the TCC was to store the older CTC software version as the protect CTC version, and the newer CTC software release as the working version. In terms of size, a typical software load occupied about 100 Mb. Once a Cerent 454 network elements has received the latest version of software, network topology discovery can begin. CTC polls each node in the Cerent 454 network (this later included Cerent 327s and other Cisco-related optical products) to determine which one contains the most recent version of the CTC software. If CTC discovers a node in the network that has an earlier version of the CTC software than the version currently running, CTC generates a message stating that an older version of the CTC has been found in the network and offers to install the CTC software upgrade. Once all of the latest CTC software has been downloaded to all of the TCCs in the network, a restart is invoked to reboot the software loads: this is a non-service-affecting event.