& cplSiteName &

Cisco Joins Sonet SAN Club

Light Reading
NFOEC News Analysis
Light Reading

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the latest metro optical networking vendor to make a play for the storage networking market.

Cisco has introduced a four-port SL-Series card for its ONS 15454 platform, with each port able to carry 1- or 2-Gbit/s Fibre Channel. The idea is that service providers or enterprise customers can add a blade and upgrade the software in any installed ONS 15454 to handle native Fibre Channel to extend a storage-area network (SAN) over an existing Sonet/SDH network.

The move doesn’t come as a huge surprise, seeing as just about every metro optical networking vendor is moving -- or has already moved -- into the SAN extension area. Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) just paid $45 million to purchase privately held Akara Corp., which markets SAN extension gear designed for the Sonet/SDH market (see Ciena Plunks Down $45M for Akara). Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) also recently introduced SAN extension features to its Sonet/SDH gear. It’s been known that both Cisco and Nortel were moving in this direction since the beginning of the year (see Nortel Pipes SANs Into Sonet and SANs See Sonet).

Moves by the likes of Ciena, Nortel, and Cisco show that SAN extension may have become a table-stakes feature in metro-networking gear, especially as telecom carriers develop a growing interest in storage services.

Scott Messenger, director of product marketing for Cisco, says carriers and enterprises are interested in adding the capabilities because 2-Gig Fibre Channel connections can provide greater capacity and allow network operators to integrate Fibre Channel into existing infrastructure without building an overlay network.

"From an optical networking point of view, we’re going to develop interfaces for whatever's coming off of those storage switches," says Messenger.

Analysts view Cisco’s moves as an incremental, but not earth-shattering, upgrade.

”Nobody’s buying too much of anything, but SAN is the most interesting thing out there,” says Sam Greenholtz, a principal with Telecom Pragmatics Inc. “The big news will come when Cisco introduces its next-generation Sonet/SDH system.”

Speaking of a next-generation Sonet system, Cisco officials were mum on any follow-up product to the ONS 15454, but Greenholtz noted that the product line, introduced in 1998, may be starting to show its age, and that Cisco is believed to be developing a next-generation system. He points to recent efforts by competitors such as Nortel and Fujitsu Ltd. (OTC: FJTSY) as putting the pressure on Cisco to come out with a new product.

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, and Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:27:34 PM
re: Cisco Joins Sonet SAN Club
A recent article from a couple of senior engineers from Cisco gives us a pretty clear picture of where Cisco is headed in metro optical networking.

Any new info is welcome...

Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
September 25-27, 2018, Denver, Colorado
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Trump Says Foxconn Will Make iPhones in US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/15/2018
Net Neutrality Moves Are as Futile as Trump's Comb-Over
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/18/2018
Huawei, ZTE Face US Federal Ban
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/15/2018
Analyst: Verizon's Fixed 5G Is a Loss Leader for Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/16/2018
Ericsson Lurches to $1.8B Write-Down
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/16/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed