Light Reading

RAD Has a Radical Ethernet Module

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

RAD Data Communications Ltd. is coming to Ethernet Expo this week with a device that adds Carrier Ethernet demarcation powers to just about any type of system.

Announced just before Halloween, the MiNID would be a great way to infect the world's networks and spread Carrier Ethernet like the zombie plague.

Strangely, RAD didn't word it like that....

Still, the device's potential was enough to land it on the shortlist for Best New Product (Telecom) in Light Reading's Leading Lights awards for 2012 -- the winners for which are being announced Wednesday night, by the way. (See RAD Targets Small Cells With Ethernet Demarc SFP and 2012 Leading Lights Finalists: Best Product (Telecom).)

The MiNID is a 1Gbit/s SFP module, "SFP" being the small-form pluggable interface format that's common to a lot of networking gear. It could slot into base stations or Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Catalyst switches, to give two examples, says Yacov Cazes, RAD's director of business development.

One reason operators might want to do this is for control, as a demarcation device can provide service monitoring or SLA verification. The MiNID could also be a way to monitor Layer 2 performance when traffic goes through a router, Cazes suggests.

Even so, the MiNID isn't intended to replace the network interface devices (NIDs) provided by the likes of Accedian Networks Inc. or Omnitron Systems Technology Inc. -- or RAD, for that matter. To fully replace those devices, the MiNID would need to add traffic management, Cazes says.

RAD isn't manufacturing optical modules on its own. To create a MiNID, RAD attaches its Carrier Ethernet-capable device to any SFP. That way, RAD doesn't need to provide MiNIDs for a variety of ranges and fiber types. In addition, it can work with gear, such as Cisco's, that runs a compatibility check on optics. (See Gray-Market Optics Get a Brand Name.)

The MiNID is due to start shipping in the first quarter of 2013.

RAD will be talking more about the MiNID at Ethernet Expo, which runs Nov. 6 through Nov. 8 in New York City. (See Ethernet Expo Is Still On!)

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:07 PM
re: RAD Has a Radical Ethernet Module

We actually got all this info before the Accedian announcement came out, because RAD had entered the Leading Lights and had to explain the product to us for consideration.  But I'll admit the Accedian entry snuck by me.  I'll have to check it out, and the OE/Aim one too. Thanks.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:07 PM
re: RAD Has a Radical Ethernet Module

I read the web pages and data sheets from all three vendors. It is pretty clear the RAD device is fundamentally different from both Aim Valley and Accedian’s. Unlike either of them, RAD also provides service demarcation, along with OAM and remote management. Also, it's sleeve mechanism means it can work with any SFP. From what I hear, the Accedian device is not shipping yet either.

User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:07 PM
re: RAD Has a Radical Ethernet Module

Interesting to see that much media around this, as this is in fact the 3rd "NID-on-an-SFP" to be announced to market.  The first was by OE Solutions/Aim Valley back in February of this year, and then the second one was by Accedian Networks about a month ago.  What's even more strange is the fact that RAD says theirs actually won't be available until Q1-2013 while OE's and Accedian's are actually available and shipping today...

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