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Polaris Announces Metro Switch

Combines multiservice edge switch with optical switch

June 25, 2001

3 Min Read

Polaris Networks, a new developer of next-generation optical transport switches, announces its entry into the optical metro core market with a breakthrough transport-switch architecture. The Polaris solution helps service providers to bridge the metro and long-haul networks with an economically sensitive and revenue-enhancing approach that gracefully migrates today's (OEO) networks to tomorrow's all-optical (OOO) networks.

Polaris' optical network architecture, known as iMON* (intelligent Multiservice Optical Network) achieves the next level of network simplicity and scalability by consolidating switching (TDM, cell, and packet) and transport (SONET, Gig-E and DWDM) onto a single, GMPLS-based intelligent network platform.

Uniquely, Polaris' architecture uses a programmable hybrid switch fabric that allows carriers to "customize" their respective infrastructures with software-based features that can dynamically adjust their protocol mix to carry multiple types of traffic on a single physical line. Polaris' approach effectively creates a "software-programmable" network that offers service providers the competitive agility to rapidly and dynamically provision a wide range of services, regardless of legacy limitations of their existing metro core networks.

"Our vision is to advance network simplification and enhance service delivery by integrating transport and switching within an architecture that has a "protocol-intelligent" network interface, said Ray Kao, CEO and CTO of Polaris Networks. "This allows service providers to intelligently groom bandwidth, customize their infrastructure to any protocol mix, and quickly scale across the bit-rate continuum."

"Simplifying today's metro core networks while enhancing network intelligence is certainly a move in the right direction," stated Todd Wilkens, McLeodUSA Senior Executive of Network Engineering. "I am encouraged by Polaris' emphasis on providing carriers with the flexibility to adjust network infrastructures efficiently and rapidly to meet changing volumes and types of traffic. This approach offers a significant potential advantage to service providers like McLeodUSA in today's competitive marketplace."

iMON encompasses a flexible migration strategy, whereby service providers can evolve their current infrastructures using modular in-service upgrades. Polaris' iMON architecture is designed to create a network system with distributed intelligence, enabling dynamic network growth in response to real-time traffic volume rather than pre-configured operational boundaries. Using the Polaris architecture, service providers can gracefully scale to multi-Terabit capacities while providing highly granular bandwidth grooming from STS-N down to the VT 1.5 level.

Furthermore, Polaris's solution enables cost-effective and performance-tuned network reliability through the implementation of dynamic ring and advanced mesh topologies, which are critical to network restoration and performance. Polaris' patent-pending multi-layer restoration technologies ensure fault tolerance not only at the line level, but also at the individual logical connections level.

"Polaris Networks is led by an experienced team from carrier-class software, hardware and service provider companies," continued Kao. "Our market-proven engineering competence has Polaris solidly on track to deliver an architecture that will accelerate time-to-revenue for service providers. Carriers using legacy network systems will be able to look to Polaris for a seamless and efficient migration path from OEO to an all optical network. The iMON architecture is both a bold step in streamlining carrier networks and a practical approach for carrier implementation."

Polaris Networks is currently in lab testing and plans to initiate customer trials in Q4 2001.

Polaris Networks

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