Cable Tech

Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has a new multiservice access product making the rounds, a pizza-box-shaped Sonet add/drop multiplexer that is designed to allow carriers to offer more data services off of their Sonet rings.

While the product's name, the ONS 15310, is known, the technical specifics are still closely under wraps at Cisco. Looking at its number and product family, though, sheds some light on where Cisco's going here.

The smallest thing in Cisco's Sonet access line is the ONS 15327, which measures three rack units (RUs) high (one RU is 1.75 inches), 19 inches wide, and 12 inches deep. What it needs is a piece of customer-located equipment -- a 1RU box that supports a mix of TDM and packet services over Sonet transport -- in order to complete the line. Such a box is the ONS 15310, our sources say, and it includes a mix of private-line and Ethernet ports (see Standardizing Ethernet Services).

Cisco has two pizza-box access platforms in the ONS 15300 family already -- the ONS 15305 and the ONS 15302 -- but both are SDH boxes aimed at markets outside North America (see Cisco Peps Up Its Sonet Muxes).

Table 1: Cisco's Sonet Arsenal
Vendor Access CLE MSPP MSTP MSSP Core STS1/VC4 Switch
Cisco ONS 15302/ONS 15305 (SDH), ONS 15327 (Sonet) ONS 15327, 15454 MSTP 15454 ONS 15600 ONS 15600, Metro-optimized
Source: Heavy Reading

Cisco won't discuss its unannounced products. But the company was eager to point out some key trends in the ONS 15300 product family, as well as the Sonet access space as a whole.

"Over time we will see more and more data functionality added to those [ONS 15300 Series] platforms," says Rajiv Ramaswami, VP and general manager of Cisco's optical networking group.

"On the [ONS 15]454, we not only have mapping-type services" -- i.e., Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme, or LCAS, used for mapping of Ethernet traffic to Sonet/SDH -- "but we also do what I would call Layer 2 Ethernet services by using statistical multiplexing… And you'll see the same thing happen on the edge as well.

"You're going to see the boxes remain fairly small but with a trend towards incorporating more data services with perhaps even some storage services.

"In the access market generally we are trying to do two things. Focus on cost reduction -- get cheaper and cheaper -- with more and more integration. Over time, you're going to see a lot more integration of data features."

Ramaswami won't comment on whether those new data features will show up as new products, new linecards, or both.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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Toad680 12/5/2012 | 1:54:11 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access Any clues as to if this is being deployed, or is it still in field trials?

Also, anyone know whose silicon they're using?

eyesright 12/5/2012 | 1:54:08 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access ...or do they have something against Ford small blocks?
konafella 12/5/2012 | 1:53:56 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access Well, they could stick with the GM thing and call it a 15307 - didn't pontiac run the standard GM 305 engine with a minor stroke varition to get 2 extra cu in back in the 70s?

truelight 12/5/2012 | 1:53:48 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access Hey LR lets get original here. This is CISCO copying other products from other players such as Turin and Larscomm and I think other's.

The Turin Traverse product has all these features and capabilities and has been deploying Ethernet Aggregation and private line over data centric VCAT/LCAS blah blah over SONET/SDH well ahead of CISCO family for quite some time. They showed the 1 RU product at Supercomm last year.

Larscomm another player has a 1 RU pizza box product with both TDM and Ethernet and sounds once agian identical to what CISCO is claiming.

Perhaps CISCO has an OEM agreement with one of them ? What give with the Cisco folks ran out of new ideas ?
Toad680 12/5/2012 | 1:53:41 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access I can assure that CSCO doesn't have an OEM relationship with Larscom, or Larscom wouldn't have sold themselves today to Verilink for a relatively modest premium.

Larscom is using Transwitch's OC-3 mapper (Ethermap-3, which encorporates GPF, VCAT and LCAS), which I believe is also being used by Cisco in their 15310. This would seem so to mark a shift for Cisco from their arbitrary concatenation approach. Cisco is also developing a line card for their 15454.

I'm not so familiar with Turin's product offering. If you have any thoughts, I'd appreciate them.

In any case, Cisco has cleary developed its own products here and aren't reselling those of others.
truelight 12/5/2012 | 1:53:29 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access Perhaps not an oem.

Toad680 12/5/2012 | 1:53:27 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access I doubt that's the case. The larscom Orion 7400 was the first 1RU (Rack Unit) high multiservice platform to support GFP, VCAT and LCAS. The product began shipping post initial field trials about 4 months ago.

the development of the 15310 has probably taken a year and a half or more between the following stages.

Product definition (commit cycle): 3-6 mo
Hardware: 2 -4 mo
Software (firmware/ EMS/ application): 6 -12 mo
Testing 3 G 6 mo.

to the extent that Larscom is smaller and more nimble and their future was riding on the development of this new product, it's not surprising to see them beat Cisco to market.

But all things considered, Cisco seems to be quite early to this market. And with their installed base, look positioned to do quite well.
OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 1:53:25 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access Larscom?
Let's be serious. They were in such deep yogurt, they had to sell to Verilink.
They were a very small player anyhow...
Toad680 12/5/2012 | 1:53:15 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access I agree. They wouldn't have sold many multiplexers unless they had partnered or sold themselves.

I thought Lucent might be interested because they just began selling a Larscom (the 6000) product into an RBOC deployment.

But I doubt they would have been interested in the IADs and LU has its own EoS initiative with the DMX platform.
Toad680 12/5/2012 | 1:52:31 AM
re: Cisco Sweetens Sonet Access I saw you post elsewhere about Polaris. Have you heard anything?

Last word I heard was that they has three field trials ongoing. Two relatively small players, but one large. I'd heard that they were wroking with AT&T some time ago, so I suppose AT&T could have come back. But the latest rumors I've heard seem to indicate that the current large player is Sprint.

Any thoughts?
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