Overture Beefs Up Access
The ISG 6000, launched today, is substantially more dense than the ISG 5000. Overture says the box is capable of supporting hundreds of customers rather than a couple dozen, for instance. (See Overture Intros ISG6000.)
Its focus lies in forwarding multiple traffic types to the metro network in Ethernet form using virtual LANs (VLANs).
Part of the pitch is to reduce the number of devices in carriers' points of presence (POPs). "If you go into these POPs, you see Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3 devices. You're aggregating voice, you're aggregating Ethernet, and you're aggregating IP," says Chip Redden, Overture's vice president of marketing and product management.
Edge routers could be enlisted into these kinds of jobs, but Overture competes more directly with multiservice gear from other access vendors such as Turin Networks Inc. Overture's thesis is that a router is expensive overkill.
"The challenge that these big guys have is that you have to have a channelized card in there, and you're sort of wasting a 10-Gbit/s slot," Redden says.
With this setup, Overture is providing a possible answer to where an Ethernet network should start. Carriers seem to be in agreement that a migration to Ethernet will lower expenses and help create new services, but it's up for debate whether that means the entire network, including older access networks still carrying useful services, has to shift to Ethernet.
So, Overture is pitching the ISG 6000 as the access box that becomes the network's first point of all-Ethernetness, to put it technically.
The ISG 6000 doesn't yet share operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) information with the Sonet network; that's one of the next steps for the box. "If I am handed an alarm from the Sonet side, how do I translate that into something Ethernet can work on?" Redden says.
The company, now eight years old with about 65 employees, has focused most of its sales on North America but has turned its eyes to Europe lately. Among its customers are THUS plc (London: THUS) and -- as was revealed by surprise last week -- Colt Technology Services Group Ltd . (See Sweet Music for Overture.)
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading
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