The move helps simplify the Ethernet services world. Equipment vendors think the different kinds of access -- Ethernet over Sonet/SDH versus Ethernet over T1/E1 lines, for instance -- shouldn't be treated as different services anymore.
"They'll define a service very specific to the access technology. They'll have Ethernet-over-Sonet, and another definition for the Ethernet-over-PDH service, and another for Ethernet-over-fiber and another for Ethernet-over-wavelength," says Ralph Santitoro, a market development director with Fujitsu.
Fujitu's new EtherMapper cards for its Flashwave 9500 deals with all those different access types, packing them into whatever uplink is appropriate. The box still needs different interfaces -- for Sonet as opposed to T1 lines, for instance -- but those types of traffic can all be sent to the same box in the central office.
Fujitsu also introduced a new Gigabit Ethernet card for the Flashwave 4100, allowing the box to serve as a connection-oriented Ethernet device. Both new products got a thumbs-up from Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T). (See Telus Picks Fujitsu.)
Eventually, the HN 6100 will also support cards for Hatteras's first foray into fiber-based Ethernet. How soon? "Not this year," says Vijay Raman, vice president of product line management.
Among those Ethernet types is what Hatteras is calling pseudo-wire plus, or PWE3-plus. It's Hatteras's proprietary way of adding a clock to the Ethernet signal, a key element in doing mobile backhaul.
Other Hatteras announcements this week included the HN600 series, targeting (guess what) mobile backhaul, and the HN500 series, for carrying Ethernet over multiple T1/E1 lines.
That means both will also be available in the BlackDiamond 20804, a pint-sized version of the 20808 unveiled on October 13 and due to ship after December. (See Extreme Adds New Transport Switch.)
The two BlackDiamonds use the same hardware and management system, giving carriers just one architecture that can work at access aggregation points and in the metro core. Other companies can make the same boast, but Extreme officials are quick to point out the supplier that doesn't: "Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) does not have such commonalities with the ASR 9000 and the 7600," says Mark Showalter, Extreme's director of service provider marketing.
The company announced its C300 switches are being used by Fibertech Networks LLC , based in Rochester, N.Y., and Manti Tele Communications, in central Utah. (See Force10 Targets 'Middle Mile'.)
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading