Iris Group Shuffles Executives
Metera Networks, an access and metro systems maker, will announced that Michael Zadikian, who serves as chairman at all the Iris Group companies, is going to take the helm as CEO. Zadikian's installment in the top office concludes a search that's been going on for months and produced about 10 serious candidates, the company says.
Zadikian will relinquish his role as CEO at Iris Labs, the network management software firm, and William Szeto, former CTO at Monterey Networks, will assume that responsibility. Also, Zareh Baghdasarian, who acted as CEO of Metera, will become chief operating officer and vice president of engineering at Coree Networks.
In addition, Mark G. Frederick, a former sales VP at Zhone Technologies Inc., has been hired as vice president of sales at Metera Networks.
The Iris Group companies, though run independently, are embracing a common network vision -- dubbed the Optical Data Network Hierarchy (ODNH) -- and common network management software, Zadikian says. By doing this he hopes his companies will avoid the problems large companies face when they try to unite disparate technologies that have come from several mergers. He also sees the Iris Group's approach as better than that of small companies whose single product solutions aren't united with a sophisticated network software platform.
"All of us have experience those things in the past, and we saw the opportunity to do things right," he says.
Zadikian's own experience comes from Monterey Networks, which was purchased by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), then disbanded as Cisco cancelled as its Wavelength Router product line. Under ODNH, there's no need for giant crossconnects in the core that use "complex restoration schemes and convert wavelengths from one color to another," says Zadikian.
"There are too many moving parts in those giant optical crossconnects for them to be readily accepted into the network."
The Iris Group's approach is to use optical channel concatenation, which combines the capacity of 16 optical channels, or wavelengths, operating at 10 Gbit/s, into a single high-speed pipe of up to 160 Gbit/s. This process forms what Zadikian calls a "Superchannel."
The core stays dumb and fast, under ODNH, and the network intelligence remains at the network's edge. And with wavelengths handled in large groups, or as Superchannels, "you have fewer of them and you can manage them better," Zadikian says.
"Who really is in a better position to tell the world that managed complex protocols are not going to scale than us? We pioneered that, and we never intended some features to work on systems that big."
The sales plan, according to Zadikian, is to have each company sell its individual gear on its own merits -- with the hope that carriers will grow to appreciate that various pieces of the ODNH, which work with other vendors' equipment, will work better when running together.
At Supercomm 2001, Latus Lightworks will be showing off its optical backbone system; Metera Networks will demonstrate its Optical Service Line Access Multiplexer and its Optical Service Line Terminator; and Iris Labs will show how the ODNH software architecture works.
- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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