MSPPizza to Go at Cisco

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the latest company to offer a pizza-box version of the multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP), having rolled out a $7,500 box as part of its optical product announcements yesterday (see Cisco Expands Its Optical Portfolio).

It's been a trend in optical transport this year: companies creating a customer-premises version of the MSPP (see Luminous Thinks Small, ECI Merges WDM With MSPP, Marconi Scales Down Its Edge, RBN Launches Multiservice Platform, and Transmode Branches Out). Cisco's price isn't quite as low as the sub-$7,000 level some are discussing, but the concept is the same.

The MSPP's job is to pack various traffic types onto Sonet connections. Equipment vendors have begun pushing this function closer to the network edge, offering to aggregate traffic onto Sonet pipes at the customer premises in order to make things run more smoothly in the carrier network. "It saves core traffic because it's already been aggregated," says Scott Messenger, director of product marketing for Cisco's optical networking division.

Cisco's entry in this "micro-MSPP" category -- as Heavy Reading analyst Scott Clavenna calls it -- is the ONS 15310-CL, a customer-premises box that represents a pint-sized variation on the flagship ONS 15454. Among the box's primary uses is to groom DS1 traffic -- up to 21 DS1s and three DS3s -- onto an OC3 or OC12 Sonet pipe.

Companies such as Luminous Networks Inc. are targeting their MSPPs at Ethernet environments, but Cisco is keeping Ethernet optional, with an expansion slot to add eight ports of 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet. "It's for customers who are not sure if they want to switch to Ethernet before putting it onto Sonet," Messenger says. The tradeoff is that the version of the box with the expansion slot costs extra, at $10,000.

That Cisco would keep Ethernet separate makes sense, considering most MSPPs -- Cisco's included -- come from a Sonet heritage rather than an Ethernet one, according to the Heavy Reading report, "Multiservice Provisioning Platforms: Empowering the Metro Edge" (see Heavy Reading Spotlights MSPP Split ). Cisco's addition of the Ethernet expansion slot is a nod to the carriers that are adding Ethernet data to the stream of traffic being packed into Sonet.

Along the same lines, Cisco is updating the 15305 and the smaller 15302 edge boxes for the SDH market. Cisco's other announcements included a new crossconnect and added features for the ONS 15600.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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Truelight1 12/5/2012 | 1:04:24 AM
re: MSPPizza to Go at Cisco Copying all the optical startups with pizza boxes ?
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