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Optical/IP

Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet

Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) today announced plans to beef up its gigabit Ethernet platform in an attempt to gain a piece of the emerging metropolitan Ethernet services market. The telecommunications equipment maker will market its Passport 8600 with gigabit Ethernet interfaces, targeting carrier networks. The switch will be equipped with a new 128-Gbit/s backplane.

Observers note, however, that Nortel is still playing catchup to many of the leading Ethernet switching competitors, who entered the market for metropolitan gigabit Ethernet switches some time ago. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), and Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) have been pushing "Ethernet Everywhere" strategies for some months. Extreme launched an Ethernet strategy targeted at metropolitan networks about a year ago.

The stakes are rising as it's become evident, especially this week, that carriers have acknowledged the importance of gigabit Ethernet services in metropolitan markets. Just yesterday, large service providers Broadwing Communications Inc. (NYSE: BRW) and Quest Communications detailed initiatives for high-bandwidth services based on gigabit Ethernet equipment, ahead of Nortel’s plans (see Qwest, Broadwing Go Gigabit Ethernet).

These carriers have watched startups like Cogent Communications Inc., Telseon Inc., and Yipes Communications Inc. offer gigabit Ethernet services over fiber in the metro and close round after round of funding, seemingly unhampered by the current capital market conditions. Officials from both Broadwing and Qwest agree that highspeed MAN/WAN services will eventually come together across optical Ethernet connections.

Eric Ross, president of Internet telephony solutions at Nortel, told Light Reading, “The minute one [carrier] jumps on Ethernet, the others will jump. The telcos are not going to sit back and watch that happen.”

Nortel of course, does not believe it is late to this market. Peter Evans, VP of marketing for the company’s local Internet, service provider, and carrier group said, “Demand for gigabit Ethernet services in the metro is really just beginning to take off; the capacity requirement has not been there until now.” He said one of the biggest drivers today is connecting storage area networks to metropolitan networks, as well as enterprise outsourcing and hosting services.

Nortel aims to use its dominant position in the optical market to tap into the demand for gigabit Ethernet services. Its Passport 8600 routing switch will ship early in the first quarter of 2002.

However, according to David Newman, president of Network Test Inc. , Nortel’s products are no match for what’s already out on the market. Cisco's Catalyst 6509 enterprise switch offers a 256-Gbit/s backplane, while Nortel today announced a service provider switch with a 128-Gbit/s backplane. “They have a good position in management, but they don’t have the feeds and speeds to match," says Newman.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch
http://www.lightreading.com
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skeptic 12/4/2012 | 8:27:28 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet
The first part of the article says its a 256Gbit/s
backplane for nortel. Later, in a negative comment it says nortel is doing 128Gbits/s in
its backplane.




===================================
The telecommunications equipment maker will market its Passport 8600 with gigabit Ethernet interfaces, targeting carrier networks. The switch will be equipped with a new 256-Gbit/s backplane.
------------------------------------------------
However, according to David Newman, president of Network Test Inc. , NortelGÇÖs products are no match for whatGÇÖs already out on the market. Cisco's Catalyst 6308 enterprise switch offers a 256-Gbit/s backplane, while Nortel's announcement today offers 128-Gbit/s throughputs. GÇ£They have a good position in management, but they donGÇÖt have the feeds and speeds to match," says Newman.
----------------------------------------------


kephill 12/4/2012 | 8:27:26 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet They didn't read the press release which says:

"The optical Ethernet products are now installed in 12 urban networks and being tested in another 45 networks."

They forgot to mention NT has the only 10GB ethernet switch on the market - also they have a 10GB ethernet network installed with Utfors. Nobody else does.
rcj_98 12/4/2012 | 8:27:26 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet Today it's a 128GiG backplane. In 2002 it will be 256Gig.
rcj_98 12/4/2012 | 8:27:25 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet I hate to tell you this but Nortel DOES NOT have the only 10Gig ethernet switch. In fact Nortel is probably the last telecom vendor to announce 10 GIG ethernet switch. In fact the existing 8600 is not 10 GIG E ready. That's the reason for the new 8600 arch.
metroshark 12/4/2012 | 8:27:25 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet Good point. I am not sure what Catalyst 6308 is,
is this a typo for Catalyst 6509?

Backplane bandwidth can be inflated using different schemes that can count the bits multiple times, therefore it is not a good indicator of the box throughput. I don't think the 6509 can actually forward 256Gb/s traffic.
kephill 12/4/2012 | 8:27:25 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet Failure to mention material facts about Nortel and optical ethernet seems like yellow journalism.
They do have the first 10GB optical ethernet switch. They do have optical ethernet solution deployed on many networks. There is a good case, in fact, for their claiming the lead.
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 8:27:24 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet "They forgot to mention NT has the only 10GB ethernet switch on the market - also they have a 10GB ethernet network installed with Utfors. Nobody else does."

Are you sure that's a 10 GigE network _deployed_ right now? Or are they just talking about existing 8600 customers, using GigE?

kephill 12/4/2012 | 8:27:22 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet Yes, I am absolutely sure that Nortel has 10 GB ethernet deployed with Utfors and has for some time now. If somebody else claims to have 10GB ethernet deployed, please tell me who it is because I have seen nothing to that effect. The NT Press Release plainly states they have the first 10 GB ethernet switch.
guesswho 12/4/2012 | 8:27:20 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet I just received a good offer from Marconi's optical group. The offer looks good but I'm concerned about MONI's ability to transform itself successfully from a UK defense electronics company to an optical equipco in North America just when this sector is struggling. Particularly, I'm concerned that their portfolio of products can't compete with NT's over the long term.
Friends at NT tell me that MONI's sales/marketing folks are very weak, as are its products - but am not sure if that's reality or not.

I know things aren't great at NT, but is now the time for a company to try to enter a new market (North America)? I know they stole a large BT deal from Nortel earlier this year.

Comments?
kephill 12/4/2012 | 8:27:19 PM
re: Nortel Pushes Optical Ethernet NT announcement of Utfors 10 GB ethernet was over one year ago on 3/22/2000. Here is the link:

http://www.nortelnetworks.com/...
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