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Ocular Announces First Product

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/19/2001

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- OFC2001 -- Startup Ocular Networks Inc., which recently raised $30 million in funding, says it holds the key to solving a fundamental problem in bandwidth services -- the provisioning of a T1 line (see Ocular Gets $30M in Second Round).

Today the company announced its first product, the OSX 6000. At first glance, it looks like many of the other switches in the crowded multiservice provisioning market. Such switches can aggregate wide ranges of traffic, including traffic forms such as TDM, IP, and ATM. But Ocular claims its OSX can handle all these formats with a single switch fabric that will simplify the provisioning process for service providers (see Ocular Sees a Single Fabric), enabling carriers to more quickly offer T1 (1.5 Mbit/s) circuits to customers.

How? The product operates as a crossconnect that can groom traffic at the T1 level. Ocular says the OSX 6000 takes advantage of its single fabric to pack thousands of T1s into a single telco shelf. This makes it ideal for deployments closer to end-users, where circuits can be provisioned much more quickly.

How does Ocular compare to competitors? The OSX 6000 can handle over 9000 V 1.5s (this is the equivalent of a T1) in a single shelf, says Doug Green, Ocular's vice president of marketing. Compare this to Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), whose edge switches each handle 672 T1 circuits, and Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) (through the acquisition of Cyras, supposed to have the densest product on the market), which supports 1344 T1 connections. On the data side, the OSX in its first release handles 64 Gbit/s of capacity. This is in sharp contrast to Cisco’s 15454, which only handles about 1.5 Gbit/s per switch module.

By going after existing competitors with a higher-density product, Ocular has a shot at the market, say some analysts.

“CLECs are still finding T1 provisioning a large and very profitable part of their business,” says Scott Clavenna, president of PointEast Research LLC and director of research for Light Reading. "At the same time they are definitely trying to keep costs down, which means reducing space for equipment so they can save on leasing space in colocation facilities and reducing power consumption.”

Although it’s theoretically true that a Redback or a Ciena box could rival the IP switching capacity of the OSX 6000 if all the module slots were filled with switching fabrics, using slots for fabrics would waste valuable ports that could provide service to customers.

But Clavenna adds that Ocular -- along with several other startups like Appian Communications and Coriolis Networks Inc., which are also going after the edge market -- faces one shortcoming. The young startups lack the depth in product offerings that carriers seek. Competitors like Ciena and Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR), which can offer metro area network gear along with core switching solutions, have the upper hand.

The company claims that it is currently in trials with one interexchange carrier, a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), and a cable concern. Full production shipments should begin in the first half of this year.

-- Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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tbroadband
tbroadband
12/4/2012 | 8:42:33 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
The combination of data and TDM functionality in a single platform definately has promise, however being able to deliver this over a single fabric arch. (i.e. reduced carrier cost) definately will set this company apart in a rather crowded space. Now its a matter of execution... how does the management team look?
hauteroute
hauteroute
12/4/2012 | 8:42:27 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
1RU and 9000 T1's! Come on ...it just don't fit...must be a typo??
mrand
mrand
12/4/2012 | 8:42:25 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
Just go to their web site and see for yourself.

The OSX 6000 is much much larger than 1 RU.
Their OSX 1000 isn't even 1 RU - it is 2.

Their VP of marketing was just blowing smoke. How sad. And it's even more sad that a few mouse clicks would have enabled Ms Reardon to check out the product herself. When writing an "analysis", I'd figure that is the least a technical writer could do.
fk
fk
12/4/2012 | 8:42:25 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
They are basically saying they can groom slightly less than two OC-192s worth of VT 1.5s, not that they can actually provide access in the one RU. Obviously, connectors alone at the T1 level would consume an awful lot more space than one RU. I question whether the density they claim is actually useful or an advantage, given the wiring requirements such a box entails. Imagine wiring 9000 T1s to a single rack. What a nightmare. It seems to me that it would be better to distribute the access with smaller, cheaper boxes located closer to the customers (requiring less T1 wiring) and aggregating the T1s onto fiber.

Even so, I think that focusing a company on T1 provisioning at this stage of the game is a bit like looking astern for navigational guidance. I don't see big growth potential in that market; it's already mature. As time goes on, service providers will supplant T1 for data with other cheaper, better suited for data technologies. Not to mention the fact that T1 is a pretty thin pipe, one that doesn't cut it for more and more business customers. And where do you go from T1? Inverse muxing a couple of T1s? That's pricey BW.

I don't see this as a long term strategy for a startup, unless one is simply seeking to develop a product and get bought by a Lucent, Nortel, Alcatel or what have you. The obsolescence horizon seems a bit short to me.
dpgreen
dpgreen
12/4/2012 | 8:42:22 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
For those of you who have observed some unbelievable specs on the OSX 6000 in this article, you are correct. The product supports thousands of VT1.5s, not physical T1s, and it is per shelf, not per rack unit. I have sent a request to the editorial staff at Light Reading to make the corrections. In defense of Maggie, we did the interview over the phone the day that she was leaving for vacation.

One more observation. The product is still incredible. Drop by the booth at OFC and see for yourself.

Signed, the marketing guy who was just blowing smoke.
dpgreen
dpgreen
12/4/2012 | 8:42:22 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
For those of you who have observed some unbelievable specs on the OSX 6000 in this article, you are correct. The product supports thousands of VT1.5s, not physical T1s, and it is per shelf, not per rack unit. I have sent a request to the editorial staff at Light Reading to make the corrections. In defense of Maggie, we did the interview over the phone the day that she was leaving for vacation.

One more observation. The product is still incredible. Drop by the booth at OFC and see for yourself.

Signed, the marketing guy who was just blowing smoke.
dlharding
dlharding
12/4/2012 | 8:41:53 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
How much did you have to pay for the coverage and the quote or were they seperate deals? Not sure why having a Lightreading reporter quote their fellow employee makes your company look any more valid.
coolhand
coolhand
12/4/2012 | 8:41:38 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
dlharding,

Axe to grind? Sounds like it.

coolhand
dlharding
dlharding
12/4/2012 | 8:41:32 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
Just wondering why the practice of analysts quoting for companies is not questioned especially given the frequency that this person shows up in stories. Is there a business relationship already in existance? Is this guy doing work for the company? Does the analyst or the company that they work for have a financial interest in the firm either in stock, business or payments in equity? It would help the market to better understand the position of analysts both on the industry and financial side. In talking to companies at OFC, many of them stated that the analysts have contributed to the mess by hyping, cheerleading and overstating the markets'and particular companies' potential. Components Markets Growing from $4 billion to 24 billion in three years? Networking growing to some astronomical figure in that time? Is anyone willing to hold them accountable for such bullsh-t? Now of course, if the vendors would stop quoting figures or market shares or even companies/analysts that they privately admit are not credible...that would help as well.


It's about disclosure.....
krisman
krisman
12/4/2012 | 8:41:25 PM
re: Ocular Announces First Product
Would a "God-box" with data and TDM actually be successful in service provider networks. I think most service providers are either TDM experts or data experts but not both. Therefore I think a box which supports every protocol on earth is more complex to manage.

Krisman
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