Quarry Mines Another Product
Quarry Technologies Inc., which makes IP service switches, will announce a smaller version of its iQ8000 on Monday. The new product, cleverly named the iQ4000, offers the same functionality, packet forwarding, and subscriber capacity of its big brother at almost half the size and cost.
So what’s the catch? The iQ4000 isn’t fully redundant, which helps keep the size and cost down, but also makes it more vulnerable to failures, something large carriers can’t afford.
Like the iQ8000, the iQ4000 handles 128,000 subscribers. But because it is half the size of the iQ8000 service providers can use it to pack twice as much capacity into the same space. Nine iQ4000s fit into one standard seven-foot telcom rack, which means that it can handle about 1 million subscribers per rack, the company says. This compares with the iQ8000, which fits four units in a rack for 512,000 subscribers. In contrast, Nortel Networks Corp.’s (NYSE/Toronto: NT) Shasta5000 offers 128,000 subscribers per rack.
The iQ4000 is geared toward smaller carriers, who want to offer IP services like virtual private networking, but can’t afford the redundancy of bigger boxes like the iQ8000. Quarry isn’t alone in its plan to shrink its larger box to a more compact form factor for smaller carriers. Last week CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN) announced its IPSX 3500 Service Processing Switch (see CoSine Introduces Services Switch). Ellacoya Networks Inc. has already started shipping its smaller box. And Net.com Inc. announced two sizes of products (small and large) when it launched its products this week (see Net.com Screams to Be Heard).
“Part of this trend is just a natural product progression as companies try to address a wider range of customers,” says Ron Westfall, an analyst with Current Analysis. “But there is also the reality that carriers are scaling back on capital spending. Things have changed a lot over the last year. You could say some of these companies are eating a bit of humble pie.”
The iQ8000 is currently in beta trials and will ship to customers in June, and the iQ4000 will ship in July.
-- Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com