What Zeugma Isn't

5:00 PM -- One difficulty with the newly announced ZSN from Zeugma Systems Inc. is that it arrives as a blank slate. The edge router packs computing punch to generate services and policies -- but its real power lies in letting carriers quickly deploy services that haven't been invented yet. (See Zeugma Rethinks Edge Routing.)

That all sounds exciting, but it leaves the box without a hard-stamped identity right now. Zeugma can tell you a few things the ZSN isn't, though.

  • Deep packet inspection: It didn't take long for someone to make that connection. Leaving aside the problems or merits of DPI, Zeugma wants the world to know the ZSN isn't a copycat DPI appliance -- it's got a lot more throughput, potentially in the hundreds of Gbit/s, while DPI boxes on the market are just getting into double digits.

  • Tiered services: Zeugma doesn't want the ZSN to be used on plain old gold/silver/bronze kinds of prioritization. That approach "leaves a lot of money on the table, because a lot of that bandwidth goes unused," CEO Andrew Harries says.

  • B-RAS: The ZSN could be considered a kind of broadband remote access server, but it's different from the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) 10000, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) ERX, or Redback Networks Inc. SmartEdge in one key way: It's new. Other B-RASs are, well... older. This comparison isn't likely to come up much; we include it here for amusement purposes, mainly.

    What the ZSN really is is going to depend on what carriers and software providers can make of it. In a sense, Zeugma's case gets more robust as the third-party software market strengthens.

    Like any startup, it could turn out to be a big ball o' nothing, but Zeugma will at least add to the conversation that Cisco, Juniper, Redback, and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) have going.

    Separately: We'll have Zeugma's Startup Spotlight posted soon.

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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