Optical/IP Networks

Sycamore Stuck on Signaling Standard

Things aren't going well for Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR) and its efforts to breathe new life into its proposal for a key signaling standard for optical networks (see Sycamore Faces "Moment of Truth").

So far, only seven vendors have committed to interoperability trials of equipment implementing the proposal, which has already been rejected by the large vendors and carriers who hold the most sway over standards development.

The Optical Domain Service Interconnect (ODSI) coalition, an industry forum founded by Sycamore, has now delayed the trials a month, until December 4, in an effort to encourage greater participation. The idea of a deadline for committing to the trial has also been scrapped.

Sycamore won't disclose the identity of the seven vendors that have signed up for the trials, although it's obviously one of them. The secrecy suggests that the rest are not big players and may even be vendors in which Sycamore has an interest.

Sycamore is also trying to do an end run around the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), the industry forum that rejected the ODSI's signaling spec. It's bypassing the OIF and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and submitting the spec directly to the T1 X1 committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Some vendors see this as an act of desperation. The IETF moves at a much faster pace than ANSI and is viewed as a more important standards maker on Internet issues.

-- Peter Heywood, international editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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