Cisco Preps Stealth Switch

Cisco appears to be planning an optical switch for release this fall UPDATED 02/22 4:00 PM

February 22, 2002

2 Min Read
Cisco Preps Stealth Switch

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) plans to introduce an optical switch with STS1 grooming this fall, according to a report by Deutsche Banc Alex Brown LLC analyst Raj Srikanth.

"The new product, which Cisco refers to as a multi-service switching platform (MSSP), will be able to switch STS-1s and be capable of data switching as well," Srikanth writes. The analyst's report cites Rob Koslowsky, the director of marketing for Cisco's optical networking group, as the Cisco manager who shared this information during a February 14 breakfast meeting with Srikanth.

"We believe that the product is, or will shortly have to be, in customer trials in order to meet the deadline of late fall general availability. Management indicated the late fall announcement will include customer deployments," Srikanth writes.

Srikanth writes that the new product will be a competitor to the CoreDirector from Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and the nascent OPTera Connect HDX platform from Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

But Light Reading has learned that the switch in question is a single-shelf system with 16 line cards for use in metro network applications. According to a source familiar with the product, the switch will aggregate traffic coming from the large installed base of Cisco's ONS 15454 Sonet add/drop mux.

Srikanth did not return a call seeking comment. Cisco repeatedly declined to comment on its product plans. And Koslowsky, through a spokesperson, refused to comment on his meeting with Srikanth.

Though Cisco hasn't publicly announced the product, a little more than a year ago, it told Light Reading that the switch was being developed in San Jose by Cisco engineers under the code name “The Manhattan Project” and that its official product name will be the ONS 15232 (see Cisco Preps New Optical Switch ).

Back then, Cisco denied that there was any trouble with its core optical switch, a product it cancelled a few weeks later (see Cisco Kills Monterey Router).

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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