& cplSiteName &

Nortel Pumps a Bigger, Faster Core

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/19/2001

ANAHEIM, Calif. - OFC2001 - Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) today threw its weight behind 40-Gbit/s optical technology in the core of the network, announcing a series of products that will push the next-generation technology.

The announcements are significant for showing Nortel is ready to make an aggressive bet on 40-Gbit/s technology, perhaps even before telecom carriers are ready to deploy it. Nortel's early move into 10-Gbit/s, the last major upgrade of the network, was a key factor in its success in gaining market share, making it the leader in core optical transport technology.

Nortel's announced products, which will be available in the latter half of this year, include:

  • The Optera Connect HDX switch, which has a capacity of switching between 3.84- and 40-Tbit/s of data. The product also supports both 10-Gbit/s and 40-Gbit/s interfaces, which is important for allowing service providers a smooth upgrade (see Nortel Launches Next-Gen Net Solution).

  • The Optera Long Haul 5000 Optical Line System, a DWDM platform designed to carry 160 wavelengths at 40-Gbit/s over 1,000 kilometers without needing electrical regeneration (see Nortel: Top Dog, but for How Long?).

  • A MEMS-based tunable laser for 40-Gbit/s systems, based on the technology it acquired from CoreTek last year (see Nortel Ships 40-Gig MEMS Lasers).

  • The Smart Optical Network, a software solution that will allow service providers to pull bandwidth on demand from the optical core. The software is designed to be embedded inside Nortel switches, automatically configuring optical connections in response to signaling that’s based on emerging standards from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (see Nortel Intros Net Management Suite).

    "It's a bet on 40-gig," says Greg Mumford, president of Nortel's optical Internet division. "Just like how we bet on a 10-Gbit/s [core] when no one else would.

    “When we talk to chief information officers, they say they would gladly trade more bandwidth [at the network’s core] for additional processing [at the edge]."

    The significance here is that Nortel's pushing for greater capacity at the network's core, something you’d think service providers would use when available. The catch, for now, is that the big service providers, Nortel’s bread and butter, are cutting spending and slowing build-outs, as the capital markets seize up and CLECs continue to wither.

    There’s no doubt that Nortel’s long view -- that more and more bandwidth is needed because it's still being consumed as soon as its available -- is still on the mark. However, given the economic slowdown, it’ll be interesting to see whether service providers pick up on Nortel’s 40-Gbit/s vision as quickly as they did when it offered a way to extend voice-based Sonet networks to 10-Gbit/s networks primarily used to shuttle data.

    Harry Bosco, president and CEO of startup OpNext Inc., says that OpNext is selling about a thousand 10-Gbit/s modules a month and he’s not seeing a slowdown there. All the same, he does see what’s coming over the horizon. “Router vendors are the ones driving demand for 40-Gbit/s,” he says. “They want it and they're pushing hard to get it.”

    Other equipment providers agree with Nortel's reasoning, saying that service providers are interested in 40-Gbit/s core gear because the upgrade will help them cut costs. But it may be a year to 18 months before certain issues make a 40-Gbit product launch more feasible.

    "We've got 40-Gbit technology in our labs now, but we're waiting for the right time to fold it into a product," says Thomas C. Mock, Ciena Corp.'s (Nasdaq: CIEN) senior director of transport product management. "There would be a much greater press if there were already specific applications [for that kind of bandwidth] waiting."

    -- Mary Jander, senior editor, and Phil Harvey, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

    (4)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    gladysnight
    gladysnight
    12/4/2012 | 8:42:29 PM
    re: Nortel Pumps a Bigger, Faster Core
    Mary,

    Perhaps you'd like to elucidate on the capacity quoted to "switch from 3.8 to 4.something Terabits per second" ?

    Since the recent so-called "terabit" core router test shows an extremely limited capability to handle even a fraction of this volume, this claim seems more than a little inflated.

    Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that the item in question is able to "cross-connect" the claimed capacity - but this is a far different thing from an active switching fabric.

    While we expect a certain level of hype, marketecture, and vapourware from the vendors, we'd also appreciate some sensible commentary from the pundits like yourself.
    Belzebutt
    Belzebutt
    12/4/2012 | 8:42:29 PM
    re: Nortel Pumps a Bigger, Faster Core
    On Nortel's web site the product is referred to as a "cross-connect" as well as a switch. I don't think there's any confusion as to what the product is:

    http://www.nortelnetworks.com/...


    (...unlike some other almost-defunct company's "optical router" :)
    melao
    melao
    12/4/2012 | 8:37:49 PM
    re: Nortel Pumps a Bigger, Faster Core
    "On Nortel's web site the product is referred to as a "cross-connect" as well as a switch. I don't think there's any confusion as to what the product is:

    http://www.nortelnetworks.com/...


    (...unlike some other almost-defunct company's "optical router" :)"

    I guess the capacity that Nortel is talking about are measured on the bit slots of the digital wave that is passing by the switch.

    What i mean is that, we got several ports at different rates going to the switch card to be switched. So several PRBS ate different rates are coming to the matrix. So the bit slots are different. Well, the lowest switch matrix capacity that the article reported would probably be if this equipment is equiped only with the STM-16/OC-48 cards, and the biggest when it's equiped with the STM-256/OC-768. That's when we have like lot's of PRBS sequencies at the highest rate and smaller bit slots, the switch should be in full capacity switching those bit slots among the different ports.

    The HDX as far as i know is a BIG DXC.
    gladysnight
    gladysnight
    12/4/2012 | 8:36:46 PM
    re: Nortel Pumps a Bigger, Faster Core
    "On Nortel's web site the product is referred to as a "cross-connect" as well as a switch. I don't think there's any confusion as to what the product is:

    http://www.nortelnetworks.com/..."
    -----------------------

    Certainly no confusion here. But I still expect journalists to ask challenging questions, not just reprint ad space.


    "(...unlike some other almost-defunct company's "optical router" :)"

    Touche, my man. Touche.
    Featured Video
    Upcoming Live Events
    October 22, 2019, Los Angeles, CA
    November 5, 2019, London, England
    November 7, 2019, London, UK
    November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
    December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
    December 3, 2019, New York, New York
    March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
    May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events