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Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion

Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) says things are getting crowded in central offices. And it's got new next-generation Sonet gear to cut down on box buildup.

Nortel today announced the OPTera Metro Connect, which bridges the gap between its OPTera Metro 3500 Multiservice Platform and its OPTera Connect DX optical switch. Nortel's also enhanced the 3500 with DS1 connectivity cards that it claims should help carriers feed into the new box to create more efficient metro networks (see Nortel Intros Next-Gen Sonet).

"We saw a hole for 2.5-Gbit/s to 140-Gbit/s capacity in next-generation Sonet platforms," says Joe Padgett, director of product marketing at Nortel.

While the OPTera 3500 helps consolidate, manage, and add new interfaces to Sonet traffic below 2.5 Gbit/s of capacity, and the Connect DX handles 100 Gbit/s to 140 Gbit/s, something in between was needed, Padgett says.

Enter the Metro Connect, which does most of what the DX does, including grooming VT1.5 and STS1 Sonet channels and subchannels, but offers capacity between 10 Gbit/s and 140 Gbit/s.

The fact that Nortel has introduced an intermediary product does give some cause for head-scratching. Indeed, some sources say Nortel may be signaling that some of its existing metro gear -- including the DX -- may be a tad too big for today's market.

Whatever the case, analysts say Nortel's now on target with the sizing. "Carriers want smaller-scale Optical Crossconnects to help them avoid stacking more next-gen Sonet boxes," says Sterling Perrin of IDC

Perrin says the popularity of next-generation Sonet gear like the 3500 has led to box buildup in carrier facilities. That, as well as an ongoing need to replace cumbersome Sonet ADMs, has encouraged carriers to look at gear that provides a bit more bandwidth than what they initially expected in next-gen equipment.

Apparently, though, carriers aren't looking to big crossconnects just yet. Instead, they're looking for interim solutions that help save the cost of moving to a bigger system like the DX before it's really warranted.

To avoid big upgrades, Perrin says, service providers are reaching for gear such as the CoreDirector CI from Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) to address the need for midrange crossconnects. According to IDC, the attraction of the CI is that it fills a midrange slot for carriers that want a smaller version of Ciena's MetroDirector K2. The CI goes to just 160 Gbit/s, instead of the 480 Gbit/s ceiling on the K2.

Neither Nortel nor Ciena seems ready to say their big crossconnects may be too big for some metro applications. Ciena says it's not seeing a noticeable uptick in sales of the CI (even though it's also not seeing any reduction in sales). Ciena says it prefers to peddle the MetroDirector K2, not the CoreDirector CI, in comparison with any of Nortel's OPTera Metro series.

For its part, Nortel may have built a lever into the Metro Connect that ensures the DX won't be kicked aside. As a next-generation Sonet box, the OPTera Metro Connect is supposed to feature interfaces to emerging services (see BigBand Shaping HDTV). But it's lacking 10-Gbit/s Ethernet connectivity, and there's no date as to when that might be added. Right now, the OPTera Metro Connect supports Sonet links to 10 Gbit/s but only 1-Gbit/s Ethernet ones.

Clearly, Nortel doesn't see an immediate need for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet in a smaller crossconnect. The vendor appears to think that by the time customers are ready for the increased capacity of the DX, the need for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet will have emerged.

Nortel will be showing its new gear at Supercomm 2002.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.comFor more information on Supercomm 2002, please visit: Supercomm Special
rickaty 12/4/2012 | 10:20:04 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion When I read about the Metro Connect product it appears to be the DX with one or more 3500s bolted up to the front of it to give it more than just optical interfaces. This article talks like it is somehow "new hardware". To me, It just looks like two products bundled up to appear as one. Anybody want to confirm ?
FISH 12/4/2012 | 10:20:03 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion Too bad NT, I feel it's too little too late.

On a positive note, thanks for lunch today, NT.
"I cashed in 5 NT stocks for a BIG MAC, Fries and a Coke." (Supersize was one more NT stock)

umustbejokin 12/4/2012 | 10:20:01 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion The Nortel press release itself says that it "leverages technology from OPTera Metro 3500 Multiservice Platform and OPTera Connect DX optical switch to provide a proven, next generation SONET solution."

I don't see why this would make this somehow less valuable as a solution than something entirely new built from the ground up. The Passport 15K VSS after all is just a PP7K & a PP15K in the same rack, interconnected appropriately, but it makes it much easier for customers to use a packaged, blessed and proven solution than to roll their own taking one from column A and one from column B.
The bottom line is everyone (with any sense) does marketing, bundling, and packaging. I don't understand why everything Nortel releases get reflexively slagged as nothing new.

Perhaps LR readers can really get worked up over the paragraph that states:

"OPTera Connect DX is the only regional cross connect that integrates the metro network with the long haul backbone, and is the most widely deployed 10 Gbps optical switch in the world with over 5,000 deployments and 100 customers."

Put that in your pipe and suck on it.

The actual press release:

May 28, 2002
Nortel Networks Redefines Metro Network Economics With OPTera Metro Connect

Next Gen SONET Solution Designed to Reduce Costs, Improve Services Time-to-Market

OTTAWA, Ontario ? Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSX: NT] introduced OPTera* Metro Connect, a next generation SONET solution that is expected to enable service providers to drive significant expense reductions and increased speed of new services delivery.
"Nortel Networks is committed to redefining the economics of metropolitan networks," said Marco Pagani, president, Metro Optical, Nortel Networks. "With the introduction of OPTera Metro Connect, Nortel Networks is addressing a very real challenge for network operators ? rapid growth of central offices and inter-office facilities ? by delivering a fundamentally simple solution for driving low capital and operational costs."

Nortel Networks OPTera Metro Connect leverages technology from OPTera Metro 3500 Multiservice Platform and OPTera Connect DX optical switch to provide a proven, next generation SONET solution. This solution is designed to improve on others available in the industry by positioning service providers to save up to: 50 percent on operational expenses; 45 percent on capital costs; 40 percent on power consumption; 60 percent on floor space; and 30 percent on intra-office fiber use according to Nortel Networks estimates.

"The next generation SONET market is poised to take off by delivering a simpler solution that allows service providers to fully leverage their existing infrastructure and evolve their networks," said Brian Van Steen, senior analyst, Point East Research. "Next generation SONET will also enable these service providers to dramatically reduce their ongoing operational expenditures. Nortel Networks, a leader in next generation SONET solutions, is delivering products that can build these next generation networks."

OPTera Metro Connect is currently available in several configurations, providing scalable STS traffic management from 30 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) to n x 140 Gbps per bay at VT1.5 granularity and with 2.5 Gbps increments.

OPTera Metro Connect is designed for cross connect and service termination applications at central offices. It addresses the requirements of medium density central offices, where it operates as a single head end node for multiple rings running various speeds (OC-3, OC-12, OC-48, OC-192) and various types of traffic (DS1, DS3, EC-1/STS-1).

OPTera Metro Connect is optimized for delivery of metro broadband services, including Optical Ethernet, to enterprises. It supports Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) technology, which enables native rate data interfaces such as 10/100 Base-T, 100 Base-FX and Gigabit Ethernet while ensuring efficient use of bandwidth.

Nortel Networks OPTera Connect DX optical switch enables service providers and carriers to dramatically increase network capacity, provide flexible services, improve connection and network management capabilities, and significantly enhance network reliability. OPTera Connect DX is the only regional cross connect that integrates the metro network with the long haul backbone, and is the most widely deployed 10 Gbps optical switch in the world with over 5,000 deployments and 100 customers.

OPTera Metro 3500 is a forecast-tolerant, DWDM capable, multi-rate scalable multiservice platform. It offers the highest bandwidth management flexibility in the industry, and sets a new benchmark in cost-efficient delivery of voice, video and data traffic in the metropolitan area.

Nortel Networks next generation SONET solutions include a portfolio of products that cost-effectively address each customer segment. This includes OPTera Metro 3400 and 3500 Multiservice Platforms, and OPTera Metro Connect with integrated optical switching. These products work seamlessly with OPTera Metro 3000 DS1 Service Module, as well as OPTera Metro 1200. Nortel Networks will demonstrate these products and capabilities at SUPERCOMM 2002, June 4-6, in Atlanta.
Regular Joe 12/4/2012 | 10:19:59 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion ...OPTera Metro 3500 Multiservice Platform and its OPTera Connect DX in the same rack. New product or just the same old Nortel marketing?

Are we trying to stimulate our stock with a "new product" press release or just fooling ourselves?

I'm not buying this (or buying this!) but I wonder what Nortels other 99 customers of this "most widely deployed 10G switch" have to say. Chime in at any time, but please include in your comments where you each managed to fit 50 DXs in your network...

Come on folks, lets reduce the hype! Wait a minute, if we could just get Nortel to broadcast some of this marcom hype over all that "glut" of bandwidth we all have in our long-haul networks maybe we could reverse the slope on our DS3 per route mile pricing!
melao 12/4/2012 | 10:19:58 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion You know why DX is probably the widest deployed Optical Switch in the market. It is just because DX replaced TN-64X/OC-192 ADMs. I mean, DX is most of the times deployed with the basic ADM configuration. That-¦s why.
Can only interconnect 2 protected 10G rings or 4 unportected. It is just an ADM with little bigger capacity and more interfaces.

"...OPTera Metro 3500 Multiservice Platform and its OPTera Connect DX in the same rack. New product or just the same old Nortel marketing?

Are we trying to stimulate our stock with a "new product" press release or just fooling ourselves?

I'm not buying this (or buying this!) but I wonder what Nortels other 99 customers of this "most widely deployed 10G switch" have to say. Chime in at any time, but please include in your comments where you each managed to fit 50 DXs in your network...

Come on folks, lets reduce the hype! Wait a minute, if we could just get Nortel to broadcast some of this marcom hype over all that "glut" of bandwidth we all have in our long-haul networks maybe we could reverse the slope on our DS3 per route mile pricing!"
johnjohn 12/4/2012 | 10:19:57 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion Lucent killed a similar product (smaller version of the BandWidth Manager) at around the same time they acquired Chromatis (eventually killed as well). The point is, how much market demand is out there for a product like this?
rafaelg 12/4/2012 | 10:19:53 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion You are right jj. I remember talks of such, way back in WS BWM days...

I find it interesting that news of reviving the old SONET/SDH/ATM projects that were set aside for the "better optical" ones is surfacing now...

techdocs 12/4/2012 | 10:18:06 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion Could be as early as this quarter, if they DOUBLE THE DILUTION of the 800 Million (now worth about 600 Million) convertibile/stock offering. As the WSJ pointed out today, investors are not going to go to the well this time for Nortel. The present management under Frank Dunn is the JOKE of the industry. Too Little Too Late, Nortel is HISTORY.
zweisel 12/4/2012 | 10:18:05 PM
re: Nortel Targets Next-Gen Congestion techdocs, you must be the profit that everyone is looking for in this industry.nortel is going through some very rough times as are all of the major carriers. even alcatel is paring down its optical components business. the banks have too much to lose if nortel goes belly up and the carriers have huge investments in nortel equipment and will not let them go under either. they will survive albeit much leaner. the stock price alone simply does not mean bankruptcy, they still have close to $7B in cash available.
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