Sorrento Gets ROADM-Like
Sorrento, which counts itself a ROADM supplier, isn't saying the OET is going to compete with full-sized, 40-channel ROADMs. But it claims that for smaller cases, where only a handful of wavelengths need switching, its 10-Gigabit Optical Ethernet Transport (OET) card is a viable alternative. (See Sorrento Does Optical Ethernet.)
The goal, Sorrento says, is to let carriers set up point-to-point Gigabit Ethernet services more quickly. Most providers are keen to save money by not setting up Ethernet connections unless they're needed, but increasingly tough competition means that when those connections come into demand, they have to be created fast.
So, Sorrento reasons, why not apply Ethernet aggregation to the task? OET cards, situated on Sorrentos GigaMux transport systems, can send one 10-Gbit/s Ethernet wavelength around a network ring. Then, Gigabit Ethernet connections can be switched on and off to whatever nodes are appropriate, and they can be aggregated into that 10-Gbit/s wavelength.
Yes, a ROADM could do the same kind of thing, albeit at the optical layer rather than Layer 2 -- but the OET is targeting situations where just a handful of these connections are needed. Most ROADMs aren't built for that small of a scale that some providers need, says Jim Nevelle, Sorrento's CEO.
One exception would be Nistica , whose Fledge 3 is a ROADM carrying only eight wavelengths. Nistica has gotten some affirmation in the form of a Finisar partnership and a recent round of funding. (See Finisar Moves Into ROADMs and Nistica's Early Xmas.)
Sorrento isn't talking out loud about plans to make the OET compete with bigger ROADMs. What might be more interesting to the company, Nevelle says, is the integration of other protocols such as the Optical Transport Network (OTN).
Sorrento spun itself back out of Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE), its one-time acquirer, about a year ago. (See Zhone Sheds Old Nortel, Sorrento Gear.)
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading