Alcatel-Lucent boosts edge router speeds to 1TB

Alcatel-Lucent is boosting the performance of several models of its service router and carrier Ethernet lines, promising a 10-fold increase in throughput from the previous generation that will be able to go up to Terabit speeds.

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It’s doing it through a new chipset for network processing and traffic management dubbed the FP2, which comes on the new IOM3-XP input/output adaptor that slots into the chassis of the company’s 7750 SR (service router) and 7450 ESS (Ethernet service switch) families.

With models that can accept 10 of the adaptors, providers can get speeds of up to 1 Tb per second to handle demanding applications such as IPTV, WebTV, virtual private networks and broadband, the company said, as well as handle new management services it is about to release.

“There is no other platform, from an individual chip company or from a routing and switch company, that can do 100 Gig per second with high [management] features,” Basil Alwin, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s IP division and carrier business group strategy, said Thursday.

The announcement was part of a number of upcoming product improvements which the company says owners of 7750 and 7450 need to handle increased video and broadband demands on their networks.

“It’s a pretty good leap for them,” said Jeff Ogle, senior analyst for carrier products at Current Analysis of Sterling, Va.

“It really helps drive your per port cost down for your existing customers,” he said. “The other things is the speed upgrade puts them into the Terabit router category, which brings them a little more head to head with Cisco (Systems) in a lot of applications.”

While providers that focus on delivering voice and data services may wait to buy the new products, those delivering video applications may move quicker, he said.

The IOM3-XP module will be available for purchase in the third quarter. No pricing was given.

Alcatel-Lucent says its closest competitors for the 7750 service router are Cisco’s XR1 2000 and Juniper Networks’ M320, while the competition for the 7450 ESS is said to be Cisco’s 7609 and Juniper’s MX960 routers.

The Terabit capability is only available on models that can take 10 IOM3-XP cards. Each IOM3-XP card processes 50Gbps full duplex, or 100Gbps half duplex.

Of the chassis in the Alcatel-Lucent line, that includes the 12-slot 7750 SR-12 and 7750-SR-7 models.

However, other chassis in this line are now able to take the IOM3-XP to boost their speeds up to 500Gbps.

The manufacturer also announced a number of new half-slot MDA-XP daughter cards, two of which plug into each IOM3-XP for connectivity.

There’s a 20-port Gigabit Ethernet card for SFP-Fibre, a 20-port 10/100/1000 Ethernet card for copper, and two- and four-port 20GbE cards for XFP transcievers.

In addition, it said two new services adaptors are coming this year:

— The Application Assurance Integrated Services Adaptor is a half-slot module does deep packet inspection of data, allowing providers to classify and give preferential treatment to application. It will fit into the 7750 SR, 7710SR and 7450 ESS chassis.

–The IPSec adaptor for the 7750 family lets providers add high scale IPSec for customers needing extra security from remote sites or on site-to-site transactions that need extra encryption.

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