Nortel extends optical Ethernet offerings

At the Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) conference this week, Nortel Networks Corp. extended its optical Ethernet offerings to include Ethernet private line and VPN service provisioning capabilities.

Ethernet private line services are targeted at large enterprises needing to dedicate bandwidth between two locations for applications like business continuity and disaster recovery, data center access, and multimedia collaboration. Nortel claims Ethernet private line and VPN services can reduce costs up to 40 percent over equivalent TDM private line services and ATM services at OC-3 rates and above, respectively.

Citing data from market researcher IDC, Nortel says the global carrier market for Internet access over metro Ethernet services will grow from US$5.1 billion in 2003 to $26.5 billion in 2006.

To tap that growth, Nortel unveiled the following Ethernet private line software and hardware enhancements across its optical Ethernet product line:

— Gigabit Ethernet private line interface modules for OPTera Metro 5000, OPTera Metro 4000, and OPTera Metro 3000 platforms that support Generic Framing Procedure (GFP). GFP was devised as a way to offer more bandwidth-efficient ways of packing Ethernet traffic into a SONET/SDH transport network. These modules also support GFP Fibre Channel, allowing both Ethernet private line and Storage over SONET/SDH services to be offered using a single module and sharing the same infrastructure, Nortel says.

— A 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet private line module on OPTera Metro 3000 that interoperates with an existing Ethernet Private Line service on OPTera Metro 4000.

— Ethernet software enhancements to the OPTera Metro 4000 series designed to simplifying provisioning, increase scalability, and enhance quality-of-service (QoS) support.

Ethernet VPN enhancements include software for the OPTera Metro 3000 that supports a fourfold increase in the number of customers per node; integrates multilink trunking for improved resiliency and throughput; and provides guaranteed bandwidth to each customer.

The enhancements also include software for the OPTera Metro 1000 series of Ethernet service modules that support virtual point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and any-to-any service options; the ability to monitor transmission delay; traffic management capabilities; and QoS.

Also, Nortel is now shipping the OPTera Metro 1400, a third member of the OPTera Metro 1000 line that provides 12 ports of 10/100M bit/sec and two ports of Gigabit Ethernet for connecting customers. OPTera Metro 1400 may be used to extend the OPTera Metro 3000 backbone or independently to provide Ethernet VPN services.

Nortel also enhanced its network management software to support optical Ethernet services. Nortel’s OPTera Planner and Data Planner network planning tools now enable service providers to design of metro and long-haul optical Ethernet and Resilient Packet Ring networks.

The company also enhanced its Preside Service Provisioning software to simplify the process of provisioning new customers and sites, support additional products and integrate software download capability.

A new TL1-to-SNMP Adapter tool is designed to enable enterprises to manage OPTera Metro 3000 networks using SNMP. A bi-directional interface allows an enterprise SNMP management system to solicit information and receive alerts from OPTera Metro 3000, Nortel says.

Nortel’s Data Planner and software and hardware enhancements to the OPTera Metro 4000 are available now. Other software and hardware enhancements will be available in June.

Separately, Nortel recently announced the OPTera Long Haul DT, a terminal designed to extend the reach of DWDM networks without signal amplification. The OPTera Long Haul DT is used in conjunction with Nortel’s OPTera Long Haul Optical Line Systems.