WaveSmith adds MPLS to switches

WaveSmith Networks Inc. is adding MPLS capabilities to its DN multiservice edge switches, a move that should spell improved trunk utilization for carriers, the company says.

The company unveiled three additions to the switch line: The DN 8100 multiservice switch; the Multiservice Forwarding Module (MSFM) for all DN switches; and MPLS software that runs on the MSFM and on the existing packet forwarding module (PFM).

The DN 8100 is designed to serve a range of edge customer facing and core-facing applications, from the neighbourhood POP to the regional central office. The 44-inch high chassis supports 16 fully protected OC-48s, as well as over 2 million fully protected virtual circuits (VCs).

The 8100 sports over 750 DS-3 and more than 250 OC-3 ports, WaveSmith says.

The MSFM supports existing native frame relay, ATM, circuit emulation and MPLS functionality on a single line card. The MSFM includes OC-3/STM-1, OC-12/STM-4, and OC-48-STM 16 packet-over-SONET ports, as well as Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. The MSFM supports up to 128,000 VCs per module, and its single control/forwarding plane design saves carriers at least 50 per cent in operational costs, WaveSmith claims.

The MPLS software adds support for ATM-MPLS interworking, Martini Encapsulation, OSPF, as well as LDP and traffic engineering to the ATM, frame relay and circuit emulation capabilities of the MSFM and PFM. The MPLS capabilities are intended to enable carriers, especially regulated LECs, to add MPLS to their Layer 2 infrastructures for more efficient trunk utilization; and to provision transparent LAN services to customers requiring replacement or overlay of ATM switches with Layer 3 IP routers, WaveSmith officials said.

“It’s packet-friendly trunking for ATM,” says John Burnham, vice president of marketing for WaveSmith.

Since 1999, carriers have invested US$25 billion in Layer 2 switching equipment, Burnham says.

Pricing for the new products was not disclosed. They will be available in the fourth quarter.