Cisco targets metro DWDM market

Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., released the newest series of products in its IP+Optical line in March.

The ONS 15200 is tailored to the metropolitan dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) market and Cisco is claiming it is the first “wavelength to the building” DWDM product on the market. Following closely on the heels of a January announcement of the first two IP+Optical products -the Cisco 12400 series of Internet routers and the Cisco ONS 15327 metro edge optical transport platform – Cisco is working towards its goal of bringing IP and optical technologies together.

According to Cisco’s Robert Koslowsky, director of marketing, many limitations have been impairing the progress of metropolitan DWDM services.

“It’s been difficult for service providers when you’ve got four, five or six different boxes,” Koslowsky said. “You want a single platform to provide all that capability. You also don’t want to…force-fit long-haul DWDM devices; in other words, technology that was suited for long distances, like maybe carrying bandwidth across Canada. You don’t want to force-fit that kind of technology into metro areas like Toronto, Vancouver or Winnipeg because you need something that’s optimized for metro.”

The Cisco ONS 15200 offers wavelength services with 16 to 32 wavelengths, scalability up to 10 gigabit in terms of transponders, and interoperates with the Cisco ONS 15454 and ONS 15327, Koslowsky said. Members of the ONS 15200 series include the ONS 15252 multichannel hub unit, the ONS 15201 single channel OADM (optical add/drop multiplexer) unit, and the ONS 15216 optical filter that combines up to 18 wavelengths on a single fibre.

Under the IP+Optical product line, Cisco currently has over 500 customers, Koslowsky said. Of those 500 customers, 75 of them are using products within the ONS 15200 series.

“I think there’s a lot of interest in [DWDM],” said Dan McLean, director of enterprise network services research at International Data Corp. (IDC) Canada. “I think maybe prior to this year when the industry went into a serious downturn, there were certainly plans by a lot of carriers and installers of fibre-optic networks to deploy new fibre…that was IP-based.”

But with the poor economy and spending freezes on infrastructure, the DWDM market is not going to be as strong as predicted before the market plummeted. McLean added DWDM is still the next greatest thing and will eventually be rolled out within Canadian industry.

The Cisco ONS 15200 series of products are available now. Pricing is based on the needs of a company. Cisco can be found on the Web at

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