Lucent Unveils Supersize Access Switch

MURRAY HILL, N.J. (03/09/2000) - Lucent Technologies Inc. is upping the ante for service providers that need to cram ever more remote access dial-in ports into the same amount of space in their central offices and IP "super POPs."

The company last week announced the APX 8000 Multiservice Access Switch, a supersize access switch with up to 2,688 ports per shelf.

The box is a follow-up to Lucent's popular MAX and MAX TNT remote access switches, which were developed by Ascend before Lucent bought Ascend last year.

Service providers will still have to pay for the new box on a per-port basis, ranging from $200 to $400 per port depending on configuration.

The APX 8000 is expected to be used by legacy and new carriers as one of the platforms for their enterprise-level IP virtual private network services, partly because the switch offers multiservice support for voice and fax, as well as data sessions.

Lucent designed the new box for carriers transitioning from the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and for those building all-IP networks.

For traditional carriers, the APX 8000 can be connected via an ISDN Primary Rate Interface trunk to a traditional PSTN switch used in local carrier networks, traditionally known as a Class 5 end-office switch. Some 60% of Internet sessions are still expected to be initiated through traditional dial-up or ISDN access even by 2003, says Joe Sigrist, core-access general manager for Lucent's Internetworking Systems division.

But the APX 8000 also interfaces with so-called replacement switches, which emulate local telephony signaling over a native packet-data infrastructure.

Service providers can stack three shelves on a 7-foot rack to triple the total number of available ports to 8,064. Via greater port density, Lucent has plans next year to put 8,064 ports on each shelf, creating a potential of more than 24,000 ports per 7-foot rack.

The APX 8000 uses a Common Object Request Broker Architecture-based, multiserver management module called NavisAccess 5.0 that creates what Lucent calls a business-level view of the network via a sophisticated call-mapping mechanism.

The mechanism identifies every call to a Lucent remote access server and associates it with a specific service, service group or customer. This association gives a service provider's operations staff a real-time view of all services being delivered on the network, even if the services span multiple devices and locations. This ability enables carriers to monitor and deliver priority services, service-level agreements, customer network management and port wholesaling.


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