Lucent readies optical systems to speed data

Lucent Technologies will launch at this week's Telecom '99 trade show, in Geneva, the latest elements of an optical-network product set that could boost campus bandwidth by as much as 50 times.

The company will introduce the OptiStar OC-48, a 2.5Gbits/sec optical adapter for Microsoft Windows and Linux servers, as well as the FC1000R 1Gbps storage adapter and accompanying software.

Lucent last week announced plans for technology that will allow enterprises to merge LANs and WANs into a single high-speed IP network based on optical technology.

The OptiStar product line, including network and storage adapter cards and software, will significantly boost the bandwidth available across corporate campuses and between enterprise facilities. PC users will be able to download high-bandwidth files at rates as much as 50 times faster than those of existing corporate networks.

The server adapters can be used to replace current campus wide area network connections -- typically topping out at 45Mbps -- with links of 622Mbps or 2.5Gbps. Today, as Ethernet connections on LANs are boosted to 1Gbps, WAN links usually provide much lower bandwidth.

Remote access to servers for applications, data retrieval, and backups are held up by this bottleneck, Lucent officials said.

Optical-network technology, which transmits information via waves of light rather than via electrons, is being deployed in the new generation of service-provider WANs. Lucent has adapted the technology to serve enterprises in which massive amounts of data need to be transferred among servers located in separate buildings or nearby sites.

OptiStar products include the following:

-- The OC-12 (622Mbps) network adapter card -- currently available -- and the OC-48 (2.5Gbps) network adapter card -- shipping later this year -- which plug into servers to connect them to a backbone network using high-speed fibre optics;-- The GE1000 -- shipping in the spring of 2000 -- which is a network adapter card that handles I/O functions normally handled by a server CPU;-- The FC1000R -- shipping in late 1999 -- which is an adapter card for accessing information from internal and external hard drives at a rate of 1Gbps;-- EdgeSwitch -- shipping in the spring of 2000 -- which is an IP-based switch that connects multiple servers to a backbone network or to one another;-- Replicator -- shipping later this year -- which is software that enables real-time information backup from one server to another in a WAN to provide instant data recovery in the event of a server failure;-- MediaServe -- shipping later this year -- which is software for accessing high-bandwidth video and audio streams.

Pricing details for the products are not yet available.

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