Nortel plans flurry of product demonstrations

Nortel Networks hit the ground running at SuperComm, releasing a flurry of announcements of alliances and planned demonstrations as the show opened in Atlanta on Monday.

The networking vendor will demonstrate:

-- An intelligent optical network using all-photonic switching. Photonic switches can change the path of data transmitted by light without changing the light to an electronic signal, which saves money on large, express network nodes -- savings that service providers will presumably pass along to their customers. The demonstration will include Nortel's OPTera Connect PX photonic switch and OPTera Smart software, which are based on the ASTN (automatic switch transport network) industry standard and the GMPLS (generalized multi-protocol label switching) protocol, Nortel said in a news release.

Nortel's photonic switch supports 1,0008 duplex ports at any line transmission rate, for instance, 10G bps (bits per second), 40G bps or 80G bps without the need to upgrade, Nortel said. The switch is being tested by customers and is expected to be commercially released at the end of the year. The switch will allow service providers to create new services based on wavelengths, wave bands, fiber switching and multiple grades of service. It will enable 1,000 connections simultaneously within 60 milliseconds, Nortel said, and will further allow "massive" bandwidth requirements while also reducing power consumption and footprint size.

The demonstration at Nortel's booth will use Juniper Network's core router and EMC's storage system to create a simulated WAN (wide area network).

-- Networked storage software using technology that will let storage systems provision bandwidth in specific amounts, when needed, for a certain number of stations and with protection, the company said in a news release. The demonstration at the Nortel booth will include integrated EMC's Symmetrix Enterprise Storage systems and Symmetrix Remote Data Facility software with Nortel's OPTera Smart Agent, allowing on-demand optical connections and replication of data across WANs.

The product is aimed at companies that need to move large files at high speeds over WANs. As an example, Nortel said that a movie studio could use an intelligent optical network to distribute a feature film from a storage system based in California to storage systems based in theaters globally. That type of transmission would save the studio time and shipping costs, Nortel said.

-- A variety of Nortel products, including the company's IP portfolio for service providers.

Besides the demonstrations, Nortel announced an agreement with Juniper, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, that expands an existing alliance to include technical cooperation related to the interoperability of packet and optical interfaces. The technology will let Juniper routers directly access the optical layer of a network, which should boost service provider profits because they will be able to offer IP (Internet Protocol) services throughout their networks, Nortel said. Juniper routers will interoperate with Nortel's Smart Optical Network Solution for advanced optical services.

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