CIENA adds ESCON multiplexing to ONLINE Edge platform to support storage extension services

27 October 2003 Linthicum, MD Lightwave--CIENA, today announced the integration of multiplexing capabilities into its ONLINE Edge platform to offer carriers and enterprises a highly scalable and efficient solution for remote enterprise systems connectivity (ESCON) connectivity in storage area networks (SANs). The ESCON multiplexing allows carriers to leverage cost-efficient coarse WDM (CWDM) and existing SONET/SDH infrastructures to maximize bandwidth efficiency for storage services and to reduce the cost of transporting ESCON traffic over long distances for disaster recovery. Integrated ESCON multiplexing in the ONLINE Edge platform is the latest development in CIENA's LightWorks Services strategy to help service providers use their existing infrastructure to make current services more profitable and to capitalize on new opportunities in enterprise data services without overlay data networks.

In today's storage extension market, ESCON signals typically are carried over individual fibers or over wavelengths within a fiber when WDM technology is deployed. The ONLINE Edge platform uses integrated ESCON multiplexing that combines up to 12 unique full-rate ESCON signals onto each of eight optically protected OC-48c/STM-16-framed wavelengths for a total of 96 ESCON channels per fiber. The ONLINE Edge platform offers unsurpassed bandwidth efficiency while also simplifying management, reducing network complexity and decreasing fiber equipment, power and space requirements.

"Enterprise demand for reliable disaster recovery and business continuance solutions continues to grow. Enterprises require storage extension portfolios from service providers that include the ability to efficiently transport many ESCON channels over long distances," said Daryl Inniss, Optical Component director of the South San Francisco research firm RHK, Inc. "CIENA's ONLINE Edge, which already supported 1 Gbit/sec and 2-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel, FICON, and Ethernet, further supports business needs by adding ESCON for remote data center connectivity."

Designed for carrier services and enterprise campuses requiring data center connectivity, ONLINE Edge enables service providers to cost effectively deliver storage extension as well as voice, video and data services across metro and long-haul networks with carrier-class reliability, eliminating the need for costly, low-speed protocol conversions. Available as a simple interface card, the ESCON MUX also supports port-level performance metrics that enable end-to-end troubleshooting and give service providers the ability to offer customers robust service level agreements on storage services that go beyond simple storage connectivity.

ONLINE Edge employs the field-proven ESCON multiplexing technology of CIENA's ONLINE Metro platform recently used by an established carrier to extend ESCON SRDF services over 180 km. ONLINE Edge with integrated ESCON multiplexing is available today and joins CIENA's growing portfolio of solutions for storage extension services including the CN 2000 Storage Extension Platform. The CN 2000 is a customer premise device that multiplexes data center protocols directly into SONET/SDH payloads and transports them natively leveraging existing SONET/SDH, DWDM, and dark fiber networks. Integrated data compression on all protocols and the transport of multiple applications on a single network connection significantly reduces WAN costs.

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