By Stephen Hardy
Coriolis Networks (Boxborough, MA) recently unveiled its initial offering for what is becoming an ever more crowded optical metro networking market. The company hopes to differentiate itself by promising to recover up to 75% of the bandwidth it says is stranded in traditional SONET/SDH networks.
The key to Coriolis's claim lies in its Optical Spatial Division Multiplexing (OSDM) technology. OSDM rides on top of SONET/SDH (and, in the future, digital wrapper technology), but is designed to provide a more optimal transport structure for TDM, packet, cell, and frame relay services. It also offers domain-wide bandwidth management. The technology accommodates traditional TDM VT blocks, but assigns committed bandwidth for data users. Additional space for oversubscribed, best effort, or burst traffic is provided in the protect path.
According to Bob Castle, company president and CEO, and Greg Wortman, vice president of corporate marketing, OSDM operates in a physical ring, logical star topology or a physical star topology. The resulting network will provide more "saleable" bandwidth, reduce operations costs by providing automatic provisioning, and increase revenues to significantly shorten the time required for a full return on a carrier's investment.
The Coriolis OptiFlow product line includes a pair of trunk units and three service units. The OptiFlow 3500 trunk unit supports two unprotected rings or one protected ring and uses 1310-nm optics. It features a switching capacity of 20 Gbits/sec. The larger OptiFlow 5500 supports up to 16 unprotected rings or 8 protected rings via 1310-nm optics. However, 1500-nm optics provide additional support of up to 16 unprotected or 8 protected wavelengths per ring. The unit has a switching capacity of up to 80 Gbits/sec. The trunk units would likely reside in a central office or point of presence.
The three service units include the OptiFlow 1000, a "pizza box" CPE device with 10 Gbits/sec of switching capacity; the OptiFlow 3000, with 20 Gbits/sec of switching capacity and support for two unprotected or one protected ring with two unprotected or one protected wavelength per ring; and the OptiFlow 5000, which can command four unprotected or two protected rings, with up to four unprotected or two protected wavelengths per ring. Its switching capacity is 80 Gbits/sec.
The product family also features the OptiView element management system, with CORBA APIs, TL1 and SNMP interfaces, and MIBS.
Castle and Wortman expect to have the systems available by the end of this year at prices starting at less than $10,000. At least one trial has already been arranged; the Coriolis sources expect another two or three to be conducted by the end of January 2001.