Industry teams to advance Odata-aware? SONET/SDH

Industry teams to advance Odata-aware? SONET/SDH

By STEPHEN HARDY

Spurred by the increase in data traffic, a group of manufacturers have formed the Data-Aware Transport Activity (DATA) group in hopes of making Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (sonet/sdh) systems more data friendly. The vendors plan to define, resolve, and demonstrate vendor compatibility and interoperability to facilitate the rapid implementation of Odata-awareO sonet/sdh infrastructures.

The burgeoning demand for data services poses a dilemma for carriers with a large installed sonet/sdh plant. While sonet/sdh rings provide significant transport efficiencies for voice traffic, the transmission scheme does not handle data particularly well, according to information provided by the vendor group.

For example, the transmission rates of traditional sonet/sdh networks are based on 64 kbits/sec, which is a single voice channel. However, a 10-Mbit/sec transparent local area network service can require a 45-Mbit/sec T3 pipe, which translates into 35 Mbits/sec of unused capacity when enough 64-kbit/sec-based sonet/sdh streams are allotted, creating a need for more efficient use of sonet/sdh resources for both carriers and customers alike.

The members of DATA hope to meet this need by promoting the development and implementation of equipment that provides such typical sonet/sdh characteristics as reliability, survivability, and manageability; supports existing fixed-bandwidth services; and better accommodates OburstyO data services.

The alliance has formed an interoperability working group to spearhead technical work aimed at interoperability definition and testing and to coordinate DATA?s activities with those of other industry forums. An industry awareness group will promote DATA?s specifications and test results as well as organize interoperability demonstrations.

OThere?s too much hype about individual issues of infrastructure today?the role of ATM [Asynchronous Transfer Mode] versus IP [Internet protocol] or of SONET versus either one,O Tom Nolle, president of consulting firm CIMI Corp., said in an announcement issued by DATA. OIf we?re to evolve to an efficient multiservice network in an increasingly competitive market, we need to develop a total infrastructure view that providers, vendors, and users can all believe in.O

Charter members of DATA include ADC Telecommunications, Atmosphere Networks, Fujitsu Network Communications, and Nortel Networks. Ericsson and Omnia Communications recently joined the alliance as well. The first general meeting of the organization occurred last month.

The group plans to complete an architecture document by February 28 and a ring-to-ring interoperability specification by April 30. DATA plans to hold an interoperability demonstration at the Networld + Interop show in Las Vegas, May 11 to 14, 1999. q

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