Sycamore launches new operational tools for metro/regional networks

MARCH 25, 2008 By Meghan Fuller Hanna -- Sycamore Networks' Layered Services Management is a new set of operational tools designed to address the challenges of managing the increasingly diverse and complex mix of circuit and packet services in metro and regional networks.

MARCH 25, 2008 By Meghan Fuller Hanna -- Sycamore Networks Inc. (search for Sycamore Networks) today introduced a new set of operational tools for its existing SilvxManager network and performance management system. Layered Services Management is designed to address the challenges of managing the increasingly diverse and complex mix of circuit and packet services in metro and regional networks. In a related announcement, the company has also developed a Windows-based version of its SilvxManager for customers outside its traditional Tier-1 customer base.

Sycamore's Layered Services Management features were developed to augment its recently introduced SN 9000 Intelligent Multiservice Switch (See "Sycamore intros metro/regional multiservice switch"). A carrier-grade platform, the SN 9000 integrates multiple functions--including low-order and high-order switching, add/drop multiplexing, advanced Ethernet services, and integrated optical transport--in a single, compact system.

After conducting needs analysis and due diligence with its customers regarding the SN 9000, Sycamore realized it needed to take the concept of convergence beyond the system level.

"We're hearing lots of discussion about the convergence of devices and ROADMs and next-generation hardware technology, which is great," says Robert Travis, director of marketing at Sycamore Networks. "It's great to see the market coming back and innovating again. But a key area is really having the intelligence distributed in our devices [and] giving operators a simple process for visualizing that information and turning up services. We found a lot of our customers were struggling with, 'How do I manage all these services in a single, condensed device,'" he recalls.

Travis says the Layered Services Management tools focus on two key elements: 1) the correlation of network and service information between the layers, and 2) how to visualize that information to the right people. "You still have a lot of larger carriers that have different owners for different services," he explains. "One group will own the data services, and another group will own the transport services, for example. How do you partition that information appropriately?"

These are exactly the questions that Layered Services Management was designed to answer. Empowered by intelligent multi-layer service correlation software, the new tools allow network operators to mask the complexity of the infrastructure and simplify service views, resulting in improved service management and increased operational efficiencies, say Sycamore representatives. Multi-layer services include Ethernet and optical, as well as low-order and high-order services. With the ability to translate complex data into proactive and usable information--independent of topology--Layered Services Management provides logical service partitioning and multi-layer resource management.

Among its key capabilities, Layered Services Management features:
• Flexible, partitioned views of pertinent multi-layer service information;
• Proactive alarming through intelligent correlation of network and service layer information;
• Simplified troubleshooting to aid in identifying, diagnosing, and prioritizing performance issues; and
• Improved visibility and control to maximize end-to-end capacity and resource utilization.

Layered Services Management is immediately available for the SN 9000.

Sycamore has also announced the development of its SilvxManager for Windows, which it claims delivers cost-effective service management for multiservice metro and regional networks while maintaining the full suite of SILVX management features available in its existing UNIX-based system.

"We found a lot of the customers that we're starting to target with the SN 9000 are outside our traditional Tier 1 accounts because of the platform and the services that are in it and the cost factors," Travis notes. "We're starting to look at Tier 2s, Tier 3s, MSOs, large enterprises, and utility customers, and a good portion of those customers are not UNIX-based for network management environments; they are Windows-based."

In addition to the broad applicability of the SN 9000, Travis also cites Sycamore's acquisition of Eastern Research as a key reason why the company has diversified its customer base over the last 18 months (See "Sycamore Networks acquires Eastern Research"). Sycamore inherited multiservice access technologies and products from Eastern Research, as well as an existing customer base that included mobile operators, enterprises, independent operators, and cable MSOs.

SilvxManager for Windows will be generally available in April 2008.

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