Vello Systems picks up where OpVista left off with CX16000

JANUARY 12, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- The lights are officially back on at what used to be OpVista. Led by OpVista’s former CEO, Karl May, and backed by one of that company’s primary investors, Vello Systems plans to leverage and enhance OpVista’s technology to address new requirements and a broader market.

JANUARY 12, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- The lights are officially back on at what used to be OpVista. Led by OpVista’s former CEO, Karl May, and backed by one of that company’s primary investors, Vello Systems plans to leverage and enhance OpVista’s technology to address new requirements and a broader market.

Vello Systems’ first product is the CX16000, which May says incorporates Vello’s Adaptive Optical Service Routing (AOSR) technology to deliver 40- and 100-Gbps bandwidth, as well as multi-level routing (including integrated packet switching and aggregation), for networks from metro to ultra long haul. A low latency, inherently non-blocking converged fabric supports all protocols transparently, the company says.

A key differentiator that AOSR enables, May says, is low power consumption. The CX16000, which is currently being fielded, can offer power consumption that is 20% of typical platform alternatives, May asserts. That power consumption will decrease by another 50% via a technology enhancement the company plans to announce shortly, he adds.

System density will also be a calling card. Vello Systems will be able to deliver 50 to 60 Gbps of capability within a single rack unit, May says.

In some ways, the CX16000 is an extension of the CX8 40-Gbps platform OpVista announced in 2008. The new platform sports an upgraded software platform, higher capacity (up to 16 Tbps per fiber), and the packet-handling features. It leverages OpVista’s existing Dense Multi-Carrier technology, in which multiple 10-Gbps subcarriers are injected into the channel spacing of a conventional 10-Gbps wavelength. The CX16000 supports routing of the individual subcarriers, and the subcarrier-packed wavelengths can be injected into existing infrastructure as alien wavelengths.

While he’s not entirely comfortable with how the packet optical network platform (PONP) category has been defined, May does see the system as competition for the current generation of these systems. However, he says Vello Systems plans to take its product in directions the commonly accepted notions of PONPs don’t cover.

“We have a view of switching at the edge [and] routing within the core of our architecture which is not dissimilar to datacom architectures that arose in the early to mid ‘90s,” he adds.

Vello Systems appears to have maintained the OpVista customer base, which includes such heavy hitters as Comcast, Cox, and Sprint. While not all of these customers have upgraded to the CX16000 (he mentioned Comcast as one that has not), “most” of them either have fielded the system or plan to, May says.

The company will continue to support fielded OpVista equipment but will focus on the CX16000 and other upcoming products going forward, May says. These new products will take Vello Systems into markets OpVista had not addressed, he adds.

May says that OpVista was a victim of the credit crunch that hit the industry last year. However, he convinced one of OpVista’s backers that the current roster of clients and fielded systems deserved to be maintained. Building on that base of North American and European customers, Vello Systems also plans to address the Asian market; partnership announcements along such lines are forthcoming, May says.

May is the only corporate officer that has been publicly announced. The company's website describes the "team" as "experienced professionals from Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent, CIENA, and BigBand Networks."

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