Alidian introduces metro optical networking platform

May 30, 2001
May 30, 2001--A new metro optical networking platform that supports flexible connectivity for up to 10 gigabits per second of voice and data traffic -- allowing carriers to designate any of four protected OC-48 wavelengths as either SONET or multi-service IP -- has been introduced by Alidian Networks, Inc.

A new metro optical networking platform that supports flexible connectivity for up to 10 gigabits per second of voice and data traffic -- allowing carriers to designate any of four protected OC-48 wavelengths as either SONET or multi-service IP -- has been introduced by Alidian Networks, Inc.

The Optical Service Node (OSN) 4400 rounds out Alidian's family of metro aggregation and transport systems, which already includes the OSN 4200 and OSN 4800, supporting two and eight protected wavelengths, respectively. The new OSN 4400 addresses the needs of carriers for a highly reliable yet cost-effective platform that can start small but grow all the way up to 10 Gbps of protected bandwidth.

The OSN 4400 supports Alidian's new SONET Add/Drop Multiplexer cards, which add standard SONET capability to the OSN family, allowing time-division multiplexed (TDM) voice traffic to be picked up and delivered at any destination (e.g., any "carrier hotel" in the metro network) rather than having to be hubbed to a single central office. The new cards operate in all three OSN models.

By supporting four protected OC-48 (2.5-Gbps) wavelengths, the OSN 4400 also provides OC-192 bandwidth equivalence in a compact yet scalable system that costs significantly less than emerging OC-192 DWDM (dense wave division multiplexing) systems. While those systems support larger individual wavelengths (OC-192, or 10 Gbps), they require more powerful optics and electronics as well as implementation of complex mechanisms such as forward error correction.

Like the OSN 4200 and OSN 4800, the new OSN 4400 platform supports Alidian's innovative WavePack service-multiplexing technology, which allows multiple data protocols to be carried on a single wavelength, rather than dedicating a separate wavelength to every traffic type. All traffic types remain in their native mode, and Layer 2 service intelligence can be applied to enable QoS, rate control or aggregation of data services.

The OSN 4400, designed to reside at the carrier's central office or point of presence (POP), is housed in a 19-inch, 18-slot chassis. Two slots each (for redundancy purposes) are devoted to system control and WaveService modules. Six slots support user service interface modules (SIMs), including ATM, packet-over-SONET, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and storage-area network interfaces. The remaining eight slots are for WavePack (multi-service) or SONET transmission; each pair of these slots creates one of four protected OC-48 wavelengths. A system can start with one protected wavelength pair, designated for either WavePack or SONET traffic, and grow to four pairs in any WavePack/SONET combination.

The NEBS Level 3-compliant platform includes a fully integrated DWDM optical subsystem supporting ring interfaces with optical supervisory channel and optical signal taps for diagnostics, and optical add/drop multiplexers (OADMs) with ITU-T grid wavelength spacings. Also included is Alidian's Alluminate EMS element management system, which automates the service-provisioning process to let carriers quickly turn up a new service or change an existing one; and Alluminate Planner, which performs comprehensive off-line system planning and analysis based on actual network operating conditions.

The SONET Add/Drop Multiplexer card handles logical mesh patterns of TDM traffic and supports up to one OC-48 wavelength with full add/drop capability. It comes in either a seven-port version that can be configured as up to seven OC-3 ports, up to four OC-12 ports, or a combination; or a version with one OC-48 port for use at hub sites. Both cards have a built-in STS-1 cross-connect which eliminates the need for a separate digital cross-connect device, and Automatic Protection Switching (APS) on the line side which allows protection of otherwise unprotected client signals.

The OSN 4400 is priced starting at $49,000 for a single-wavelength system supporting two gigabit Ethernet connections. The SONET Add/Drop Multiplexer card is priced at $50,000 for the seven-port version and $40,000 for the one-port version. All products will be available in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The OSN 4400 platform with the SONET Add/Drop Multiplexer card will be demonstrated at the Supercomm show in Atlanta, June 5-7, booth #1914.

About Alidian:

Formed in August 1998, Alidian has developed the Optical Service Network (OSN) family, which combines electronics and photonics to permit comprehensive service delivery, breadth and awareness within a single highly scalable architecture for the dynamic metropolitan-area network (MAN) environment. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Alidian has an R&D center in Atlanta, Ga., and a technical assistance center in Clearwater, Fla. For more information, visit

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