Association for Passive Optical LAN aims to fiber enterprises

Seven companies active in IT networking have joined to put their weight behind passive optical LAN technology via a new industry association. The Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) aims to spread the word about the fiber-optic architecture, which adapts the passive optical network (PON) technology common in fiber to the home (FTTH) applications to enterprise networks

Aug 6th, 2013

Seven companies active in IT networking have joined to put their weight behind passive optical LAN technology via a new industry association. The Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) aims to spread the word about the fiber-optic architecture, which adapts the passive optical network (PON) technology common in fiber to the home (FTTH) applications to enterprise networks (see “Technology and business drivers for passive optical LANs”).

The founding members of APOLAN include:

  • Corning
  • IBM
  • SAIC
  • TE Connectivity
  • Tellabs
  • Zhone
  • 3M.

With bandwidth demands growing in the enterprise, the members of APOLAN see passive optical LANs as an ideal method to keep pace with requirements in a less expensive, more future-proof way than traditional workgroup switch-based LAN architectures. The fiber-optic network scheme reduces equipment costs as well as power, cooling, installation, and floor space requirements, the association’s members say.

"With data and video consumption forecast to grow between 7-10X in the next few years, the demand for highly cost-effective and high-quality voice, video, and data continues to grow in the enterprise LAN market space, making passive optical LAN an appealing solution to address current and future bandwidth demands," agreed Nav Chander, research manager, enterprise telecom at IDC, via an APOLAN press release. "The APOLAN will provide valuable education and guidance to those considering this type of networking solution, and I expect they will serve as strong advocates for its global adoption."

At the founding meeting in March, APOLAN members settled the group’s by-laws and elected Corning’s Dave E. Cunningham president and chairman of the association.

"Participation in the APOLAN is open to all organizations interested in leveraging passive optical networking to revolutionize the way local-area networks are designed, deployed, and managed," Cunningham said in the same press release. "The deployments of passive optical LAN to date have demonstrated significant cost and performance advantages compared to traditional Ethernet designs, and the optical foundation "future-proofs" the network for any new bandwidth demand – a clear advantage over existing copper solutions."

Other APOLAN executives elected at the March meeting include:

  • John W. Short, IBM, vice president
  • Joseph D. Marmion, Tellabs, secretary
  • John Winship, SAIC, treasurer

Joining Cunningham on the board of directors were board chair-elect S. Blaine Overstreet of SAIC and directors Jeffery H. Jones, IBM; Ryland J. Marek, 3M; Thomas C. Ruvarac, Tellabs; Brian O'Connell, TE Connectivity; and Brian Caskey, Zhone.

More information about APOLAN, including how to join, is available at http://www.apolanglobal.org.

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