Dynarc's multiservice router switch eases transition from TDM to IP services

Jan. 1, 2000

In an effort to ease the transition from time-division multiplexing (TDM) services to Internet protocol (IP), Dynarc (Sunnyvale, CA) unveiled its new carrier-class multiservice router switch, the Dynarc 500. The new product was designed to enable carriers and service providers a fast, scalable solution for responding to the changing demands for convergence of data and voice communications.

According to a recent report from the International Engineering Consortium (IEC--Chicago), the prevalence of business and residence usage of packet networks has convinced carriers to begin converting their national networks to packet format. The IEC report concludes that IP and packet networking is flourishing and increasingly will be the basis for voice, data, video, and multimedia delivery over the complete range of networks in the United States as well as a core technology for global communications.

"In order to stay competitive, the carriers have to focus on new value-added IP services," says Olov Schagerlund, president and chief operating officer at Dynarc. "A remaining issue in IP networks is the ability to provide guaranteed quality of service (QoS), which is critical for voice and video services. The Dynarc 500 addresses this challenge, purposely designed to enable fast provisioning of voice, video, and data IP services at a low cost."
Dynarc offers carriers a smooth transition from a circuit-based to packet-based network with the Dynarc 500 multiservice router, the newest member of the company's DTM-based family of products.

The Dynarc 500 integrates the functionality of switching, high-performance routing, and add/drop multiplexing into a single carrier-class platform to enable full-scale services such as secure virtual private networks (VPNs), videoconferencing, voice over IP, multicast video, and other emerging technologies. The router switch was designed specifically with the metropolitan area in mind.

"Total cost of operations has to be considered when deploying optical metropolitan area networks," says Schagerlund. "Dynarc offers a distributed network architecture, which reduces the number of boxes and ports in use. In addition, the network management is kept very simple so the service providers don't have to worry about several network layers that need to be monitored separately. Ease of deployment and hassle-free network management are critical issues in the metro space."

The Dynarc 500 is the latest in a family of products based on dynamic synchronous transfer mode (DTM), a broadband network architecture based on dynamic circuit switching on a shared link, such as a ring or a bus. Dynarc developed DTM as a protocol capable of carrying IP traffic at high speeds, while maintaining the QoS parameters required by carriers and service providers. DTM integrates IP with dynamic circuit switching, combining edge switch routing functionality along with metropolitan-area-network (MAN) transport functionality.

Other Dynarc switches include the Dynarc 100, which is an optical access device for data and telephony. Meanwhile, the Dynarc 300 is a multiservice router switch targeted at MANs and Internet points of presence.

DTM is based on a circuit-switched scheme using time- and space-division multiplexing that can run over ring, point-to-point, or bus architectures. DTM provides the ability to reuse bandwidth on free-link segments to optimize network-bandwidth allocation.

According to a recent report from Current Analysis, a VA-based industry analysis firm, carriers deploying Syn chronous Optical Network (SONET) ring architectures are constrained by the requirement of implementing uniform bandwidth and wavelength capacities throughout the entire network ring. As a result, nodes with varying bandwidth requirements on the same ring receive the same bandwidth allocation, creating unused bandwidth surpluses between nodes with lesser bandwidth demands. Dynarc, along with several other competitors, including powerhouses like Nortel Networks (Brampton, ON) and Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ), are focusing on this market problem.

"Carriers are seeking the best solution for converting from circuit-switched to packet-switched network architectures in order to provide multiple services to their customers," says Erica Henkel, an industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan, which specializes in transport systems. "It's a major concern for them and presents a multitude of options, both in technologies and vendors. For Dynarc to compete for their business, carriers need to be convinced of the merits of DTM technology. Having a stamp of approval from the standards bodies may be a significant step in that direction. But Dynarc may also consider aligning itself with some major industry players in order to be a serious contender in a fiercely competitive marketplace."

The Dynarc 500 enables DTM technology to be deployed as an intelligent transport solution between routers and switches. One advantage it offers to carriers is scalability. Using DTM architecture enables switching capacity to scale at very high speeds, from 32 Gbits/sec to 128 Gbits/sec. Carriers and service providers can scale backbones to OC-48 (2.5 Gbits/sec) and beyond.

The DTM switching backplane allows the Dynarc 500 to simultaneously support various types of port adapters, both synchronous for streaming data and asynchronous for packet data, at different port speeds. Reliability is also provided by the DTM backplane, using dual counter-rotating rings with self-healing capabilities. If connectors or links are damaged, the rings will automatically reconfigure to a bus architecture.

The multiservice router features 16 slots with port adapters that include DTM dark fiber, DTM over SONET from OC-3 (155 Mbits/sec) to OC-48, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and E1/T1 tunneling. Dynarc believes carriers will find the Dynarc 500 attractive because of its integrated functionality and multiservice capabilities that reduce network costs by reducing the number of network devices. Less-active equipment in the network, says Schagerlund, also equates to simplified maintenance and support requirements.

The Dynarc 500 is undergoing field trials and planned for commercial availability in the early part of the second quarter. Depending on the configuration, pricing starts at $48,000.

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