MRV unwraps OptiPacket metro service edge platform

Optical transport systems specialist MRV Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVC) has unveiled a new line of metro service edge platforms. The OptiPacket (OP-X) line offers the ability to combine intelligent packet transport and optical transport line cards in an 8RU chassis to access a universal 3.2-Tbps switch fabric.

Optical transport systems specialist MRV Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVC) has unveiled a new line of metro service edge platforms. The OptiPacket (OP-X) line offers the ability to combine intelligent packet transport and optical transport line cards in an 8RU chassis to access a universal 3.2-Tbps switch fabric.

The ability to mix and match cards enables operators to deploy the OptiPacket as a packet-only platform, an Optical Transport Network (OTN) enabled optical transport platform, or one that combines both capabilities into a full packet-optical transport platform to provide multi-layer capabilities, according to Zeev Draer, MRV’s vice president of strategic marketing. The packet interface cards support Ethernet, MPLS, IP, and other packet-transport protocols. The optical transport cards provide pluggable interfaces for 10 to 100 Gbps, based on CFP optical transceivers. Line-side 100G ports could leverage either direct detect or coherent transmission, Draer said. Power consumption is 0.8 nW per bit.

Meanwhile, each interface card sports an x86-based to create a programmable architecture with distributed intelligence. While MRV is not announcing a software-defined networking (SDN) offering as of yet, the intelligent architecture and programmability set the stage for the use of the OptiPacket systems in an SDN/network functions virtualization (NFV) environment when carriers are ready, Draer points out. He says that NFV functionality and intelligence makes more sense within an edge platform such as the OptiPacket rather than in customer premises equipment (CPE). Adding the necessary intelligence to CPE would be expensive and contrary to the overall trend toward less costly equipment at the customer premises, he pointed out.

The switch fabric is non-blocking, and five chassis could be combined in a single telecom rack to create a total of 16 Tbps of capacity. The programmability opens the door for virtual chassis configurations in the future, according to Draer. The system also leverages the company’s Pro-Vision service delivery software to enable end-to-end multilayer provisioning and operation, administration, and maintenance (OAM).

The system should be generally available by the summer. Draer says that several service providers, including at least one Tier 1 carrier, have expressed interest in testing the system.

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