Alcatel-Lucent intros 1870 Transport Tera Switch for core networks

JANUARY 21, 2010 By Stephen Hardy --Alcatel-Lucent has solidified further its Converged Backbone Transformation IP/optical convergence strategy with the debut of the Alcatel-Lucent 1870 Transport Tera Switch (TTS).

Jan 21st, 2010
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JANUARY 21, 2010 By Stephen Hardy --Alcatel-Lucent has solidified further its Converged Backbone Transformation IP/optical convergence strategy with the debut of the Alcatel-Lucent 1870 Transport Tera Switch (TTS). The large-scale optical switch, which supports an OTN-based approach toward optical transmission of packet traffic, comes with an initial capacity of 4 Tbps, upgradable to 8 Tbps in the future.

While several vendors have announced new packet optical network platforms that combine packet switching with ROADM capabilities, Alberto Valsecchi, vice president of marketing for Alcatel-Lucent’s optical activities, told Lightwave yesterday that a pure packet switch such as the 1870 TTS will fit well in most networks because carriers will want to leverage their current core network investments in fielded ROADMs. He did reveal that integrating ROADM and switching functions into the same platform for the core is under consideration.

The switch leverages a 1-Tbps switch chip that Alcatel-Lucent developed in-house. The fully non-blocking switch chip is protocol agnostic and consumes about 0.04 W/Gbps. As a result, Valsecchi said the platform itself offers extremely low cost per bit.

In addition to supporting 4 Tbps in a single chassis, the initial version of the 1870 TTS offers 120 Gbps full duplex per slot. The chassis itself is engineered to support 8 Tbps, which will be enabled principally through future line and switch card upgrades that will also double the slot capacity to 240 Gbps each. The company is not discussing when such upgrades will be available.

The switch is designed to support any mix of Ethernet, OTN, SONET/SDH and SAN ports at rates ranging from 1 to 40 Gbps. Valsecchi said 100-Gbps support should become available by the end of this year. The 1870 TTS supports ODUFlex and leverages Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching/Automatically Switched Optical Network (GMPLS/ASON) control plane intelligence, which the company believes is important for such applications as advanced restoration, resource virtualization, and cross-layer automation.

Valsecchi also revealed that the 1870 TTS is in trials with Tier 1 customers, including “at least” one that has “selected” it. However, he declined to define just what “selected” means. The switch should reach general availability in the first half of this year.

Analysts briefed on the platform praised it. “Continuously increasing core router capacity is expensive and time consuming. A cost-efficient, next-generation OTN infrastructure is required to selectively identify and handle traffic flows to minimize transit through the core router network and eliminate unnecessary consumption of network resources,” said Andrew Schmitt, directing analyst, optical, at Infonetics Research. “Incorporating all these capabilities in a single platform, the Alcatel-Lucent 1870 Transport Tera Switch sets a significant new milestone in the capacity, size and universal switching ability in optical switch products. It is ideally suited to address the huge increases we’re seeing in IP traffic and will address those requirements for years to come, helping service providers in their network convergence and transformation planning.”

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