mdi launches network appliance to replace individual monitoring devices

MARCH 25, 2009 -- Smart sensor simultaneously identifies multiple impairments and quickly qualifies 40G-readiness of live 10G networks.

MARCH 25, 2009 -- mdi (Monitoring Division Inc.; search Lightwave for mdi), a developer of real-time network intelligence technology, is now taking orders for its new "eyeD 360" network monitor. The monitoring device simultaneously measures the four factors needed to determine which in-service 10-Gbps fibers can be upgraded to 40 Gbps: power level, optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), chromatic dispersion (CD), and polarization mode dispersion (PMD).

Following Tier 1 carrier and system vendor trials, mdi is delivering the software-enabled element to replace up to four standalone monitoring devices. The company says that the appliance has been proven to save operators testing time and equipment expense because fibers and channels no longer have to be taken out of service for qualification. A two-port version is available for field technicians to measure impairments on live systems in both directions and without affecting traffic. Operators then can install 40G line cards on pre-certified facilities. They can also continuously monitor the health of the network and new 40G traffic with a dedicated 16-port version, sufficient for large WDM nodes.

"We expect that 40G is here for a long run and migration to 40G will continue to grow strongly despite the market downturn," says Michael Howard, principal analyst of Infonetics Research (search Lightwave for Infonetics). "In my eyes, the eyeD 360 device looks like a pragmatic breakthrough that will help with 40G deployments. I believe that carriers will find that it will let them quickly find the best optical paths, which will help cut deployment time and costs, as well as improve visibility of network errors."

The eyeD 360 comes in a 2RU rack-mountable format and accommodates more than 1,400 channels across 16 traffic carrying fibers. It connects to the tap ports of ROADMs, amplifiers, and other conventional optical transport equipment, to monitor all WDM traffic -- independent of bit rates and modulation formats, as a result of its library of system vendor modules. It is equipped with graphical user and line interfaces, as well as SNMP for remote alarming. The initial release includes time trending and alarm thresholding reports. Future functionality, both in terms of impairment assessments and new signal formats, will be added via software upgrades to the embedded device, versus waiting for the next generation of hardware upgrades.

"Carriers and OEMs face enormous pressure to get the most from their 10G assets, to maximize uptime on revenue-bearing networks, and minimize infrastructure operating costs -- all while migrating 10G links to 40G to handle traffic growth," says mdi chief executive officer David Wright. "We help by providing a full view of optical impairments. We simplify and speed up fiber qualification and deliver immediate detail to planners selecting 40G paths and dispatching equipment upgrades. These features, and the fact that the device is software upgradeable in the field, are game-changing for providers and their systems vendors. This puts them on the road to smart optical infrastructures."

mdi will exhibit the eyeD 360 at OFC/NFOEC 2009, Booth #706. In addition, on Thursday, March 26 at session OThH7, the company will co-present with AT&T the results of experimental demonstration of multi-impairment monitoring on a commercial 10-Gbps WDM system.

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