Comnet: Cisco Debuts Passel Of Networking Products - InformationWeek

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Comnet: Cisco Debuts Passel Of Networking Products

WASHINGTON--Cisco Systems is augmenting its optical-networking portfolio with the launch of an optical IP router family and an optical-transport platform capable of carrying high-speed Sonet or IP traffic on optical links from the edge of service providers' networks to customers.

The networking-equipment maker this week also launched a IP videoconferencing system with more capacity and more features than its previous system.

Cisco took advantage of the Comnet trade show here to introduce its new 12000-series Internet routers, consisting of the 10-slot 12410 and the 16-slot 12416, both of which carry as much as 10 Gbps of high-speed packet-over-Sonet traffic.

And Cisco's new metro-area optical transport platforms for the edge of service providers' networks is the ONS (Optical Networking System) 15327, which has multiple interfaces for providing a variety of high-speed services directly over fiber-optic circuits to a customer's site.

Both the 12410 and 12416 are available today. Pricing begins at $120,000 for the 12410 and $130,000 for the 12416.

One customer that's already using Cisco's GSR 12000 switches in its backbone and IP edge network is 360networks Inc., which has been waiting for the introduction of the 12410 and the 12416 so it could install them in a few of the markets where it's constructing its high-capacity IP and optical network.

360networks will use the 12410 in its core network and the 12416 on the edge of its network, says Harminder Gill, general manager of global network architecture at 360networks in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"What both of these bring to us is higher switching capacity," in addition to requiring less space in the company's network centers, Gill says. And, because the whole 12000-series of products is based on Multiprotocol Label Switching, "it allows us to offer better performance, and then also quality-of-service attributes," says Gill.

The other IP/optical product introduced today was the 15327, which is capable of carrying traffic at an aggregate speed of 2.5 Gbps and has an optional Fast Ethernet card with integrated packet switching that lets the switch deliver value-added IP services such as transparent LAN and virtual private network services. That's in addition to Sonet-based electrical interfaces for traditional point-to-point T1 and T3 services and a regular optical interface for purely optical traffic.

Separately, Cisco also launched a family of IP-based videoconferencing systems, which support as many as 400 videoconference participants at a time and can be used with both legacy videoconferencing systems and newer IP-based systems.

One component of the new 3540 family is the Cisco IP/VC 3540 MCU (multipoint control unit) Module, each of which can support 100 simultaneous videoconferences, although four of the units can be combined in one chassis to support 400 simultaneous calls. The MCU module is necessary to combine audio and video streams for multi-party conferences. It will be available March 1.

The other two components, scheduled for availability at the beginning of June, are the IP/VC 3540 Application Server and T.120 Data Conferencing Application Module, which adds data-sharing capabilities based on the T.120 standard to the platform, and the IP/VC 3540 Gateway Module, which connects IP-based H.323 networks and videoconferencing systems to other systems based on the H.320 standard for ISDN-based systems.

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