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Networking Startup, Of Cisco Lineage, Nears Launch

XKL, led by Cisco Systems co-founder Len Bosack, is a few weeks from formal launch. The Redmond, Wash., company will bring to market fiber optic networking gear for business networks. It has been a long, long time in coming.
XKL, led by Cisco Systems co-founder Len Bosack, is a few weeks from formal launch. The Redmond, Wash., company will bring to market fiber optic networking gear for business networks. It has been a long, long time in coming.XKL describes its technology as "a quickly deployable, bulletproof, optical transport system." The product, called DXM, delivers up to 40 broadband network connections, operating at 10 Gigabits per second each, over leased fiber lines.

XKL's Web site describes DXM as a "carrier class" system that's so easy to deploy that network administrators can simply "install it in a rack and make the proper connections." The company touts the box's small size and power efficiency. By carrier class, XKL means the system is highly reliable -- with dual power supplies, built to withstand shock, that kind of thing. It's designed to exceed the rigorous NEBS level 3 industry specs, though it's not actually certified as such.

That puts XKL on a collision course with networking heavyweights Cisco and Nortel. XKL marketing and sales coordinator Michael O'Brien says the difference is that customers won't need an optical engineer or expensive service contract to build and manage these high-speed fiber networks. They can be deployed and managed by network administrators familiar with standard routers. O'Brien declined to go into detail, citing the upcoming announcement.

Founder and CEO Bosack started Cisco in 1984 with former wife Sandra Lerner. He founded XKL in the early 1990s, but apparently it's taken the company this long to come to market with a product. The launch date is Aug. 6. After 15 years, we can wait a few more days.