Nortel Unveils Next-Gen Networking Gear

Combining its historic strength in optical technology with its recently acquired data networking expertise, Nortel Networks today introduced a product package aimed at smoothing the kinks out of the core of the public network.

Combining its historic strength in optical technology with its recently acquired data networking expertise, Nortel Networks today introduced a product package aimed at smoothing the kinks out of the core of the public network.

The OPTera Packet Solution is an integrated package of high-end routing and switching equipment that has been coupled with next-generation optical networking gear to create a building-block approach to assembling high-speed networks that are easily provisioned and capable of altering traffic routes on the fly.

"What we are doing is making efficient use of the core network," said Greg Merritt, vice president of marketing for North America at Nortel. "By integrating the data and optical layers, we think we have achieved the best of both worlds."

Nortel's OPTera Packet Solution, the first major thrust into the backbone of hyperfast data networks by the telecommunications equipment giant, is an ambitious plan in that it attempts to solve several shortcomings of the existing public network infrastructure. In addition to addressing the most pressing problem of steadily increasing traffic demands, Nortel's hardware and software approach attempts to reduce operational costs by collapsing several layers of the network together. Moreover, the integrated approach is designed to enable service providers to more efficiently provision bandwidth by creating tighter bonds between equipment that carries data and the underlying plumbing of the Internet.

"Currently, routing and switching operate almost independently of the optical layer," Merritt said. "This is a fundamental shortcoming that the OPTera solution addresses."

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