Avici takes on OC-192

Network World |  Networking

Avici Systems is delivering on its OC-192 promises.

A couple of weeks ago the company announced availability of the higher-speed OC-192c interface, but the following day came the real news -- Avici had already landed a major customer for its TSR core Internet router. AT&T announced that it’s running live traffic over its nationwide OC-192 backbone using Avici’s router as the cornerstone.

Avici’s channelized OC-192 interfaces, which became available in the third quarter of last year, are now carrying live traffic among Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis and San Francisco.

"It’s a tier-1 network," says Seth Spalding, director at Epoch Partners. "And that’s a big deal. They’re one of the only carriers actually carrying live OC-192 traffic. They aren’t using Juniper, and they didn’t wait for Cisco to get there. "

According to estimates by Epoch Partners, the deal is worth approximately $5.2 million.

"They are well on their way toward hitting the $9 million in revenue we predicted for the quarter ending in March," Spalding adds.

This announcement came the day after an announcement regarding the availability of OC-192c (concatenated) interfaces. Now the company will offer both channelized and concatenated interfaces.

What’s the difference between channelized and concatenated? Channelized interfaces consist of four separate OC-48 channels each running at 2.5G bit/sec multiplexed together in an OC-192 pipe, while the concatenated version is a solid OC-192 pipe with one channel running at speeds close to 10G bit/sec. Each implementation has its own benefits. The channelized implementation can hook into existing OC-48 gear, while concatenated pipes require special faster gear. On the flip side, concatenated pipes are better for carrying higher bit rates of traffic.

"Right now we are using the channelized OC-192 interfaces," says William Hoffman, a spokesperson for AT&T. "But we plan to also use the concatenated interfaces when they become available in volume. We had a very robust bake-off selection process, and Avici came out on top."

While only the largest of backbone providers are ready for OC-192 interfaces right now, it’s clear that service providers are looking for a clear growth path, says Pete Chadwick, vice president of marketing for Avici.

"For a certain class of customers, it’s becoming another checklist item," he says. "It’s going to take some time before OC-192 is the predominant backbone speed, but you can’t get through the evaluation process without it."

So, where is routing market leader Cisco Systems with its OC-192 development? The company says that it’s on target to deliver OC-192 interfaces by the end of this quarter.

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