In addition to consolidating several functions into one box, the RS 38000 combines a 170G bit/sec nonblocking switch fabric, with hardware-based services such as MPLS and RPR. Lalomia plans to use MPLS to provide managed VPN services for Intellispace customers. Currently, Intellispace uses the Extreme switches to provide Layer 2 VPNs, but Lalimio says that the implementation isnt enough.
" Packets can be prioritized, but there is no guarantee inside the [virtual LAN] ttunnel, " he says. " MPLS provides dynamic bandwidth reservation so that capacity is always guaranteed. "
The RS 38000 also supports the emerging RPR standard (802.17). This allows it to combine the 50-millisecond failover capability of SONET and the plug-and-play attributes of Ethernet.
The RS 38000 is currently available for customer shipments. But not all the interfaces will be available right away. The 10G Ethernet interfaces wont be ready until April, and OC-192 (10G bit/sec) arent expected until June 2001, according to the company.