Lucent readies optical systems to speed data

Lucent readies optical systems to speed data

Lucent Technologies unveiled at last week's Telecom '99 trade show, in Geneva, the latest elements of an optical-network product set that could boost campus bandwidth by as much as 50 times.

The company introduced the OptiStar OC-48, a 2.5Gbps optical adapter for Microsoft Windows and Linux servers, as well as the FC1000R 1Gbps storage adapter and accompanying software.

Lucent had previously announced plans for technology that will allow enterprises to merge LANs and WANs into a single high-speed IP network based on optical technology.

The OptiStar product line, including network and storage adapter cards and software, will significantly boost the bandwidth available across corporate campuses and between enterprise facilities. PC users will be able to download high-bandwidth files at rates as high as 50 times faster than those of existing corporate networks.

The server adapters can be used to replace current campus wide area network (WAN) connections - typically topping out at 45Mbps - with links of 622Mbps or 2.5Gbps. Today, as Ethernet connections on LANs are boosted to 1Gbps, WAN links usually provide much lower bandwidth.

Remote access to servers for applications, data retrieval, and backups are held up by this bottleneck, Lucent officials said.

Optical-network technology, which transmits information via waves of light rather than via electrons, is being deployed in the new generation of service-provider WANs. Lucent has adapted the technology to serve enterprises in which massive amounts of data need to be transferred among servers located in separate buildings or nearby sites.

OptiStar products include:

The OC-12 (622Mbps) network adapter card - currently available - and the OC-48 (2.5Gbps) network adapter card - shipping later this year - which plug in to servers to connect them to a backbone network using high-speed fibre opticsThe GE1000 - shipping in the first half of 2000 - which is a network adapter card that handles I/O functions normally handled by a server CPUThe FC1000R - shipping in late 1999 - which is an adapter card for accessing information from internal and external hard drives at a rate of 1GbpsEdgeSwitch - shipping in the first half of 2000 - which is an IP-based switch that connects multiple servers to a backbone network or to one anotherReplicator - shipping later this year - which is software that enables real-time information backup from one server to another in a WAN to provide instant data recovery in the event of a server failureMediaServe - shipping later this year - which is software for accessing high-bandwidth video and audio streamsPricing details are not yet available.

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