Optical Switches Speed Remote Backups
Cisco, Lucent, Nortel are offering optical switches for connecting storage networks over long distances.Optical switches for connecting storage networks over long distances are coming to mainstream enterprises this spring, from stalwarts Cisco Systems Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Nortel Networks Ltd. The switches are useful for backing up data to remote locations and for disaster recovery, with a future use being the design of distributed SANs, experts say. The technology is expensive compared to traditional IP networking, but its fast, reliable, secure and shipping today, they note. Cisco on Wednesday, at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany, upgraded its ONS (Optical Networking System) 15530 with a new eight-port card designed for 2.5G-bps increments of data, versus 10G bps in prior versions, officials said. Its ports now use Ficon for mainframes instead of the older Escon, plus Gigabit Ethernet, both in addition to the current Fibre Channel. New protection modules route data around damage and attach to larger 15540 switches as well, they said.
Cisco is also helping users build optical SAN extensions with 1.5M-bps increment synchronous optical network (SONET) switches, using the international synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) design, officials said. That technology scales in 1.5M-bps units and so is well-suited for mainstream users. The new ONS 15302 and ONS 15305 models aggregate traffic to buildings and connect to the larger ONS 454, upgraded to 40 ports, versus five before. Data is monitored with new Transport Manager 4.0 software, upgraded from Version 3.2, with new configuration options, officials said.