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Network Protection Precautions Advocated at APOC

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WUHAN, China, Nov. 12 -- Enterprises are becoming less tolerant of network downtime and resulting financial losses, so operators need to deploy fast and reliable protection switches while better leveraging the use of redundant equipment, said Abe Queller, vice president of applications engineering for Lynx Photonic Networks, in a presentation last week at the APOC (Asia-Pacific Optical and Wireless Communications) conference in Wuhan, China.

Speaking to a large audience that included decision makers from companies such as Huawei, ZTE and FiberHome, as well as service providers such as China Telecom, China Netcom and China Unicom, Queller said a protection scheme comprising IP-layer protection and physical (optical) layer protection offers an optimal solution. IP-based rerouting provides an adequate solution in many cases, he said, but optical protection switching offers a fast mechanism that makes the best use of resources and works in topologies in which IP-based protection does not work.

"Protection switches can be deployed in any topology, offering a high level of resilience, even in networks that use non-redundant lines," he said. "Also, they allow networks to best utilize all their operational resources and can normally recover from failures within a shorter switchover period -- all at a small fraction of the cost of IP-layer protection."

Queller cautioned that because of their position in the network, protection switches are always single points of failure and, accordingly, need to be extremely reliable. He said protection switches deploying all-optical planar lightwave circuit (PLC) technology are the most reliable because they are solid-state, involving no moving parts, unlike optical switching technologies that use mechanical devices.

In addition, he said, operational expenses of fiber-based networks can be minimized through the use of PLC switches, which are transparent to data rates and protocols, allowing easy network upgrades.

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Nov 2003
CommunicationsNews & Features

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