First, it will enable carriers to offer much longer distance connections than previously possible. This is because SAN Ltd.'s gateway spoofs locally connected equipment so that the flow of data across the wide area isn't held up waiting for Fibre Channel acknowledgements. This extends the maximum range of Fibre Channel from 10 to 100 kilometers, according to Protiva.
Second, SAN Ltd.'s gateway can be used to extend Fibre Channel services between metropolitan area networks, using ATM services. And SAN Ltd says that it's the only vendor supporting Fibre Channel over 622 Mbit/s as well as 155 Mbit/s ATM connections.
Third, SAN Ltd. has a lot of IP expertise that Adva will be able to leverage in its own equipment, according to Protiva. In particular, Adva wants to get a better handle on MPLS (multi-protocol label switching), the technology used to set up and tear down virtual tunnels to help bypass routers in IP backbones. That's because MPLS is now being used as the foundation for developing similar protocols at the optical layer -- protocols that will set up and tear down wavelengths across light-based backbones.
Adva also announced a second acquistion today, of Cellware Broadband GmbH, http://www.cellware.de for stock and cash totaling $24 million, also aims to give carriers a way of making money out of DWDM based access nets.
In this case, Cellware's big attraction is its ATM integrated access equipment. These boxes sit at customer sites and enables carriers to offer a variety of services over a single access line, using different size and grade ATM connections. Over time, Adva expects to turn this into an optical multi-service provisioning platform. Once again, Cellware's expertise in handling ATM signaling might also come in handy in the optical arena.