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Cisco Ups SAN-Over-Optical Ante

HANNOVER, Germany -- CeBIT 2003 -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) swept into CeBIT's halls here today with a message for enterprises with growing network capacity and storage issues: "We're thinking of you." The news of the day that embodied this message was an enhancement to Cisco's ONS 15530 multiservice aggregation platform (see Cisco Boosts SAN-Over-DWDM).

Basically, Cisco says the enhancements to its dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) ONS 15530 platform will give enterprise users greater capacity over their inter-site fiber connections. Moreover, Cisco says the optical component elements have been optimized to work with SAN storage arrays, including those of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM).

"This is setting the standard for enterprise redundancy across DWDM," gushed Geraint Anderson, Cisco EMEA's VP of optical and PTT marketing. "Enterprises need increasing flexibility and the ability to expand their SANs, and this is what we're offering."

He added, "There is great demand in Europe from companies wanting to link their campus networks." Anderson cited one of Cisco's newly announced customers, German utility company Mainova AG, which is using the Cisco ONS 15540 to extend Gigabit Ethernet and FC traffic over optical networks (see VRT Picks Cisco SAN).

New options for the Cisco ONS 15530 include an eight-port Fibre Channel/Gigabit Ethernet aggregation card, which can handle up to eight FC, Ficon, or Gigabit Ethernet signals on a single 10-Gbit/s wavelength. Previously, the 530 was able to support only a single FC, Ficon, or Gig E signal per wavelength. Up to 32 530s can be used with Cisco's 32-wavelength ONS 15540 system; using the eight-port aggregation cards, then, a 540 can support up to 256 FC, Ficon, or Gigabit Ethernet services over a single fiber pair.

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