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Akara's OUSP 2000 Goes the Distance With Fibre Channel: Page 4 of 4

Both the OUSP and the accompanying OUSM software performed well, but they aren't without their faults. The OUSP has no Fibre Channel switching abilities built in. If you have two offices trying to access a Fibre Channel array at a third office, the OUSP at the third office will need to dedicate two of its six GBIC interfaces to accessing the array. This could cause a problem if more than six offices needed to access an array. The same is true of Ethernet connections. Each GBIC port on an OUSP is dedicated to a particular point-to-point connection and can't be shared. I also found some oddities with the OUSM software.

While the software is smart enough to make sure that enough bandwidth is available on both Sonet fibers when creating a reserved connection, it isn't smart enough to keep you from wasting bandwidth. The OUSM software would allow me to create a 2-Gbps connection for a single Gigabit Ethernet GBIC. I expected it to top out and not let me create a service circuit larger than the GBIC interface, but it did. An experienced person wouldn't do this in the first place, but a less savvy tech could easily waste bandwidth.

Darrin Woods is a Network Computing contributing editor. He has worked as a WAN engineer for a telecom carrier. Send your comments on this article to him at [email protected]