• United States
Managing Editor

Laurel, Alcatel attend to the edge

Jun 11, 20042 mins
System ManagementVPN

Two vendors have separately extended their edge switch and router portfolios to address new markets.

Laurel Networks unveiled a scaled-down version of its multiservice edge router in an effort to attract smaller carriers, like independent operating companies, and those with remote points of presence. Alcatel, meanwhile, has unveiled a metro Ethernet switch with MPLS capabilities to appeal to service providers looking for a low-cost Layer 2 VPN provisioning platform.

The ST50 is a quarter-rack, 5G bit/sec chassis. Like its larger predecessor ST200, Laurel’s ST50 combines Internet routing, Layer 2 switching and broadband subscriber management. But it also features new “MiniPHY” physical interface cards and runs a new version of Laurel’s ShadeTree software with non-stop session, IPv6 and L2TP Access Concentrator (LAC) enhancements.

The ST200 can also run the new software. Non-Stop Sessions ensure that subscriber sessions stay up across a software upgrade or route control processor failover. LAC Support enables PPP session aggregation onto L2TP tunnels.

The ST50’s 16 MiniPHYs are designed to enable service providers to add services and subscribers at low cost. The MiniPHYs include one-port Gigabit Ethernet versions, or up to 16 per system; and one-port OC-3c/STM-1 versions, up to 16 per system.

For B-RAS applications, the ST50 supports up to 32,000 active sessions with features enabled, Laurel says.

The ST50 will be available in July. The ShadeTree 3.1 software is available now.

Alactel’s 7450 Ethernet Service Switch comes in two flavors: the seven-slot ESS-7 and the 1.5-rack-unit ESS-1.

The ESS-7 takes up one-fifth of a rack and scales from 100G to 200G bit/sec, Alcatel says. The ESS-1 has a 20G bit/sec switch fabric. Both products support a range of half-slot interface options, including 1x10G bit/sec Ethernet, 10x1G bit/sec Ethernet, 8 lambda CWDM, 60×10/100M bit/sec Ethernet, 4xOC-48, 8xOC-12 and 16xOC-3.

The switches support virtual leased line and virtual private LAN services for point-to-point and multipoint Ethernet VPNs, respectively, as well as DSL aggregation. The 7450 ESS line is expected to compete with Riverstone Networks’ recently announced 15008 Ethernet Edge Router.

The 7450 ESS switches are available now.

by Jim Duffy
Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

More from this author