Metro Ethernet equipment maker Appian Communications and ADC this week announced an agreement whereby ADC will market, sell and support Appian's products.Financial terms of the non-exclusive arrangement were not disclosed.ADC will market Appian's Optical Services Activation Platform (OSAP) and a new product unveiled this week, the Services Termination Unit (STU), to cable multiple system operators (MSO). OSAP grooms Ethernet and TDM services onto a SONET or IP backbone, while STU delivers Ethernet and TDM services to small and medium-sized businesses.Services include Ethernet private line and virtual LAN, frame relay, ATM and IP.ADC will bundle Appian's product with its own Cuda 12000 IP Access Switch and Cuda 1000 cable modem termination system (CMTS) to enable MSOs to deliver integrated voice and Ethernet services to commercial customers over fiber and coax. ADC has installed 700 Cuda 12000 units worldwide.OSAP will perform Layer 2 aggregation of Cuda services delivered over coax and STU services delivered over fiber. Appian also announced this week an STU termination card for the OSAP 4800 and 1600 systems that allows downstream STUs to be aggregated into the OSAP located at a service provider central office, headend or hub facility.Appian's STU is a fixed configuration, 1RU device that supports DS-1\/E-1, and 10\/100M bit\/sec Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. It also features an optionally redundant Gigabit Ethernet uplink and support for IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile operations, administration, management and provisioning.STU also features support for a four- to eight-channel coarse wavelength division multiplexer, which allows dedicated wavelengths from multiple business sites to share a single fiber pair.The STU will be available in June.Analyst reaction to the Appian products and alliance with ADC was mixed."The STUs give service providers an inexpensive way to provide Ethernet and DS-1\/E-1 services to targeted small and medium enterprises," wrote Current Analysis is a recent report. "In addition, the ADC agreement opens up a new market (cable MSO) to Appian at reasonable cost, since ADC will provide sales and support for Appian. These announcements would have garnered a more positive rating had ADC also integrated support of Appian\u2019s equipment with ADC\u2019s element management capability."Since the agreement does not include ADC integrating operations support for the Appian systems, this move at present is primarily focused on sales and support, rather than on building an end-to-end solution ADC can offer MSOs," Current Analysis states.Appian competes against small metro access platforms from incumbent vendors such as Alcatel, Cisco, Lucent, and Nortel, and emerging vendors such as Internet Photonics and Turin Networks, according to Current Analysis.The STU costs $5,000 per two way connection between the customer premises and the central office, Appian says.