Network Equipment Technologies Inc is pulling its narrowband and broadband wide area network strategy together into an architecture dubbed Vista. At its centre is an Asynchronous Transfer Mode wide area network switch but the new architecture is also intended to draw the company’s IDNX and Sonet Transmission Manager products into the fold as well. Vista […]
Network Equipment Technologies Inc is pulling its narrowband and broadband wide area network strategy together into an architecture dubbed Vista. At its centre is an Asynchronous Transfer Mode wide area network switch but the new architecture is also intended to draw the company’s IDNX and Sonet Transmission Manager products into the fold as well. Vista is being aimed at both carriers and enterprise networks. The Redwood City, California company is sticking with its view that the wide area network market is not yet ready for Asynchronous Mode, citing a lack of network switches at acceptable prices as the reason for this. It said that reliable multiservice network architectures will not be available before 1997. As a result, the company envisages that hybrid networks will evolve: narrowband and broadband communications will coexist, as will Time Division Multiplexing and Asynchronous Transfer Mode; routed and switched local area networks; cell- and frame-based networks; local and remote networks; and combined public and private infrastructures. In this respect, the company’s strategy has much in common with Paris, France-based Alcatel Data Networks SA’s Avanza architecture (CI No 2,639), although the two differ in that Avanza is designed to scale down to the desktop, while Network Equipment is concentrating on the wide area only. Also, whereas Alcatel supports Asynchronous Mode, Frame Relay, and Time Division Multiplexed switching across the wide area, Vista is designed to enable users to move towards Asynchronous Mode by integrating the other technologies onto an Asynchronous wide area network backbone, using Asynchronous Mode Service Interfaces in conjunction with its new Asynch Mode switch. To this end, the company is integrating its existing product lines with the Asynchronous switch. Its Time Division Multiplexing-based IDNX multiservice bandwidth manager will be extended with an Asynchronous Mode interface module, intended to enable it to provide access to Asynchronous carrier services and also act as an service interface for the Asynchronous Mode switch. More details will be revealed early next year, said the company. Two other generic categories of service interfaces are also envisaged: edge routers, to provide legacy local area network interface and internetworking functions; and frame ones to provide high-speed frame and packet adaption services, ISDN capabilities and T1/E1 Asynchronous Mode port aggregation into high-speed Asynchronous networks. The company is not planning to develop all of the interfaces itself, but hopes to attract partners to do so. To try and encourage this, the wide area network switch interface will be based on the ATM Forum’s User to Network Interface UNI standard. Details about the Asynchronous Mode wide area network switch itself are scarce but we do know that it operates either as a stand-alone or as a virtual backplane for the multiservice architecture and scales from 622Mbps to 10Gbps on a non-blocking basis.