Friday, April 25, 2008
There was a time when a dredge snagging an undersea optical cable or an earthquake popping a fiber's connector would bring down the whole network. But no more. Carriers are increasingly turning to mesh topologies to route data and voice between nodes, allowing for self-healing connections that automatically reconfigure around broken, blocked or overloaded paths by "hopping" alternate node-to-node routes to the desired destination. With all the buzz about wireless mesh networks, you might have thought that optical networks were still point-to-point or rings, but nothing could be further from the truth. Optical networks worldwide are quickly moving to mesh topologies. Like routing intercontinental airline flights either around or over the pole, fully connected global mesh networks can route traffic as congestion and failures allow, providing nearly 100 percent network availability, as well as fail-safe security. Ciena Corp. (Linthicum, Md.), AT&T, Verizon Business, Internet 2 newbie Tata Teleservices (India) and more than 30 other carriers and service providers are switching from antiquated, point-to-point or ring networks to mesh topologies that provide fail-safe connections Ciena describes as "survivable."
Posted by R. Colin Johnson at 9:01 AM