Intel Adds Intelligence for Optical QoS

Intel Corp. jumped into the optical network market this week with an OC-48 multi-transport network access engine device.

Intel's GigaBlade will enable service providers to analyze the types of traffic on their networks. Intel says the analysis performed by GigaBlade will enable those service providers to offer quality-of-service agreements and build networks in response to specific traffic patterns and needs.

The GigaBlade-based server card is aimed at service providers looking to connect LANs, MANs and WANs. The card supports a variety of network protocols including ATM, packet over SONET, SONET/SDH, or packet over fiber.

Intel says GigaBlade's monitoring data can be processed by a wide range of standard applications running on the server. Those applications could include billing, provisioning and intrusion detection. Intel expects that larger carriers may write their own software to create additional services.

The data could also be used to provide increases in services during peak demand periods. That might mean, for example, that when a long-distance carrier detects a sudden increase in phone traffic coming from a trade show where thousands of cell phones are being used at the same time, it can roll in mobile base stations to accommodate the increased telephone traffic.

The GigaBlade card is designed to operate with any high-speed server with a standard PCI slot, but Intel says its performance is optimized for 64-bit servers.

The Intel GigaBlade OC-48 is expected to be available in limited volume starting in the fourth quarter. Pricing for the product starts at US$7,500 in volume quantities.

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