Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Caspian Releases Flow-State Edge Router

Caspian Networks introduced a smaller version of its flow-state router designed for broadband aggregation and peering applications. The new 50 Gbps A50 flow-state router uses the same ASICs, software and line cards as the existing Caspian router, but in a single 6-RU shelf capable of aggregating up to 40 Gigabit Ethernet connections, four 10 Gbps trunks or other combination of interfaces.

Unlike traditional routers, the A50 is able to recognize and route traffic as flows of related packets, not just as individual packets.
Caspian's technology examines each packet entering the router, identifies flows, and then stores to memory the flow's relevant routing information as well as its QoS, loss, delay and jitter characteristics. Flows are identified by the combination of source address, destination address, source port, destination port, and protocol. Subsequent packets in the flow are switched based on the "flow state" data already in memory. By tracking potentially tens of millions of microflows per 10 Gbps interface per second in hardware, Caspian said its Apeiro platform provides deterministic QoS for premium IP traffic that is equivalent to ATM. The ASIC-driven platform is capable of handling flow set-ups significantly faster than the circuit set-up rates typical of ATM and MPLS.

Caspian said its new A50 flow-state router "gives service providers the ability to optimize peering interfaces, implement P2P traffic control, improve the performance of broadband access networks and create an effective and efficient infrastructure for voice and video over IP as well as other real-time services."

The smaller A-50 chassis offers optional dual 120-V AC power supplies and standard dual 48-V DC power. It also features dual redundant application processor cards and a redundant, hot standby management system. Like the existing A120, the A50 supports a variety of optical interfaces, including 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet, OC-192c/STM-64c, OC-48c/STM-16c, and OC-12c/STM-4c. The A50 supports BGP4, IS-IS, and OSPF routing and signaling protocols, with optional support for MPLS, RSVP-TE, LDP, PIM-SM, MBGP and IPv6.

The device is currently in testing by cable operators as a means of aggregating CMTS and by telcos as a means of aggregating DSLAMs. The A50 is generally available and is shipping now. A base system configuration starts at $50,000.

  • In February 2005, Caspian announced that it had been selected by South Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) to co-develop advanced IP flow state solutions for the nation's Broadband convergence Network (BcN). The project will combine Caspian's flow state technology with ETRI's technical expertise in network control and simplified multi-protocol labeling switching (sMPLS).

  • In January 2005, Northrop Grumman awarded a multi-year contract to Caspian Networks for joint development of a critical element of the space communications system payload for the Air Force's Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Space Segment.


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