Thursday, September 29, 2005

Meriton and Mahi Merge, Focus on Agile Optical Networking

Meriton Networks is merging with Mahi Networks, combining two start-up companies offering leading edge optical networking systems for carriers. The combined company, which will use the Meriton name, said its mission is to deliver a unified, end-to-end Agile Optical Networking solution under an integrated management system. This will include automated optical layer provisioning, multi-topology (ring and mesh) support as well as Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities.

Meriton Networks features an end-to-end, fully managed high-speed metro/regional (HSM) services architecture that consolidates key transport capabilities (DWDM/CWDM and Wavelength/SONET/SDH switching) within a single network element. The mid-plane design of Meriton's 7200 OADX enables it to support the transmission and switching of wavelengths and SONET/SDH traffic -- all within a single network element. Individual wavelengths can be groomed via the SONET/SDH switch fabric or be switched transparently. The chassis design also enables the addition of ROADM and transparent wavelength switching cards.

Mahi Networks offers a Vx7 Multi-Service Core Transport System with ROADM capabilities. The Vx7 provides single wavelength switching granularity with full 100% optical add/drop capability for 2.5, 10, and 40 Gbps line-rates, with full wavelength-reuse around a sixteen-node network that spans up to a 1000 km circumference. To support the increasing demand for IP and SAN services, Mahi Networks recently introduced a 10-port Multi-Service ADM Transponder with SFP client interfaces supporting any combination of GbE, Fiber Channel, ESCON, FICON, and digital video services. The GFP/VCAT implementation supports full-rate and rate-limited services multiplexed using ADM-on-a-Wavelength technology to provide service add/drop at any node and wavelength reuse around the ring. In addition, Mahi offers a 10G Multi-Service Transponder with XFP client interfaces supporting 10GbE LAN PHY, 10GbE WAN PHY, OC-192, STM-64, and G.709 services.

Michael Pascoe, Meriton's president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will continue in that role. Bill Gartner, Mahi's former president and Chief Operating Officer (COO), will take over the COO position at Meriton.

The company's Agile Optical Networking portfolio includes the following:

  • 9500 Network Planning Tool (NPT)

  • 8600 NMS and 8300 EMS (Integrated Management Systems)

  • 7200 Optical Switching Platform (OSP)

  • 6400 Optical Transport Platform (OTP)

  • 3300 Optical Services Multiplexer
  • In June 2005, Meriton Networks, a start-up based in Ottawa, secured US$54 million in Series C funding for its optical metro optical solutions. The company cited growing traction with carrier customers worldwide – including its role in supporting strategic partner, Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe, in addressing BT's 21Cn network build. Meriton said it would continue to work with strategic partners in reaching top-tier service providers, as well build-out its own channels of distribution. The oversubscribed round was led by two new prominent investors, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Nomura International. All of the previous investors in Meriton also participated in the round, including Desjardins Venture Capital Group, Newbury Ventures, Primaxis Technology Ventures, RBC Capital Partners (Telecommunications Fund), Sierra Ventures, VenGrowth and Venture Coaches/Skypoint Capital.

  • In March 2005, Meriton named Michael Pascoe as its new CEO. Pascoe was the former CEO of PairGain Technologies, which was acquired by ADC Telecommunications in 2000 for $3 billion. Prior to PairGain, Pascoe was a key member of the executive management team at Newbridge Networks.

  • In June 2004, Mahi announced its acquisition of Photuris, another start-up based in New Jersey. It developed an automated optical transport system for high-capacity metro and regional DWDM networks. Its platform features a "Versicolor" capability that integrates four functions on a single optical line card: WDM demux/mux at the system input/output; fully flexible, reconfigurable OADM wavelength switching (any wavelength to any port, independent of any other wavelength); per-wavelength power balancing; and real-time per-wavelength optical power monitoring.

  • Also in June 2004, Mahi Networks closed $70 million in new funding. The company later discontinued Mahi's original Mi7 Metro Core Aggregation System (MCAS), which combined SONET add-drop multiplexer (ADM), 3/3 digital cross-connect (DCS), DS-3 breakout capability and Layer 2 Ethernet transport switching in a single box.

Metro Optical Networks to Deliver Ethernet Services
address the needs of the various Ethernet-based applications, service
providers have to create a set of service descriptions to enable the
transport of Ethernet data from the enterprise network through the Metro
Area Network. The Ethernet service descriptions can be divided into two
categories: 1) Leased Line or 2) Switched services. The level of
transparency and the bandwidth allocation method differentiates the two
service categories.  The metro IP/Ethernet layer network needs to be
able to provide a switched Ethernet and/or routed IP network.

See also