Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Avanex Joins "WISDOM" Consortium to Develop a Photonic Firewall

Avanex is a member of a consortium that received EUR 2 million in funding to develop a re-configurable photonic firewall sub-system on a chip. The three-year project is called "WISDOM" for Wirespeed Security Domains Using Optical Monitoring and brings together a consortium that encompasses companies and organizations that span the supply chain within optical networks.

WISDOM aims to develop a proof of concept demonstration for a re-configurable photonic firewall sub-system on a chip to allow optical data inspection using security algorithms optimized for very high speed operation in the optical domain. The optical processing sub-modules will perform bit pattern recognition as input to a range of security algorithms, based on existing research in network intrusion detection systems.

Avanex said that as optical transmission data rates increase, it becomes increasingly difficult to implement existing security approaches based on current electronic techniques. In addition, a large percentage of optical traffic is only converted to electronic signals at the final nodes, thus preventing the deployment of standard security authentication protocols. At present, optical techniques that provide some level of packet screening for optical bypass are cumbersome and would dramatically reduce the traffic load on a particular router.