StrataCom Speeds ATM Market Acceptance With New Low Speed Offerings; New suite of ATM products expected to address 70 percent of market demand for wide area ATM access.
Among the low-speed ATM products introduced are new modules that support T1 (1.544 Mbps) and NxT1, ATM inverse multiplexing (AIMUX), ATM frame user network interface (FUNI) and support for frame relay-to-ATM service interworking (see note to editors). With the announcement StrataCom becomes the first equipment supplier to support FUNI, AIMUX and frame relay-to-ATM service interworking together.
The new low speed ATM modules were explicitly developed to address users concerns for more cost-effective and flexible wide area ATM services while targeted at three immediate applications:
-- the connection of multiprotocol routers
-- extending campus ATM data network architectures
-- linking wide area ATM switches
Key user benefits of these new low-speed products include more ATM access options that can be tailored to application requirements and existing network equipment configuration, seamless and cost-effective migration to broadband services, and the ability to link remote offices requiring multimedia access.
Combined with the company's advanced traffic management and quality of service features, the new low-speed options now provide everything needed for users to access and carriers to offer reliable and affordable production-class ATM services.
In addition, the company said that LDDS WorldCom will be the first carrier to use StrataCom's T1 ATM products to provide low-speed public ATM services and that it has successfully completed interoperability testing with other T1 ATM products including the ADC Kentrox AAC-1 and AAC-3 ATM Access Concentrators and FastComm's LAN SARgent.
"T1 and NxT1 ATM address immediate applications for ATM services which don't necessarily require broadband bandwidth," said Chuck Poston, broadband manager for LDDS WorldCom. "Among the most relevant applications for lower speed ATM include extending the switched internetwork and virtual LAN between geographically dispersed locations and the interconnection of new ATM-based wide area network switches that carry voice, video, data and other corporate traffic."
Why Low Speed ATM?
Unlike high-speed ATM services, T1 and NxT1 ATM provide users with immediate, simple and economical solutions enabling ATM applications to be deployed across the enterprise. In addition, T1 and NxT1 ATM are also designed to more efficiently handle delay-sensitive user traffic such as video, voice or SNA and to provide class of service tailored to application requirements.
"By the turn of the century, over 45 percent of all wide area ATM ports will be at T1 speeds," said Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corporation in Vorhees, New Jersey. "In our estimation, T1 ATM has the largest port-count potential of all public carrier ATM interfaces. Without T1 ATM services in the wide area, ATM will continue to languish as users begin to extend their ATM data architectures across the WAN and just can't justify the jump to T3 or OC3 from either an economic or applications standpoint."
StrataCom's new ATM products and capabilities are supported by its narrowband interface shelf called AXIS (February 1995). The products include: new 4- and 8-port T1 ATM, optional software for the 8-port T1 ATM module which adds ATM inverse multiplexing support, a firmware upgrade to the company's existing 4-port T1 frame relay card which adds support for ATM Frame UNI (FUNI) as well as frame relay-to-ATM service interworking. FUNI or frame relay protocol is configurable on a per port basis.
The 4-port T1 ATM module, available immediately, is priced at $15,000. The 8-port module will be available in the first quarter of 1996, priced at $24,000. Optional AIMUX software will be priced at $8,000 per module. The AIMUX module is configurable as either a trunk between switches or for user ATM access. StrataCom's AIMUX interface conforms to an interim specification published by StrataCom and supported by ADC Kentrox.
Both StrataCom and Kentrox AIMUX interfaces will be software upgraded to support the ATM Forum's final specification. FUNI will be provided through a free software upgrade in the first quarter of 1996. Frame relay-to-ATM service interworking is available now.
StrataCom Inc. (NASDAQ:STRM), based in San Jose, Calif., USA, develops, delivers and supports FastPacket networking systems for multiband ATM applications in private wide area networks and public carrier service offerings, such as frame relay and ATM. StrataCom's family of products, including IPX, IGX, BPX, AXIS, FastPAD, and EdgeConnect, is used to integrate and transport a wide variety of corporate information, including voice, data, video, LANs, image and and multimedia traffic and narrowband to broadband ATM network applications. Visit StrataCom's home page at http://www.stratacom.com -0-
Note to Editors:
Frame user-to-network interface was ratified by the ATM Forum in April of 1995. A frame-based interface, FUNI was primarily designed to provide ATM UNI functionality for data traffic at speeds from 56/64 kbps to T1/E1 and to interoperate end-to-end with cell-based ATM UNIs, including signaling traffic management and OAM functionality. FUNI supports switched virtual circuits and end-to-end ATM signaling and allows for up to 256 virtual circuits per interface.
ATM Inverse Multiplexing
The ATM inverse multiplexing is a technique involving inverse multiplexing and demultiplexing of ATM cells in a round-robin fashion among circuits grouped to form a higher bandwidth logical link with a rate roughly the sum of the link rates. The basic function of ATM inverse multiplexing is to provide a cost-effective means for user access to ATM networks and for connection between ATM network switches at rates greater than T1/E1.
Service interworking provides transparent interoperation between frame relay and ATM devices over both private and public ATM networks. Approved by the Frame Relay Forum in March 1995, the Service Interworking Implementation Agreement defines how frame relay data link connection identifiers (DLCIs) to ATM virtual path/virtual channel identifiers (VPI/VCIs). Service interworking converts frame relay frames into ATM cells by formatting the payload to RFC 1483, which is the ATM standard for multiprotocol encapsulation.
For more information about today's low-speed ATM networking trends see StrataCom's white paper: "Slowing Down ATM: Options and Alternatives"
David Callisch, 408/534-2521
Barbara Burdick, 408/494-2003