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MRV Communications Inc. introduces Linux Switch Router

Apr 06, 1999, 22:51 (0 Talkback[s])

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From Troy Larsen, as posted to (Thanks to Jim Rich for forwarding it.)

Tuesday April 6, 8:30 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

MRV Communications Inc. Introduces Industry's First High-Performance Linux Switch Router

The OSR8000 is the First High Performance Enterprise Routing Switch to Integrate the Linux Operating System

CHATSWORTH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 6, 1999-- MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:MRVC - news), a leading provider of high-speed optical network components and systems, today announced the first high performance enterprise switch router to integrate the Linux Operating System under its NBase-Xyplex brand name.

``The OSR8000 has addressed the market demand for a flexible, high performance enterprise solution that increases network bandwidth on demand and preserves mission critical application requirements for enterprise and service provider networks,'' said Noam Lotan, president and CEO of MRV Communications.

This revolutionary router was featured in this week's issues of PC Week, Network World, Internet Week and EE Times. High performance has been integrated with the ``Open'' architecture of Linux to create a seamless, high performance enterprise switch routing package for enterprise and service provider networks.

This is the first high performance Linux Router using the strength, flexibility and scalability of an ``Open'' architecture, giving the customer basic block functions and programmable interfaces.

The OSR8000 is a Linux switch router in an 18-slot chassis with a 40-Gigabit-per-second routing fabric, frame and cell scheduling, and high speed ASICs, supporting up to 26 million packets per second of throughput. A special feature is the programmable ``Packet Flow Processors'' for smart networking applications. These new features can be deployed without additional hardware upgrades, saving customers time and resources.

A Common Routing Platform Approach

Today, ``Open Source'' routing is rapidly gaining favor among developers. A recent survey by Evans Marketing Services showed that 53% of surveyed developers are in favor of open source software. A recent series of key developments is helping Linux to emerge as a new viable standard in Enterprise Operating Systems.

New enhancements to Linux are beginning to catch the attention of the corporate IT groups. Improved interfaces, symmetric multi- processing performance and an extended file system are, but a few of the improvements that place Linux on a par with NT and NetWare.

These improvements have attracted industry leaders such as IBM, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Intel and Dell computers in support of the Linux Open architecture.

Breakthrough Capabilities in Application Development

Most competing high-end switch router vendors require their customers to use a proprietary software engine for all routing features. The proprietary software running their routers restricts users who wish to add new applications to their products. With Linux as its software systems base, the OSR8000 allows customers who require this capability access to the basic block functions and programmable interfaces needed for application development.

``The industry is growing and changing fast, but our average (service) contract is seven to 10 years,'' said Tejas Vashi, data communications product manager at Broadband Network Inc., in State College, Pa., and NBase user. ``There will be (a) lot of changes over that time, so we'll need to change, scale and migrate that system over (the) life of the contract. Something like (the OSR8040-L) lets us add and delete things as we require on the core. It lets us tailor the applications to the network itself.'' (PC Week, April 5, 1999)

Customers who are unable to build their own applications will also benefit from the open system routing design. As new networking technologies and capabilities become available, they must first be ported to a router's base code before the new features can be utilized. The Linux Open architecture encourages the thousands of software developers to continue releasing new features.

To further complement enhanced routing, the OSR8000 includes integrated application services with the multi-service functions of the Linux OS. These include programmable Packet Flow Processors for `smart' networking applications, the CODA distributed file system, improved directory services, enhanced symmetric multiprocessing performance, load balancing and fault tolerance.


The OSR8000 is an 18-slot modular chassis with a 40-Gigabit per second routing fabric, frame and cell scheduling, and high speed ASICs. Optional modules provide a flexible selection of port density and speed with 128 x 10/100 Ethernet ports, 64 OC12 ports or 32 x 1Gbps ports. Future modules will include 128 ATM or POS OC3 ports and WDM and long-reach optics.

To ensure high-end scalability, the Linux Operating System supports multiple processors and also supports IPsec. The OSR8000 includes support for Quality of Service, numerous security features, policy-based management, SNMP, RMON, VLANS, IP CIDR and router clustering.

It also includes a full suite of routing protocols and applications, including: IP, RIP1/2, OSPF DHCP, ICMP, EGP, GDP, IRDP, IPX, MBR, IGMP, DVMRP, PIM, SAP, NetBios, AppleTalk, DECnet, NAT and IP Masquerading.


The base chassis and initial modules of the OSR8000 routing switch will be available in the 3rd quarter of 1999. The Linux Switch Router was developed and will be manufactured by MRV's NBase division in Yokneam, Israel.

About MRV Communications Inc.

MRV Communications is a world-class leader in high-speed optical network components and systems. Its products integrate switching, routing, remote access and fiber-optic transmission to enhance the performance of LANs (local area networks) and WANs (wide area networks) and telecommunications networks. MRV's fiber-optic transmission components send voice, data and video to carriers and residential networks.

Through its NBase-Xyplex brand, the company provides network enhancement solutions that accelerate the deployment and improve the performance of complex data networks.