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The anticipated dramatic growth of metropolitan-area networks (MANs) is forcing a reevaluation by service providers of the optimal use of their existing transport infrastructure. Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) technology will remain a pervasive transport technology because of its well-proven, low-delay restoration and resiliency capabilities. Nevertheless, there is a growing recognition that efficient transport of data traffic in the MAN will require a new class of transport distribution networks. The evolving transport technologies that will support these distribution networks must retain the outstanding resiliency and restoration capabilities of SONET, while delivering improved bandwidth multiplexing capabilities that can be delivered only by a packet-based transport. One of the most promising of these new transport technologies is Cisco Dynamic Packet Transport (DPT), which is based on the emerging resilient packet ring (RPR) IEEE standard.
To meet these requirements, Cisco Systems offers a new Optical Services Module (OSM) for the Cisco 7600 Series Routers and Catalyst 6500 Series Switches that is configurable via software to be used either as a two-port OC-48c/STM-16 Packet-over-SONET (POS) module, or as a one-port OC-48c/STM-16 DPT module. The ability to configure this module for use in either POS networks or DPT networks provides the flexibility that service providers will need to adapt their distribution network to the rapidly increasing data traffic of their end customers. In addition, this module also provides four Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to provide additional data connectivity within the carrier's central office. This new Cisco 7600 Series Optical Service Module enables service providers to scale WAN bandwidth and performance to OC-48 speeds, while offering the flexibility to adapt to the distribution network architecture that will deliver the wide range of Layer 2 and Layer 3 services that their customers are demanding