APOLAN forms, exhorts PON, fiber enterprise over 'traditional' copper Ethernet designs

Seven major companies in the IT networking sphere have joined to form a new industry association promoting the use of passive optical LAN technology.

Seven major companies in the IT networking sphere have joined to form a new industry association promoting the use of passive optical LAN technology. The founding members of the newly announced Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) include:

Corning
IBM
SAIC
TE Connectivity
Tellabs
Zhone
3M

The association's stated mission is to advocate for the education and global adoption of passive optical networks in the local area network (LAN) industry. APOLAN aims to spread the word about the benefits of the passive optical LAN fiber-optic architecture, which adapts the passive optical network (PON) technology commonly used in fiber to the home (FTTH) applications to drive enterprise networks.

With bandwidth demands growing in the enterprise, the members of APOLAN see passive optical LANs as an ideal method to keep pace with requirements in a less expensive, more future-proof way than traditional workgroup switch-based LAN architectures. The association contends that this fiber-optic network scheme ideally reduces equipment costs as well as power, cooling, installation, and floor space requirements.

"Passive Optical LAN serves as the optimized means to deliver voice, video, data, wireless access, security and high-performance building automation for the federal government and commercial enterprise," state's the association's website. "Passive Optical LAN saves money, energy and space."

"With data and video consumption forecast to grow between 7-10x in the next few years, the demand for highly cost-effective and high-quality voice, video, and data continues to grow in the enterprise LAN market space, making passive optical LAN an appealing solution to address current and future bandwidth demands," comments Nav Chander, research manager, enterprise telecom at IDC, via an APOLAN press release. "The APOLAN will provide valuable education and guidance to those considering this type of networking solution, and I expect they will serve as strong advocates for its global adoption."

At the association's founding meeting this past March, APOLAN members settled the group’s by-laws and elected Corning’s Dave E. Cunningham president and chairman of the association.

"The deployments of passive optical LAN to date have demonstrated significant cost and performance advantages compared to traditional Ethernet designs, and the optical foundation 'future-proofs' the network for any new bandwidth demand -- a clear advantage over existing copper solutions," contends Cunningham in the same press release. "Participation in the APOLAN is open to all organizations interested in leveraging passive optical networking to revolutionize the way local-area networks are designed, deployed, and managed."

Other APOLAN executives elected at the March meeting include:

John W. Short, IBM, vice president
Joseph D. Marmion, Tellabs, secretary
John Winship, SAIC, treasurer

Joining Cunningham on the board of directors were board chair-elect S. Blaine Overstreet of SAIC and directors Jeffery H. Jones, IBM; Ryland J. Marek, 3M; Thomas C. Ruvarac, Tellabs; Brian O'Connell, TE Connectivity; and Brian Caskey, Zhone.

More information about APOLAN, including how to join, is available at http://www.apolanglobal.org.

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