Intune Networks unveils its first commercial product

23 May 2011

What began in 1999 as a research project in photonics at UCD has resulted in the world’s first web-enabled and virtualised networking system that could revolutionise broadband for millions and pit a small Irish company against established switching giants like Cisco and Juniper.

Intune today revealed the commercial availability of its Verisma product line, the world’s first carrier-class converged switch and transport solution based on optical burst switching.

Built on Intune Networks’ Optical Packet Switch and Transport (OPST) technology, the product line takes on the global challenge presented by the massive increases in on-demand data traffic and delivers new levels of efficiency.

Verisma is the world’s first web-enabled network platform, unlocking the full potential of network operators’ assets and virtualising the network to provide liquid bandwidth.

“Before today’s commercial launch we have focused on validating the technical capabilities of our technology and performing early trials with large operators,” Tim Fritzley, Intune Networks CEO, explained.

“We are now moving into a new phase of commercialisation as we prepare for multiple global first office applications in the second half of this year. So far, the feedback from the market has confirmed our assertions and we have deep and broad engagement with the major players in the industry.”

The commercial release of the product is the culmination of a journey started more than a decade ago by John Dunne and Tom Farrell, who founded Intune Networks in Dublin in 1999. Intune Networks’ technology has already undergone extensive operator validation, including deployment in the Irish Government’s Exemplar Network and as part of the MAINS project, led by Telefonica I+D, the research and development branch of Telefonica.

Dunne explained that the technology virtualises the light signals on a single strand of fibre and divides them by colour, making it possible to send multiple streams of data down the one strand of fibre.

“It then goes further by providing data operators the ability to remotely increase or decrease, or apply additional bandwidth by calendar, from any connected device,” he said.

He said Intune Networks has incorporated a new operating system into the Verisma products based on the latest web services technologies.

This operating system delivers an application programming interface that will allow operators to take full advantage of the flexibility of their networks to deliver an array of on-demand network-based services and prepare their networks for the applications and services of the future.

Exemplar test bed

The Exemplar Test-bed Program is a communications services test bed provided by the Irish Government’s Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) as a magnet to attract and expand leading-edge research and development in Ireland for next-generation web and ICT services.

Intune Networks’ Verisma product family was selected as the foundation for the Exemplar lab test bed and allows the test bed to provide the flexible network architecture and simplified software operations and control interfaces required by the next generation of carrier services.

With its commercial launch, the Verisma product line will begin to be deployed in the field to support a number of applications, such as cloud computing, mobile backhaul and metro optical aggregation.

With its ability to provide mesh networking, dynamic bandwidth allocation and software-defined networking, the solution has been attracting attention for data centre interconnect and network-as-a-service applications.

“The ‘cloud’ promises to cost effectively provide infrastructure, applications and services where ever and whenever they are requested,” Stu Elby, VP Network and Technology at Verizon explained.

“The ability to dynamically move virtual machines and/or data sets among data centres will allow us to address hot-spot issues while potentially enabling new services.

“Current network constraints do not permit this capability to be exploited cost effectively, so to this end virtualised, dynamic networking will accelerate the adoption and profitability of the cloud,” Selby added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years