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Product Review: UMUX 1500, an SDH Access Platform Offering Many Services
[January 27, 2006]

Product Review: UMUX 1500, an SDH Access Platform Offering Many Services

By Biju Oommen
Leberstrasse 20
1110 Vienna
Ph:  +43 1 610 20-0 Fx: +43 1 610 20-2356
Web site:
Installation: 5
Documentation: 4
Features: 5
GUI: 4
Overall: A-
We live in a time of escalating telecom competition and carriers that take hold of and make the most of technology as a strategic tool will be the industry winners.  Their services have to be multifaceted and for that they need a multi function, multi service access platform as their customer base could span from the rural to the urban and require a blend of subscriber services & technologies.

At the least a carrier or service provider’s wish list for a multi-access platform would run like this-support the old and the new i.e. PDH, SDH, IP, ATM, POTS & ISDN telephony, Ethernet etc. Elaborating this a bit further you would need a cross connect, SONET/SDH terminal multiplexer, add drop multiplexer, digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) functionality coupled with ATM-based concentrated multiplex function for  bundled transmission to the core network, a migration path to VoIP, Ethernet over SDH (EoS), broadband xDSL services etc.

For such a platform we did not look far into the horizon as Keymile’s UMUX multi service access platform family seemed to meet most of those aspirations. Keymile offers a choice between the UMUX 1500, UMUX 1200 & UMUX 900.But we settled for Keymile’s market-proven SDH product platform the UMUX 1500 as it is designed to support very low bit rates and goes all the way up to 155 Mbps and it is a 21 slot modular DC powered 19'' chassis thoroughbred. If you have one versatile multifunction platform like that then it certainly makes the finance managers happy for the savings that can be accrued from it.
For the UMUX 1500 Keymile promises SDH standards compliance, support for SDH ECC & overhead bytes, traffic protection functions, a broadband bus backplane, end to end management and interoperability with multi vendor SDH equipment.  It is a true carrier class chassis as it implements traffic and equipment protection standards namely 1+ 1 equipment protection( EQP), Liner trail protection(LTP), Sub-network connection protection(SNCP), multiplex section protection(MSP) , synchronous equipment timing source (SETS) protection etc.
UMUX 1500 is very versatile and lends itself to various functions. It is a SDH STM-1 terminal multiplexer and add drop multiplexer. It has a 128 x 2Mbps digital cross connect and we were able to cross connect at the 64Kbps level. Keymile promises support for ATM DSLAM, circuit emulation over ATM and IMA (Inverse multiplexing over ATM). When it comes to telephony we were told that you can do a voice CAS, V.5.1& V.5.2 and if the need dictates you can even get a VoIP subscriber media gateway function. Its EoS function allows you to switch and transport 10/100 Mbps and 1Gbps over electrical and optical interfaces. This means you can now provision new Ethernet services over an existing SDH network.
By integrating a good mix of functions and interfaces it addresses many requirements. Subscribers can get POTS, ISDN-BRA, ISDN-PRA etc interfaces. When it comes to data subscriber interfaces you are spoiled with many choices and no matter what your requirement is you are covered by a mélange of interfaces including V.24 / V.28, X.21/V.11,V.35,10/100BaseT, 1000Base-X,G.703 2mbps ,4 x 2mbps optical, G.703 34 / 45 mbps , SDH STM-1 optical, ATM STM-1 optical etc. In the DSL domain you get flavours like ADSL (ADSL, ADSL2, and ADSL2+), HDSL, SHDSL line etc. Depending on the requirement network designers can choose network interfaces such as SDH or PDH with NxG.703 2Mbps or 4x2Mbps optical or even one or two SDH STM-1(with support for TDM, IMA, EoS traffic) .If it is an IP or ATM requirement (then you get support for Ethernet, optical, ATM STM-1, optical, N x 2mbps IMA etc.) or if it is DSL (then you get support for N x TDM SHDSL 2mbps N x TDM HDSL 2mbps) etc.
Given SDH’s continued dominant role in telecom markets Keymile’s UMUX 1500 is well placed to serve it. With the release of plug in units that support EoS, VoIP media gateway etc  Keymile is doing its part in revitalizing SDH’s future by quickly supporting new functions and driving down the cost of equipment by integrating more and more functions on to the same platform. Working on the core belief of business continuity Key mile’s UMUX 1500 platform ensures carriers can maintain revenue from existing voice services and also move towards Next generation network (NGN) services. This aspect is also reinforced by supporting EoS on the same platform allowing implementation of Gigabit Ethernet overlay network, Ethernet private point to point or point to multi point networks. These approaches can help carriers extend the life of the existing SDH infrastructure which is critical to their success.
Keymile’s UCST & UNEM companion management tools are there to help network operators in remote provisioning, management, and diagnostic functions. These tools will help you keep very close tabs on every deployed network element; reduce visits to remote equipment sites thus help in keeping operational costs low. UCST is a Windows based tool  (See Figure 1) for small networks with up to say 30 UMUX network elements. More than that you should deploy Keymile’s UNEM network management package (See Figure 2) which is a UNIX/LINUX based system with a map indication your various network elements. It is a multi-user system that supports multi-layer network topology, error management, configuration management, performance management etc.
You get started by interfacing the UMUX 1500 21 slot chassis, along with COBUV, which acts as a control unit for configuration and operation of the UMUX and it also includes other functions such as NE synchronization function etc. and it uses one slot of the sub rack. Also, the POSUM power converter unit uses one slot of the sub rack and provides +/- 5V DC to the other units in the rack.  If you need high system availability then you can have additional COBUV and POSUM in the sub rack. Next, based on your application and traffic requirements you select the aggregate units for example such as SYNIC (STM-1 electrical interface), SYNOT (STM-1 optical short haul interface), or TDM tributary units such as SYNAM (you can map 8 x2Mbps to VC12), SYNAD (you can map 16 x2Mbps to VC12) SYTEL (you can map 34 Mbps or 45 Mbps to VC3).
The NEBRO/NEBRA (Ethernet transport and switching) units will definitely satiate your EoS requirements and it helps carve out Ethernet bandwidth granularly in 2Mbps increments. These units also include support for salient features like built in switching; concatenation with VC12 or VC 3 etc, traffic prioritization, VLAN tagging, rapid spanning tree protocol etc. Depending on application you can deploy either the NEBRO (has four 100BaseT-interfaces and two SFP slots for 100Base-FX or 1000Base-LX optical modules) or the NEBRA (has six SFP slots for 100Base-FX or 1000Base-LX optical modules).The SYNAC, SYNVA units can take care of your 2Mbps to VC12, TU-12 traffic mapping needs.
Customers developing systems based on the UMUX 1500 solution can flexibly scale their designs depending on the total number of interface ports, required applications and features.  
Thanks to the IP subscriber media gateway (IPSMG) unit the service provider can concurrently offer subscribers both traditional telephony and NGN telephony services. No more fork lift upgrades - instead you can migrate towards NGN telephony at your own pace. 
Operational Testing
For our testing we used UMUX 1500’s each of them equipped with a COBUV, POSUM , SYNIO (STM-1 aggregate interface unit with two optical ports and  uses two slots in the sub rack),SYNAC (STM-1 tributary interface unit providing tributary signals access to STM-1 aggregate ) and a LOMIF ( 8x 2Mbps interface unit uses one slot in the sub rack). For the test and to pass the traffic between sites we connected 3rd party external routers equipped with E1 WAN interfaces to the 2Mbps interface of the LOMIF card.
Using UCST I connected to the UMUX. For that we had to get the management network agent configured and running and then added the appropriate network element which in this case is the UMUX 1500. One good thing with the UCST is that you can prepare a configuration offline even without connecting to the UMUX. We configured the LOMIF, SYNAC, and SYNIO with the required parameters. Then set about creating the relevant cross connects. Each time we made any configuration changes I had to do a partial download to the network element. The UCST serves many useful functions- allowed me to do a software delivery (between the network manager and network element), software installation (on to various units on the UMUX), set time on the UMUX, do a an upload or download form the UMUX, create, modify and delete cross connections on the UMUX, add, delete, or convert units, perform status and maintenance functions, configure and check timing sources, monitor alarms on a particular unit, alarm listing, etc. All of this will enable system designers to architect sophisticated systems providing enhanced provisioning, grooming and performance monitoring capabilities.
We found the UCST to be an ideal companion of the UMUX 1500 for network provisioning, management and diagnostics and we found the documentation to be very comprehensive.
As I concluded testing the UMUX 1500, to me it emerged as a very versatile platform with diverse feature sets providing substantial design and cost benefits over similar solutions.
Room for Improvement
This product meets the necessary functional and application requirements so nothing much  to suggest except that we would like to optionally see secure web based management and secure telnet management access supported.
UMUX 1500 is a true multi services platform for network operators and we highly recommend this carrier class modular platform as it strikes an optimal balance between modularity, functionality and cost in an SDH access environment. It’s EoS & and NGN access gateway functionality support is a prescription to success.
Biju Oommen is a Telecommunications & Networking Solutions Consultant with a special focus on enterprise products and solutions

Main UCST interface
Figure 2
UNEM interface

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