Compass Networks- Networking Elements


As traffic floods existing networks, service providers need an evolutionary leap in routing so they can scale and manage networks while maintaining profitability and service quality. Built on fundamental innovation, Compass Networks routers and SDN Forwarding Plane are simply different; with no midplane nor switching fabric, handling traffic without many of the bottlenecks of traditional networking elements and routers. Compass’ networking elements are a simple yet powerful element that can be scaled-out to meet demand using a distributed architecture, providing the technology foundation to break the Petabit barrier.

Compass Networks routers and SDN Forwarding Planes are owered by icPhotonicsTM, a breakthrough technology developed by Compass Networks that is the world’s first silicon chip-to-chip photonics implementation. It uses the power of light to create a new breed of modular carrier-class router or SDN Forwarding Plance, setting the stage for distributed scalable networking. Its inherent innovation enables:

  • High capacity at dramatically lower footprint and power consumption
  • Pay-as-you-grow scalability
  • Guaranteed quality of service (QoS) at high utilization rates
  • Maximum protection from DDoS attacks at maximum capacity
  • Designed for SDN from day one, enabling network virtualization
  • Unmatched levels of congestion-free multicast traffic

A revolution in internal design

The architecture of Compass’ Networking Elements is based on an optical full mesh which replaces the switching fabric and midplane common in traditional routers. The result is an unlimited bandwidth between all line cards; each line card can receive full line-rate traffic from all other line cards without dropping packets.

Small footprint

As a direct result of icPhotonics and the fact a passive optical mesh replaces the traditional midplane and fabric boards, Compass’ networking elements have s a smaller footprint (6RU) and high port density, making them the smallest footprint network element at the highest port density.

Low power

Less hardware components coupled with the use of passive fiber-optics for inter-connect reduces power and cooling requirements.

Low operational expenses

The reduction in footprint and power consumption is complemented by a modern software approach. The system is built with field replaceable units and the media type on all 10G ports are software configurable. All in all installation and maintenance of Compass Networks systems is simple and cost effective.

Powered by the Compass Operating System

The Compass operating system is a modular OS that is designed to scale from a single line-card up to a fully loaded multi-chassis cluster. This fully modular, fully distributed operating system supports the scale-out of the system and ensures always-on operation.

Software configurable interfaces

All the 10G interfaces of the r10004 line cards can be optionally configured to act either as: 10GE-LAN, 10GE-WAN, OC-192POS, STM64POS and 10GEOTN on a per-port basis. This provides the flexibility to change interfaces without negatively impacting port density or replacing hardware by dispatching engineers onsite.

Higher utilization, better QoS

By virtue of the high bandwidth available in the system, the QoS policy is only applied once, on the output interface, where packets are scheduled and de-queued based on the output interface load, ensuring best in class compliance with customer SLA, as packets are never dropped due to internal system congestion. This also easily supports high bandwidth multicast traffic where the system can be loaded with the full line rate of any to any multicast traffic.


No compromise security

Compass’ networking elements are the first on the market to offer a highly secure control plane that requires no physical port rate limiting but rather supports a definition of an aggregated rate limit for the router as a whole. This allows for a novel and more secure way to deal with DDoS threats without reducing capacity, delivering exceptional value especially in peering applications which are both sensitive to security issues as well as requiring high capacity routing.

Made for SDN

The Compass SDN Forwarding Plane takes its instructions from processes in the cloud and defines in detail what each flow in the plane is doing in a packet-by-packet basis. This type of technology simply doesn’t exist in legacy platforms. The Compass SDN Forwarding Plane is more powerful, less complex and has lower power requirements. More importantly it can scale through the simple addition of more devices, just like servers are used to scale data centers today.

The Compass Networks SDN Forwarding Plane features:

  • scalable, high-capacity, low-latency, secure packet forwarding
  • SDN/NFV-based open-standard protocols
  • Compass Networks AnyFLOW™ Architecture, a unique, hybrid SDN architecture that combines network topology resolution and packet forwarding on multiple levels
  • Compass Networks icPhotonics™ technology for outstanding scalability and low-latency

To download the Compass Networks router datasheet, click here

To download the Compass Networks router white paper, click here

To download the Compass Networks SDN vision paper, click here

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