Light Reading

Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways

Ray Le Maistre
4/16/2013
50%
50%

FRANKFURT -- Ethernet Europe 2013 -- The advance program for this year's Ethernet Europe, which has attracted more than 300 attendees to Marriott Frankfurt Hotel on Day 1, made it quite clear that software-defined networking (SDN) was going to be discussed and debated at the event just as much as the more traditional Carrier Ethernet topics.

So here are the 10 key issues that captured my attention during the conference sessions, and on the show floor, during the first day's proceedings.

  • Get ready for Bandwidth-on-Demand: It's clear from a number of presentations, including those from TeliaSonera International Carrier (TIC) and the event's host, Heavy Reading senior analyst Stan Hubbard (who has many insights into service provider plans), that dynamic bandwidth provisioning is going to feature strongly in carrier portfolios very soon. While such services already exist, they have tended to be based on technology from a single supplier: The difference now, according to presenters and attendees here, is that the industry is closing in on a common set of tools for the provision of bandwidth-on-demand services in multi-vendor networks.

  • The MEF gets cloudy: The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is preparing an "earth-shattering" announcement regarding Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and cloud services in the near future. This is likely to be very closely related to the bandwidth-on-demand trend, as service providers figure how they can provide flexible Ethernet services that can be turned up and down to match the way in which their enterprise users use cloud-based resources and applications.

  • SDN isn't a BGP killer: Nicolas "Nico" Fischbach, director of Network Platform & Strategy and Architecture at Colt Technology Services Group Ltd., put some minds at rest about the potential impact of SDN. "People have been saying there will be no BGP [border gateway protocol] and that IP networks as we know them will go away. That is NUTS!" he proclaimed. "BGP will never go away. But it may be combined with something else, possible OpenFlow but there are lots of options," added the Colt man. Fischbach is a man worth listening to, as Colt has been checking out SDN use cases to figure out any potential advantages and is very active in the network functions virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group formed in late 2012 under the auspices of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). (See Carriers Peer Into Virtual World.)

  • Does OpenFlow have a shelf life? Fischbach soon got into his stride once he was up on stage, questioning whether SDN's poster-child protocol OpenFlow will be around for long. "I'm not sure about the future of OpenFlow as a protocol. I'm not sure it's the SDN Holy Grail." Plenty of speakers, including Rafael Francis from Cyan Inc., noted that there are other tools that will be utilized in SDN architectures.

  • Where are the carrier class OpenFlow products? There was no stopping the day's most compelling speaker. Fischbach told conference delegates that while there is plenty of market noise around OpenFlow products, "carrier-class OpenFlow switches are not GA [generally available]." That sounds like an invitation for some vendors to at least try to prove him wrong…

  • Vendors have been distracted by SDN: Fischbach again. Colt's new network architecture includes an integrated packet/optical core, which isn't quite fully deployed yet because the vendor community is lagging behind its timelines by about two years. SDN has "caused chaos… [vendors] have jumped on the bandwagon and change their positioning" to ensure they have a SDN story.

  • Major carriers are serious about NFV: Network functions virtualization (NFV) isn't just something the ETSI group's members are meeting and talking about – they're checking out whether dedicated telecom products with the traditional integrated hardware/software combination can be replaced with a combination of centralized applications, virtualization software and distributed off-the-shelf servers. And according to Karl-Heinz Nenner, senior architect at Deutsche Telekom AG, the carriers are finding that existing server technology is robust enough for deployment in an NFV architecture.

  • SDN + CE 2.0 is the future: Heavy Reading's Stan Hubbard has seen the future of Carrier Ethernet services and, if SDN capabilities are indeed introduced into carrier networks alongside the enhanced management capabilities provided by Carrier Ethernet 2.0 specifications, users will be offered network-as-a-service options within a few years. CE 2.0 specifications are already enhancing performance management capabilities, added Hubbard.

  • Say hello to 'Anywhereization': We're not sure how hot this term, being used extensively by the TeliaSonera International Carrier (TIC) team, will be, but it encapsulates what all the major operators are seeing and having to deal with – that customers are demanding flexible, increasingly high-bandwidth services anywhere, any time and on any device. The days of fixed rate services over point-to-point connections are disappearing…

  • He called himself 'The Dude': Tata Communications Ltd. senior director and head of Ethernet Product Management, Henry Bohannon, has made the Light Reading team very happy. "My favorite movie of all time is The Big Lebowski," he told me Tuesday afternoon. We believe he had a rug and it really tied his room together.

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

    (13)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    Page 1 / 2   >   >>
    PhilGr
    50%
    50%
    PhilGr,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    4/17/2013 | 7:03:10 PM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    Sorry - got to call BS on that. Bandwidth on demand services have been available for longer than Infinera has been in business - just look at the history of ATM, RSVP and MPLS-TE. The capabilities have evolved over time. Schlumberger launched a service back in 2004 and I'd guess that wasn't the first. -á -á -á
    Alex_Fduch
    50%
    50%
    Alex_Fduch,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    4/17/2013 | 2:16:43 PM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    -áOne more point.
    People forgot that in the SW world virtualization became a booming trend in Data Centers only after Intel and AMD added vitrualization support in their CPUs, or in other terms - in Hardware! Before that virtualization was slow and people would never use it for high performance apps, they deployed dedicated HW servers for that - one server for one application.

    So, IMHO, that means NFV will become comparable with existing networking HW in scalability, performance and efficiency when CPU/NICs/Server chip sets vendors will add NPU functions in their products.
    Ray Le Maistre
    50%
    50%
    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/17/2013 | 11:06:20 AM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    Alex - great post.-á

    And this is what the service providers participating in the NFV group are exploring right now -- they want to figure out if the reality can match the perceived potential.-á

    You are totally right to be skeptical and my sense is that the operators are very wary of getting carried along without drilling deep into the potential and use cases.

    There are clearly some applications/functions that are being explored initially, particularly related to mobile packet core functions.
    Deutsche Telekom provided an update on NFV at this week's Ethernet Europe in Frankfurt and I will be reporting on that update shortly.-á
    Alex_Fduch
    50%
    50%
    Alex_Fduch,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    4/17/2013 | 9:52:57 AM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    Just for those, who wants less hype and more details about issues of NFV, I've found a good discussion:
    http://networkheresy.com/2011/...
    Alex_Fduch
    50%
    50%
    Alex_Fduch,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    4/17/2013 | 9:17:36 AM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    Nonsense from my perspective. If "network functions in software that can run on a range of industry standard server hardware" would be really better and cheaper than HW, we should have already seen SW routers replacing HW routers (BRAS, BNG, NAT, FW, etc.).
    Remember the IT way:
    Proprietary Mainframes -> PCs -> standardization (de facto) of x86 architecture -> servers and Data Centers on x86 architecture -> Virtualization

    What do we see? We see that standard HW was proven to be faster and cheaper than Mainframes for most of applications.

    While in the networking world we've seen a different path:
    Software routers -> software routers and Hw switches -> HW routers and HW switches.
    If e.g. Vyatta is so great then why it replaces HW routers only in a limited number of enterprise applications? Are customers of networking HW stupid?
    Because networking HW provides you: predictable and stable performance within defined scale and defined operations scope and with low power consumption per bit.

    In current operator world if you build a small network - you can use cheap switches and move a lot of "smart" networking functions on Linux machines. But when your networks growth and hits a large scale your Linux BRAS/NAT/FW farm occupies so much space and consumes so much power and scales so poor that you have to buy a HW solution for your networking functions.
    And existing generic server HW is far behind dedicated networking HW for these functions.

    All presentations and paper's I've read about NFV always talking that generic server HW costs cheaper that is why NFV will be cheaper.
    But how did they compare that?
    Lets compare cost per bit:
    If I have a modern router like Cisco ASR9K or ALU 7750 SR or Juniper MX I can do with one NPU the following:
    1. Routing
    2. Switching
    3. BRAS/BNG
    4. ACL
    5. FW (for Juniper MX)
    And any time I'm adding any of this function in the modern HW (NPU based) router - my performance has no degradation and my power consumption per bit stays the same. And modern NPUs can even switch off some cores and decrease power consumption if they are not fully utilized.

    With NFV - each additional function required more CPU power - so I need to get more and more generic server HW for my networking operations.
    Depending of the quality of SW and CPU power and NICs in the server, etc., etc. Which means I need more power, more ToR switches, more load balancers, etc. in the DC to cope with that.

    I do agree, that we possibly can move some of networking function of some small scale in the DC, virtualize them.
    But we cannot replace ISPs network infrastructure with just a dumb switches and DC, at least not in the next years.
    Ray Le Maistre
    50%
    50%
    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/17/2013 | 7:54:12 AM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    The general feeling here at Ethernet Europe is that SDN is going to find its way into carrier networks very soon -- the opinion of Nico at Colt is that 'carrier class' OpenFlow switches are not 'GA' and I think he knew he was stirring the pot... -á
    Ray Le Maistre
    50%
    50%
    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/17/2013 | 7:45:50 AM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    Just to clarify: This wasn't about picking out or identifying any particular systems vendor -- the point made by several speakers at Ethernet Europe was that, currently, the ability to offer bandwidth-on-demand services has required the deployment of a single-vendor solution, compared with a multi-vendor solution (which is preferred).

    If Infinera has enabled this capability for any service provider then all credit to its R&D team. -á-á
    Ray Le Maistre
    50%
    50%
    Ray Le Maistre,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/17/2013 | 7:38:48 AM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    Hi Alex
    Here's a guide to what NFV is about

    What's NFV All About?http://www.lightreading.com/bl...
    tojofay
    50%
    50%
    tojofay,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/16/2013 | 8:33:07 PM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    -á"is going to feature strongly in carrier portfolios very soon" -á
    Only 1 company does it now and clearly Infinera drove and led the industry. Why no mention? I don't work for Infinera.
    Alex_Fduch
    50%
    50%
    Alex_Fduch,
    User Rank: Light Beer
    4/16/2013 | 7:34:10 PM
    re: Ethernet Europe: Top 10 Takeaways
    NFV - is a big hype term which is needed to be clarified.
    Does that mean x86 vs NPU? Or something else?
    Page 1 / 2   >   >>
    Flash Poll
    From The Founder
    The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

    2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


    Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

    2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


    A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

    2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


    With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
    LRTV Documentaries
    BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

    2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


    This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
    LRTV Interviews
    Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

    2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


    On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Going Green in 2015

    2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


    Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
    LRTV Custom TV
    SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

    2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


    Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Time for Gigabit Europe?

    2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


    Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
    LRTV Interviews
    Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

    2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
    LRTV Interviews
    Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

    2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


    In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

    1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


    Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

    1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


    In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
    Upcoming Live Events
    March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
    April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
    May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
    June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
    Hot Topics
    Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
    10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
    Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
    Small Cells Enabling Location Services
    Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
    Is FCC Weighing Net Neutrality Changes?
    Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 2/25/2015
    MWC: Let the Madness Begin
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/23/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
    G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.