ESDN: A Telco Systems NID Is Part of Bigger Picture
NEW YORK -- Ethernet & SDN Expo -- Demand for 10Gbit/s Ethernet access is growing fast enough that Telco Systems last week launched its first network interface device designed to make it easier for both enterprises and mobile backhaul providers to deliver 10Gbit/s-E right to the edge of the network.
The new device is actually part of a broader strategy for Telco Systems (BATM) , a company with a long history of making technology easier to deploy in small packages at the customer premises and the access network. While the new T-Marc 3348S NID fits well into that history, it is one part of Telco Systems's end-to-end approach to Ethernet services for both the enterprise and mobile. It is intended to bring simplicity to the process of rolling out faster Ethernet services with all the same features and functionality expected in today's 1Gbit/s-E services. (See Telco Systems Unveils 10-Gig Demark Device.)
That includes features such as support for Service Level Agreements, sub-50 millisecond restoration for both Ethernet and MPLS services, embedded standard testing, and support for the four Metro Ethernet Forum Carrier Ethernet 2.0 services over both Ethernet and IP/MPLS. The operations, administration and maintenance features are significant to the carriers' ability to support a full range of services over the new NID and do it affordably. Telco Systems offers its own EdgeGenie management system but says the new NID will support third-party management systems as well.
"We wanted to simplify the way 10Gbit/s Ethernet is pushed all the way down to the access, to the demarcation point," says Moshe Shimon, VP of product line management.
The new NID and a service aggregation switch announced earlier this year reflect Telco Systems's broader ambitions to be more of an end-to-end vendor of Ethernet service capabilities to service providers. The vendor aims to do so by making it easier for carriers to offer a full range of services at a lower cost today, while building in the capability to easily support faster speeds in the future, and to migrate to software-defined networking without replacing the access devices. Including a 1 terabit platform at the network core, Telco Systems is targeting Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 service providers in this strategy. (See Telco Systems Unveils T-Metro 8001.)
Shimon says what his service provider customers are looking for today is the ability to support MPLS virtual private networks, which many of its customers perceive as more secure than Ethernet, and to enable MPLS without changes to the customer line interface. Of course, they are looking for attractive economics as well.
"Cost is definitely a concern," Shimon says. "That's why we have squeezed this into a small form factor that has high capacity but requires less power." The 3348S is one rack-unit high but less than a rack-unit in width.
The size and power requirements also target the new NID directly at the mobile backhaul space, where limited real estate on towers is an issue. Telco Systems is bringing out a version of the T-Marc 3348S that will be environmentally hardened, and is already supporting capabilities that enable clock and phase-synching in support of LTE and LTE-Advanced. With four 10Gbit/s E and 12 1Gbit/s E ports, the device could even be a mini-aggregator for small cell traffic, Shimon says.
Longer term, as the network evolves, many of the functions currently housed at the edge of the network, including storage and compute, application support, firewalls, and network management move into the core with the evolution to SDN, Shimon says. The Telco Systems NIDs are designed to move forward with the change. Support for higher speeds can be accomplished without replacing systems -- only transceivers -- maintaining the consistent management interface and service support.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading