& cplSiteName &

Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu

Craig Matsumoto
5/30/2012
50%
50%

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will be using the new Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) core router, but not in the core. What the carrier really wants is a lot more Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) in its metro network.

The plan also includes 100Gbit/s Ethernet connections housed on the new Alcalu 7950 XRS line of routers, which were introduced last Tuesday. (See Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper Get Core-Router Upgrades.)

AlcaLu touted the XRS as a core router, but Verizon is more interested in its potential in the metro network. Specifically, the XRSs will be used to aggregate Ethernet traffic before sending it to an MPLS-based core.

"This is all about metro aggregation and the expansion and scaling of the Ethernet edge," says Ihab Tarazi, Verizon's vice president of global network planning.

Wireless backhaul, video, consumer services and cloud usage are all contributing to increased metro Ethernet traffic, so Verizon needs higher-density boxes for moving all that traffic. It also needs to distinguish between services, and that's where MPLS becomes important.

AlcaLu 7450s are doing that job now, but Verizon is going to need the density of the XRS, which AlcaLu says can handle 16Tbit/s of traffic per rack (8Tbit/s if ingress and egress traffic aren't both counted at once).

The change is being driven by increases in bandwidth, but also by more hectic intra-metro traffic. For example, as Verizon caches more video traffic near the network edge, that means it needs to haul more Ethernet around the metro. Wireless backhaul is a contributor as well, Tarazi says.

At its root, the planned metro core isn't so radical, he adds. Really, it reflects the fact that this many services have made the transition to packet networks from time-division multiplexed (TDM) ones. "With all these things going to MPLS, you're going to have to scale the access side. That's the concept here," Tarazi says. "All these things were happening before, but they were happening on T1s, DS3s and Sonet."

The use of MPLS does mean Verizon will be turning away from Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB), its previous choice for the metro Ethernet backbone. MPLS is more reliable and efficient and affords faster turn-up of services, Tarazi says.

PBB isn't departing the Verizon network completely, just in that metro-core capacity. "Some customers still like it on the edge, because they get MAC address scaling," Tarazi says. Verizon expects to introduce 100Gbit/s connections in the metro on the XRS routers and on its optical platforms, Tarazi says. But that's only going to be in spots where the traffic demands it; they won't get crazy with it, and big volumes probably won't start until 2013. Few 40Gbit/s connections will make it into the metro, he adds.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:36 PM
re: Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu


A 100G metro with MPLS -- that's a little more special than Ihab made it out to be, isn't it?


Separately: Got an earful last week about the XRS, as some people consider it more a glorified edge router than a core router. Interesting that the first announced customer isn't using it in the core (although some network-core jobs are undoubtedly well into the discussion phase).

Flook
50%
50%
Flook,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:30 PM
re: Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu


I'm wondering what gives a router the "core" label. While there are differences in the capabilities of core and edge routers, one carrier's edge could be another carrier's edge--if we're to go pretty much solely by the capacity of a router (as your article illustrates). Is there opportunity here for reporters and/or analysts to establish some metrics for what's a core/aggregation/edge router so they can say while the vendor labels it a core router, in our opinion it more an aggregation device? Just wondering...

torivar
50%
50%
torivar,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:29 PM
re: Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu


Verizon and others aren't using the XRS to terminate customer L2VPN connections, they will be using it to interconnect and aggregate MPLS traffic from other PE devices.  Although ALU supports some native L2 delivery like G.8032, I'm not aware of any providers which really use it, they deliver traffic end to end using MPLS via LDP/RSVP.  


So in essence the device does the same exact job as a core router, it's just a transit point between edges or up to a larger core...


The XRS is not an "edge" router persay.  It has reduced scale for services, won't support a services modules, etc.  So I think it falls in the "core" category along with something like the Juniper PTX.   Also port selection sometimes dictates a "core" box.  You don't see any 1GE or TDM modules for either the PTX or XRS...


Small and large providers use "edge" routers as both edge and core.  Some providers, even large ones, use Juniper MX960s or Cisco ASR9000s for everything...

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:28 PM
re: Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu


> So in essence the device does the same exact job as a core router, it's just a transit point between edges or up to a larger core...


Thanks for the input and the details, dwx. Interesting to note that even large providers can use the "edge" boxes everywhere.


Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:28 PM
re: Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu


Flook - I don't think there's any scientific delineation; what I picked up (admittedly, from marketing people circa 2000-2005) is that what made a core router was basically bigness -- and the cutoff point of bigness depended on the bigness of your network.


I think the only black-and-white distinction we have is the multichassis ability, but even that might change if... I don't know, if data centers somehow go router-crazy and find some need for multichassis end-of-row routers? I'm totally making that up.


The analysts all divide up edge/metro/agg/core differently, and of course there's lots of legitimate overlap. I think we're stuck with loose terminology in this area.

tmmarvel
50%
50%
tmmarvel,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:25 PM
re: Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro With AlcaLu


I think VZ's theme here is mainly to avoid IP routing in its own transit networks. Instead of being dependent on costly L3 IP routers from very few interoperable vendors, VZ seems to prefer using L2 MPLS-TP for scalable packet switched services. The SPs’ hope is that there will be interoperable L2 MPLS-TP switches from multiple competitive vendors.

The ‘packet-optical’ (really packet/T/WDM) systems (such as those with ALU, supposedly) allow flexibly using also L1 or L0 transit to bypass any packet switching by the SP (eg VZ), for minimum latency/jitter/data loss services. However, the use of L1/0 bypass presently comes with loss of packet stat-muxing bandwidth efficiencies and lower flexibility of connectivity.

So there are still significant technology tradeoffs to be resolved, to realize optimal performance, cost-efficiency and flexibility of networking.

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
CommScope – Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow's Networks

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Phil Sorksy, Vice President International at CommScope, discusses addressing the challenges faced by service providers today, and as future trends emerge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
AMS-IX & Huawei's OSN 902

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shows how its OSN 902 platform helps the Amsterdam Internet exchange to connect the world using multiplexing.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Smart Energy Innovation Center

3|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In Nuremberg, Huawei showcases its latest capabilities in the digitalization of Internet resources, network infrastructure and intelligence at its Smart Energy Innovation Center.
Valley Wonk
OFC & Hyperscale: A Good Mix?

3|24|17   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Cloud and telecom players want different types of equipment for their networks, as the chatter at OFC reveals.
LRTV Custom TV
Etisalat on NFV Journey

3|24|17   |   10:37   |   (0) comments


Etisalat is a service provider that prides itself on bringing innovative technologies to the markets it serves. It was one of the first operators to implement 3G and leads the pack in fiber penetration. Now, Esmaeel Al Hammadi, Etisalat's SVP of Network Development, explains the operator's journey to virtualization, beginning with the network core, as well as the ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
FTTH No Slam Dunk for Cable
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/23/2017
Top Priorities for B/OSS Transformation
James Crawshaw, Senior Analyst – OSS/BSS Transformation, Heavy Reading, 3/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.