NEC Applies Ethernet VLANs

NEC's GlobalOpenEthernet technology enables carrier and wide-area enterprise Ethernet networks with higher performance at lower cost

June 23, 2003

4 Min Read

TOKYO -- NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) announced today the successful development of GlobalOpenEthernet Technology, network infrastructure for mission critical systems in an open environment, which enables construction of carrier networks and wide-area enterprise networks based on Ethernet technology with higher performance at lower cost.

The technology's key component is the extended use of the VLAN tag in the Ethernet header that realizes even more sophisticated Ethernet technology.

Main Features of GlobalOpenEthernet Technology

(1) To date data forwarding routes were not operated in an optimized way. Through the efficient management of multiple paths, realized through the GlobalOpenEthernet switch, the following benefits are achieved.

  • Acceleration of failure recovery time

  • Packet forwarding path optimization

  • Addition and removal of switches without network disruption

Overall a highly reliable, highly efficient network facilitating ease of operation, repair and maintenance is realized.

(2) By aggregating the switching information to the VLAN tag the forwarding of packets between switches is accelerated. In turn switching processing data is reduced to 1/5 enabling higher density Ethernet switches.

(3) By enabling use of a VLAN tag with a standardized format full interoperability with existing Ethernet devices for wide-area Ethernet services is achieved. Through this technology it is not necessary to replace all switches at one time, but only a few, allowing smooth migration while providing high reliability and larger scale network construction.

As the use of IP-VPN services and wide-area Ethernet services enable cost effective virtual private networks, the use of these services by enterprises is rapidly increasing. With this wide-area Ethernet service although there are reliability and scalability issues, they are outweighed by advantages including speed, economical efficiency and protocol-free convenience. It is therefore expected that this service will expand rapidly. Currently, the technologies that realize wide-area Ethernet service, VLAN-tagging technology and EoMPLS technology, don't succeed in satisfying high reliability, protocol-free convenience, speed and economical efficiency needs simultaneously.

NEC has spent considerable research and development resources on solving these issues, and has now succeeded in developing prototype systems supporting GlobalOpenEthernet technology that meet these needs simultaneously.

Specific Features of GlobalOpenEthernet Technology

(1) Highly Reliable Routing Technology - Until now layer 2 failure recovery protocol was not operated in an optimized way. Now, multiple spanning trees for different IDs (i.e., destination GlobalOpenEthernet switches) are made possible enabling not only failure recovery but also packet forwarding.

  • (a) Failure recovery (Spanning tree reconstruction) time when a network fails is shortened to 50ms to 1 second.
    (b) Network upgrade is enabled without causing any traffic interruption.
    (c) Packet forwarding by optimized route (shortest route from any node to destination node) is realized.

(2) High-speed Tag Switching Technology - In order to accelerate the speed of data forwarding between switches, a GlobalOpenEthernet switch address has been introduced in the VLAN tag field,which is connected to multiple client node addresses, reducing the amount of data for switch processing to 1/5. High speed tag switching technology forwards packets based on GlobalOpenEthernet switching addresses. Through this technology low cost and high density 10-gigabit Ethernet switches are realized.

NEC will exhibit GlobalOpenEthernet prototype switches at NETWORLD + INTEROP 2003, which will be held from June 30th to July 4th at Makuhari Messe Exhibition Center in Tokyo. Below is an outline of the switches that will be displayed at the exhibition.

Switch Prototype Outline

(1) GlobalOpenEthernet core switch

  • 4 x 10-gigabit Ethernet ports (full-duplex) in 1U chassis

  • 80 Gbps wire-speed forwarding and switching engine

  • 2 times higher 10 Gbps port density than existing switches

(2) GlobalOpenEthernet edge switch blade

  • 1 x 10-gigabit Ethernet port and 8 gigabit Ethernet ports

  • 6U size compact PCI card (2 slot size in 1U chassis)

  • Support of GOE technology as well as current Ethernet switch technologies

  • Support of 4 times as many MAC addresses compared to existing switches

By employing this GlobalOpenEthernet technology NEC realizes high performance, low cost, communication network construction backing up internal and external business operations, while simultaneously supporting the corporate activities of users and providers.

NEC Corp.

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