100G Ethernet

Leading Lights: Telecom Product Finalists

5:15 PM -- Continuing our recap of Leading Lights finalists, here's a rundown of Best New Product (Telecom).

First, with 100Gbit/s interfaces all the rage, big router names made the cut:

  • Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)'s 100Gbit/s card for MLX-series routers claims a density that outdoes competitors by at least a factor of four. In part, they're benefiting from being the latest company with a release -- because every big-router announcement is bigger than the previous ones, right?

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s CRS-3 core router. Because how could you not include the product that "forever changed the Internet"? (See Cisco Boosts the Core With CRS-3, What's So Big About CRS-3?, and Soaking Up the CRS-3.)

  • Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR)'s MX80 3D Universal Edge Router. Not a big-numbers core-router announcement, the scrappy edge box is small in size and big on functionality, giving Juniper some added punch in the services edge.

  • Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) made the list for its 100Gbit/s Coherent technology. Its entry emphasized the company's position at having a 100Gbit/s story that spans optical and routing platforms (the 1830 PSS WDM 7750 SR), but really, it's the single-wavelength 100Gbit/s capability on the optical side that caught our eye.

  • Continuing on that optical thought, the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. OSN8800 T series has all the big numbers you'd expect from a core Optical Transport Network (OTN) switch, including a potential capacity of 6.4Tbit/s. It's got some blue-chip customers as well, including BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD).

    Two Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT)-related products made the finalist list:

  • BroadHop Inc. 's Quantum Network Suite carries the promise of dynamic policy enforcement -- rules based on factors such as subscriber loyalty, for instance. That could give operators a level of control and monetization that they don't get from static means such as bandwidth caps.

  • Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR)'s Ridgeline Service Advisor takes an all-encompassing approach to network management, promising to ease the operations behind Ethernet services. It's the resurrection of Soapstone's multivendor control plane, a promising technology. (See Extreme Puts Soapstone to Work.)

    And lastly...

  • We found ourselves impressed with Mu Studio Scale from Mu Dynamics . The idea of simulating a mobile network, for purposes of testing equipment and architectures, is nothing new. But Mu claims to do it at a deep level of detail, replicating user behavior patterns and not just sheer traffic volume.

    For details on the finalists in the Best New Service or Application (Telecom) category, see: Leading Lights: Telecom Services Finalists.

    Keep watching for finalist rundowns in other categories. And of course, if you don't like our reasoning here, do chime in on the message board.

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

  • t.bogataj 12/5/2012 | 4:22:34 PM
    re: Leading Lights: Telecom Product Finalists

    From the shortlist of finalists, one may conclude that (apart from the two management products) all that "Telecom" products are about are

    <li>100 Gbps interfaces, and</li>
    <li>core/edge routers.</li>

    Are these the two "leading lights" that will lead us to a brighter (Telecom) future? Is this what LR editors recognize as the road ahead? Or are they just easy to be fascinated by plain numbers and bits?

    I sincerely hope not. There should be more to "Telecom" than some low-level technologies.


    t.bogataj 12/5/2012 | 4:22:31 PM
    re: Leading Lights: Telecom Product Finalists

    Phil, thank you for reacting.

    Telcos today face a number of challenges. In order to survive on the market, they need to adapt their business models to stay competitive. For the sake of brevity, let me just list some of the challenges (without further elaboration):

    <li>Functional separation (including wholesale and open access)</li>
    <li>Regulatory requirements (regarding access to their infrastructure)</li>
    <li>Telco 2.0 models</li>
    <li>Moving intelligence (i.e. traditional edge functionality) closer to the access</li>
    <li>Multi-provider service provisioning</li>
    <li>Over-the-top contents and new applications/services</li>
    <li>Service differentiation vs. net neutrality</li>
    <li>Fixed-mobile convergence</li>
    <li>The decline of VoIP services/revenue</li>
    <li>Efficient video (both multicast and unicast) content delivery</li>

    The ever increasing hunger for bandwidth is just one of them. But the choice of finalists (again, apart from the two management products) indicates that what takes telcos ahead is efficient bandwidth increase.

    LR's Leading Lights award is supposed to indicate the trends for the next two, three years. These should not be merely technological trends, but also those that allow for a sustainable business. Addressing (some of) the above listed challenges is what I find disturbingly missing in your choice of the finalists.

    I cannot advocate for the vendors. They can and should do it themselves. And I also cannot possibly know who entered the competition and with what products. Maybe you should give your audience an overview of what/who was omitted and why - that would give me a clearer picture. If none of the contestants addressed the issues I list above, well, that would worry me, too.

    The bottom line: If the finalists are to indicate the trends, then the choice is wrong. Pursuing a goal of being a big fat dumb pipe (and ever bigger and fatter and dumber) does not win the market share and provide for a stable business to the Telcos.


    PS. I gladly admit that my views may be east-coast specific - east of the Atlantic, that is. For a forecast, one&nbsp;should really ignore the US laggards.

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:22:31 PM
    re: Leading Lights: Telecom Product Finalists

    what products have impressed you in the past 12 to 18 months?

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:22:30 PM
    re: Leading Lights: Telecom Product Finalists

    You make some great points, as usual. I think what you have to look at all the finalists in all of the categories to get a bigger sense of where we think the world of next-gen comms is heading. To look just at new product (telecom) leaves out the whole world of services, mobility, etc.

    And, even when you look at all the Leading Lights finalists (http://www.lightreading.com/finalists2010) you'll find that we STILL&nbsp;miss some trends. Sometimes there just hasn't been anything new, interesting, remarkable happening in an area.

    For instance, I think billing is HUGE. But we didn't see a billing product or service that really stood out this year. That doesn't mean we hate billing, it just means we found&nbsp;other stuff&nbsp;MORE interesting.



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