ADVA Tackles Ethernet Pain Point
At the moment, carriers have to create a bespoke connection with every other Ethernet service provider with which it needs to interconnect to offer so-called "end-to-end" services to corporate customers. (See COLT CTO: Let's Connect Now!) Those connections take time to set up and then each one has to be managed, which doesn't make for easy service management and adds to the carriers' operating costs, as noted in our LRTV coverage of Carrier Ethernet 2.0:
For example, Ethernet service provider Yipes, now part of the Global Cloud Xchange empire, has external network-to-network interface (E-NNI) agreements with at least 10 other service providers, and it has had to develop a number of interconnect templates to create those connections. (See Applications, Access Challenge Ethernet, KVH Expands With Yipes, Reliance Integrates Global Services, and Yipes, KPN Study NNI.)
So the MEF is currently focused on creating a standardized approach to Ethernet E-NNI, with specifications set to be completed this year, a bit later than originally expected. (See MEF Tackles Ethernet Interconnect.)
With carriers keen to get the interconnect issues sorted as soon as possible, ADVA has jumped in with a pre-standards demarcation point that sits at service provider peering points to manage the bulk termination of Ethernet services and inter-carrier handoffs, with support for multiple underlying technologies such as MPLS and even PBB-TE, another pre-standards technology. (See ADVA Intros NNI Device and A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)
ADVA marketing man Fred Ellefson says the box is commercially available now and, while it currently sports 1-GigE ports, it's been designed to have 10-GigE ports built in later.
And although Ellefson declined to comment, the box is believed to be in the labs at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which is already an ADVA Ethernet demarcation product customer. (See ADVA Lands 21CN Deal and ADVA Touts BT Deployment.)
And while ADVA believes it's managed to get the first Ethernet E-NNI product out into the market, Ellefson knows other vendors are close behind. "I suspect that in a few quarters there will be others offering the same thing," he notes.
Other vendors in the Ethernet demarcation box market include Accedian , RAD Data Communications Ltd. , and Telco Systems (BATM) .
Heavy Reading senior analyst Stan Hubbard thinks the ADVA man is right.
"There are a handful of players focused on intelligent demarcation, and ADVA is the first to highlight a solution tailored for E-NNI applications," says the analyst, who believes ADVA and others are addressing a key need in the market. "Carriers are looking for common service parameters and the ability to provide end-to-end SLAs across network boundaries," notes Hubbard.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading