Ethernet equipment

NXTcomm: Top 5 Ethernet Trends

NXTcomm just wouldn't be the show it is (or used to be) if it wasn't saturated with carrier Ethernet announcements, developments, and displays -- so in one way, at least, the show didn't disappoint, as the event was awash with vendors proudly boasting of increasing carrier interest and uptake.

Here are the five main carrier Ethernet trends we swept up from the show floor (along with the tumbleweeds...).

1. Sales success spreads
Not only is the carrier Ethernet market growing, but it's growing for vendors other than Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).

Competitors are nibbling away at Cisco's dominant position from multiple directions, says Heavy Reading analyst Stan Hubbard. (See Cisco Gets a CESR Wakeup Call.)

For example, BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) is to use Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) routers to power an Ethernet services drive. And, while it didn't announce a win at the show, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) claims it has a $250 million annual run rate and well more than 100 customers for the Ethernet-heavy MX series of routers, which weren't even shipping before March 2007. (See AlcaLu Expands at BT and Juniper Antes Up on Ethernet (Finally).)

Hubbard says to watch what Juniper does in cable. It's scored at least one big deal there, with Cox Communications Inc. , as announced in May. (See Cox Picks Juniper.)

2. Is PBT on the canvas, or just taking a standing count?
BT, having confirmed its U-turn over Provider Backbone Transport (PBT, also called PBB-TE), showed its hand by choosing Alcatel-Lucent as its main vendor partner for Ethernet service development, as noted above. (See PBT Sidelined at BT and A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)

But while BT's pro-Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) camp has the upper hand at the moment, Nortel Networks Ltd. , the vendor that's pumped PBT the hardest, and which was set to gain the most from a broad PBT deployment by the British carrier, is taking the AlcaLu deal in its stride.

"Certainly there are the technology's supporters" inside BT, says Michael Loomis, who leads product line management for carrier Ethernet at Nortel. "They've worked with us for a very long time," he adds, while hunting around for some straws to clutch. (See Nortel Touts Carrier Ethernet and Nortel: There's More to PBT Than BT.)

From the vendor side, Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. gave PBT a vote of confidence, and analysts, including those at Heavy Reading, consider PBT far from dead. (See Fujitsu Supports PBB-TE and Analyst: PBT’s Not Dead Yet.)

Other equipment firms made PBT-related announcements as well:

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t.bogataj 12/5/2012 | 3:38:00 PM
re: NXTcomm: Top 5 Ethernet Trends "Most vendors in Las Vegas were touting their ability to support standards such as IEEE 802.1g (MAC bridging)."

The 802.1G (with capital G) was a 1998 project, redesignated as 15802-5-1998. Craig, are you sure this is what you refer to?

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