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Telx Adds an Ethernet Exchange

Craig Matsumoto

Telx Group Inc. has become the fourth company to announce a Carrier Ethernet interconnect service, and it's the first to team up with one of the others to expand its reach. (See Telx Debuts Ethernet Exchange.)

The Telx Ethernet Exchange is getting introduced this morning at Telx's customer event in New York. The service's first clients should be up and running in the third quarter, says Rose Klimovich, vice president of product development.

Telx follows CENX Inc. , Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), and Neutral Tandem Inc. (Nasdaq: TNDM) in creating an Ethernet exchange -- a gathering place where operators can connect to one another's Ethernet services. Creation of these exchanges is a key step in making Ethernet connectivity more ubiquitous. (See Ethernet Gets a CENX View, Ethernet Europe: Equinix Opens Ethernet Exchange Doors , and Neutral Tandem Takes on Ethernet Peering.)

To get even further reach, Telx is pairing up its Ethernet exchange with Neutral Tandem's by connecting certain of their sites.

The companies claim this will make them the biggest of the Ethernet exchanges, although CENX, which has been on a publicity blitz, will probably want to challenge that. (See Size Matters, Says CENX Founder.)

Connecting Ethernet services involves more than hooking up wires, though. Each of the exchange owners is talking about offering services to smooth the process, especially considering carriers often provide differing Ethernet speeds or service-level agreements.

That work will be done by Telx at first, but like the others, the company intends to develop tools for carriers to use the exchange themselves. A self-service portal is what Klimovich envisions.

Telx will start with Ethernet exchange services in three locations: New York, Atlanta, and either San Francisco or Los Angeles. Three more will be added in 2011.

Each of the first three locations is hosting a pair of Cisco ASR 9000 routers to run the exchange. Klimovich says Telx chose Cisco because the ASR line has control software that can help create those self-service portals, and because it was designed with more of an Ethernet services obsession. "Some of the competitors had boxes that can do this, but they were built at a time when they were doing other things," she says.

Neutral Tandem is likewise using the ASR 9000, while Equinix is building its Ethernet exchange on the Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) 7750 Service Router. (See Neutral Tandem Picks Cisco and Equinix Offers Global Ethernet Peering .)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:33:41 PM
re: Telx Adds an Ethernet Exchange

The Ethernet service exchanges not only have the potential to accelerate the use of Ethernet services, they also have the potential to increase competitive pressures on operators in the major markets like New York and Los Angeles where they are being initially rolled out. If I was a provider in these markets, I'd definitely want to make sure I'm doing the best I can to provide a cutting-edge offering with robust SLAs backed up by performance monitoring (ie, deploy & use platforms with Y.1731 service OAM). As the online Exchange tools become more sophicated, they'll probably permit side-by-side comparisons that can make it a lot easier to see the strengths and weaknesses of different players in particular markets.


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