Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP

Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. is saying its connection-oriented Ethernet technology, Ethernet Tag Switching, can have operational costs 32 percent lower than those of MPLS Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) over five years.

The result comes from a study, published Thursday, that Fujitsu commissioned from Network Strategy Partners LLC (which, incidentally, just got acquired by ACG Research ).

Ethernet Tag Switching is a combination of Ethernet standards that Fujitsu developed a few years ago as a transport option on the Flashwave 9500 packet-optical system. The study says that this brew comes with lower costs than MPLS-TP in areas such as training, troubleshooting and OSS integration.

Mostly, that's because operators' transport teams are more accustomed to Ethernet, says Ralph Santitoro, Fujitsu's director of carrier Ethernet market development.

Why this matters
Ethernet Tag Switching got kind of obscured by the fight between MPLS-TP and Provider Backbone Bridging - Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), but Fujitsu apparently wants to boost the technology's visibility as an option for Ethernet transport. The company is going to need plenty of ammo, considering MPLS-TP has some momentum and the support of big vendors -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and, despite the dustup over operations, administration and maintenance (OAM), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. .

Fujitsu's pitch emphasizes that MPLS's multi-service aspects are wasted in an all-Ethernet milieu. Moreover, transport personnel already have Ethernet experience, whereas MPLS would be alien -- hence the heftier training costs.

If those arguments gain ground, it could mean more competition for MPLS, which would be more trouble than the OAM disagreements. Fujitsu claims it's got one large service provider in North America that's deploying Ethernet Tag Switching nationwide; Santitoro wouldn't give a name, but Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) would be a good guess, given its chumminess with Fujitsu's Flashwave 9500.

For more
Our ongoing coverage of fun and games with MPLS-TP:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

stuartb 12/5/2012 | 5:00:39 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP Craig- Ethernet Tag Switching = PBB-TE with some proprietary enhancements, correct?
digits 12/5/2012 | 5:00:38 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP

A mid-2011 PBB-TE revival? Whoda thunkit?

But as pointed out, MPLS-TP has the momentum, just like VHS did in the battle against Betamax...

NoCopper 12/5/2012 | 5:00:38 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP

Good luck Fujitsu in positioning PBB-TE. The Nortel marketing / positioning of PBB-TE was so bad that they can only do it better. At least they try to avoid the name "PBB-TE" here.

Charles_C 12/5/2012 | 5:00:36 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP

MPLS-TP has the momentum? Maybe against PBB-TE, but my impression is that, overall, MPLS-TP has lost momentum in the industry. And rightfully so ...

SimonParry 12/5/2012 | 5:00:27 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP

stuartb: Fujitsu Ethernet Tag Switching is VLAN tag swapping (treating the S-tag as a label and swapping it at every hop). See the Fujitsu white paper:


It was being pushed by NSN for a few years.



nalmendro 12/5/2012 | 5:00:27 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP You should come to APAC to see MPLS-TP momentum. Hundreds of thousands of MPLS-TP boxes are being deployed in countries such as Korea, China, Japan, India, etc.
And it is not anymore Europe or US who sets the technology trend, but APAC
mvissers 12/5/2012 | 5:00:01 PM
re: Fujitsu Pokes at MPLS-TP Ask yourself the question which packet transport network has not a top ethernet services layer in which Ethernet Connections (EC) support the MEF EVCs?

MPLS-TP, PBB-TE, SDH, PBB B-VLAN, OTN are all supporting this EC layer. ECs are identified by VID, SID, PW label or other server layer specific identifiers. All thise identifiers/labels are switched in every node where these ECs are switched or bridged.

The difference is not the top layer, it is the lower layers... and those lower layers are domain bounded... Result is worldwide interoperability via the EC layer and MEF26 Ethernet E-NNIs.
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