Optical/IP Networks

LR Launches Supplier Survey

Light Reading has launched a roll call of telecom equipment suppliers in the form of another "Who Makes What" report that calls on readers to comment on a proposed taxonomy and refine lists of players in different market segments (see Who Makes What: Infrastructure Equipment).

The new report focuses on the equipment providing the basic IP connectivity in converged carrier networks and splits this into the following product categories:

1: Optical Access Equipment
2: Metro Optical Transport Equipment
3: Core Optical Transport Equipment
4: DSLAMs and DLCs
5: Multiservice Access Equipment
6: 10 Gbit/s Ethernet Switches
7: Edge Routers, Multiservice Switches
8: Core Routers
9: IP Service Management

A similar exercise was conducted in 2003, when the "Who Makes What" report covered a wider range of product categories, which eventually numbered 24 (see Who Makes What: Equipment 2003). Comparing this with the current exercise should identify plenty of casualties, a scattering of acquisitions and a few companies that have come out of hiding in the past year.

As with previous "Who Makes What" reports, the refined taxonomy and list of suppliers coming out of this exercise will form the basis of a market perception survey conducted by Heavy Reading, Light Reading's market research division. In the survey, service providers will be asked to identify suppliers they recognize and name who they consider to be a market leader in terms of price, performance, quality of service, and support.

The bottom line for suppliers: This is your chance to make sure you're included in Heavy Reading's survey and will help you stay top of mind in the industry. Alert Light Reading if your company is not listed in the appropriate category.

Also, if you notice a company listed in a category that it doesn't belong in, don't be shy: speak up!

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading

stuartb 12/5/2012 | 1:12:26 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey To make this taxonomy useful, you guys need to do a much better job of categorizing based on the way carriers think.

The view equipment in three broad categories: access, metro and transport. Build on these with a focus on the "enabling" technology. For example, DLCs are either IP- (eg Occam and Net-2-Net) or ATM-based (eg Calix and AFC).
stuartb 12/5/2012 | 1:12:24 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey I meant to say access, metro and core (not transport) are the three broad categories. eom
jlcsig 12/5/2012 | 1:12:22 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey what about tracking of VoIP equipment such as softswitches, media gateways, and session border controlers
Peter Heywood 12/5/2012 | 1:12:14 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey I decided to do this project in two bits:

1. The fixed network infrastructure that's required to create the basic IP platform over which services are provided.

2. Something I thought I'd label as "services infrastructure" which I plan to cover in a second survey in the next few weeks. This is the stuff that furnishes actual services, such as:

- VOIP (softswitches, media gateways, application servers etc)
- security (IPsec VPNs, SSL VPNs, firewalls, appliances supporting managed security services)
- video/TV servers, middleware, set-top boxes
- platforms that enable 3rd parties to develop services
- what else?

(We're going renew the Who Makes What we did on OSS systems so I'm not going to include it in my survey of "services infrastructure")

I think having this division makes sense, because it aligns with the separation of networks and services that's occuring courtesy of convergence.

Another way of looking at this is to say that the current survey is about stuff in fixed networks, and the next survey is about gear that might also be used in association with mobile networks.

I'd appreciate comments on this. I'm really just putting this out there for discussion.

Peter Heywood 12/5/2012 | 1:12:14 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey Hi Stuart. What are you doing these days? Thanks for your input.

I'll try and explain my logic behind the proposed classification:

I think I have divided things into access, metro core, or edge and core when you get above the transport level:

At the optical level:

Category 1 = optical access
Category 2 = optical metro
Category 3 = optical core

At Layer 2

Category 4 (DSLAMs etc) = access
Category 5 (Multiservice Access) = access and metro
Category 6 (10 Gig Ethernet switches) = well, ok, an oddity but we needed to track it

At Layer 3

Category 7 = edge (routers)
Category 8 = core (routers)

Category 9 = appliances aimed at enabling services providers to use all of the afore-mentioned gear in an efficient/optimum way

Maybe I shouldn't have called Category 5 "Multiservice Access Equipment". The access word might be misleading but if you look at MSPPs, for instance, these could be used at the edge of the service provider network or in the customer premise (basement of a multitenant building or enterprise office block). My logic for using the word "access" us that it's either end of the access network.

Maybe you're irked by the fact that I've lumped Sonet/SDH into a general multiservice access category.

I did this because:

(a) Next gen Sonet/SDH developments have meant that this gear has become multiservice
(b) Circuit emulation type technologies in the packet world are also blurring everything
(c) Other gear is turning up in the multiservice access market which I was having a tough time classifying.

I decided to lump everything together.

If you don't agree, please propose alternatives - the whole purpose of this exercise is to come up with a classification system that the majority of readers are comfortable with.

If you propose an alternative, please take a crack at assigning vendors to your alternative taxonomy. I think you might run into the same issues that led me to lump everything together.

Anyhow, I'm all for discussing this. The whole idea of these "Who Makes What" reports is to bat things around until we have something that folk feel comfortable with. I need guidance - so guide away!

bonzi0 12/5/2012 | 1:12:03 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey At Layer 3

Category 7 = edge (routers)
Category 8 = core (routers)

What is the real difference between these classes?

Most edge routers can function as a core router in smaller network architectures. Many core routers cannot function as edge due to lack of smaller interfaces and features (2547, l2vpn, etc..) So i figure the most important difference should be size and scalability. Core routers in the core routing class should support at least (roughly) 1 T of capacity.

With that said, does alcatel belong in the core routing class? I thought there new pitch was that you don't need a core router, just the SR (which is too small).

Also, isn't hyperchip gone?

AllGone 12/5/2012 | 1:11:57 AM
re: LR Launches Supplier Survey Yes HYPERCHIP is definitively gone !
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