Checking Out MPLS-TP
EANTC has undertaken a lot of important interoperability tests. This time, with input from 15 vendors, it has tackled inter-provider MPLS connectivity, Layer 3 VPNs carrying IPV6 traffic, and clock synchronization in mobile backhaul networks, among others. (See Orckit Demos MPLS Interop, Calnex, Huawei Show Off, and NEC Demos MPLS.)
Of particular note to the carrier Ethernet community, though, is a pre-standard implementation of MPLS-TP (MPLS Transport Profile), the offspring of T-MPLS (Transport MPLS) that's being seen as the alternative packet transport technology to PBB-TE. (See Transport MPLS Gets a Makeover and A Guide to PBT/PBB-TE.)
EANTC notes that the MPLS-TP test involved two vendors -- the technology's most vocal champion, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which supplied its 1850 Transport Service Switch-320 platform, and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), which offered up its SPT 2770, the dual-row model from its new packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) family. (See AlcaLu Likes MPLS Move and Ericsson Makes Packet-Optical Play.)
The test lab also put the more mature T-MPLS through its paces: AlcaLu and Ericsson participated in that interop, too, along with MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC) and UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI).
Of course, what we don't know is how much hassle EANTC had in making the products from these different vendors work together in harmony -- maybe someone else out there knows? If so, we'd be interested to hear about it.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading