It's a disturbing thought, we admit. But the RPR technology can be likened to a novice, independent politician running in a two-party world. The straight-shooting candidate brings a sense of optimism to the packet rings dominating the metro networks, along with a whole new bag of promises that are causing traditional party-line carriers to turn and take notice.
Many on the campaign trail like the way RPR approaches the problem of delivering voice and data traffic over metro rings with a clean slate. It doesn't come across as adversarial to either Sonet or Ethernet, and it promises bandwidth utilization and efficiencies never before accomplished.
RPR also has a dedicated and growing following made of two groups that, once upon a time, fought each other fiercely before compromising and moving on. But RPR believers are about to go through their biggest test yet.
Charming as RPR's feather boa and fishnet stockings are, some think the whole thing is just flash and trash. Incumbent carriers will never buy into something so… so new. Or so they say. The thing is, carriers might be ambivalent enough about RPR to provide an opening to equipment vendors that can put just the right spin on their product pitches. (Just ask the chilblained citizens of Minnesota.)
RPR has come a long way, but it still has some tough road ahead. And if and when it gets all the way into the office, its job will be just beginning.
It's been a while since a technology so small has caused a ruckus so big. To that end, Light Reading is proud to present a pre-election special, if you will. The following report will examine Resilient Packet Ring: how it works, what it's really all about, who's supporting it, where it's going… and how it will ultimately affect vendors and carriers.
Here’s a hyperlinked summary:
- Why Rings?
- How It Began
- RPR Details
- From Standards to Products
- Using RPR
- What's Next?
- System Vendors and Products
This report is part of a series of articles on metro technologies written by Tim Hills, an independent analyst. The series started with an overview (see Metro Multiservices Evolution) and then went on to survey developments in next-generation Sonet/SDH (see Next-Gen Sonet ) and Ethernet (see Metro Ethernet). A further article on metro DWDM developments is planned.
Some of this report digs quite deeply into technological issues. To get the most out of it, why not start by listening to our archived Web-enabled preview? Just click here.
Here's some background reading that might also help:
- Beginner's Guide: Protocol Basics
- Beginner's Guide: Sonet (Synchronous Optical NETwork) and SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy)
- Beginner's Guide: Ethernet
- Report: Metro Multiservices Evolution
- Report: Next-Gen Sonet
- Report: Next-Gen Sonet Silicon
- Report: Metro Ethernet
— About the author: Tim Hills is a freelance technical writer. He may be reached at: [email protected].