The demos will be targeted at carriers like BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), which is headquartered in Atlanta and is sending 200 to 300 of its engineers. Carriers' customers are interested in different areas of technology, but when it comes to demonstrations, interoperability is key.
“Networking vendor demos are usually pretty boring,” Bob Smith, senior director of product management for BellSouth and director of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), tells Light Reading. “Everyone knows they’re very controlled. But when you show interoperability with another vendors’ gear, you can’t control the outcome.”
While he admits that purchasing decisions are never made based on these displays, he says they are important in forming opinions.
“The fact that vendors are showing that they are working together is an important statement that resonates with service providers,” he says. “That’s one thing we really care about. We don’t want to be backed into any single-vendor solutions.”
So how is this year’s demo schedule shaping up? Ethernet and access technologies are among the hottest topics to be demonstrated, as is the interoperability of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) applications and interworking between optical and voice signaling.
Here’s a summary of what all these groups will be up to:
Each of the 22 participating hardware vendors will be paired up to demonstrate point-to-point E-line service, and they will be randomly connected to gear from five other vendors’ to demonstrate point-to-multipoint E-LAN services. Throughout the demonstration they’ll be required to demonstrate a predetermined, end-to-end committed information rate (CIR).
Vendors involved include:
- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A)
- Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA)
- Appian Communications Inc.
- Atrica Inc.
- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)
- Coriolis Networks Inc.Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW)
- Corrigent Systems Inc.
- Ensemble Communications Inc.
- Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR)
- Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL)
- Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT)
- Hatteras Networks
- Internet Photonics Inc.
- JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU)
- Lantern Communications Inc.
- Luminous Networks Inc.
- Lycium Networks Ltd.
- Mahi Networks Inc.
- NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY)
- Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT)
- Redux Ltd.
- Riverstone Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RSTN)
- Spirent plc (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT)
- Vivace Networks
- Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE/Toronto: ZL)
Vendors participating in the demo include:
Primary participants include:
Some groups are not showcasing interoperability. They are simply providing a platform for member vendors to showcase their developments.
“We’re not far enough along in the standards process to show interoperability,” says Craig Easely, president of the Ethernet in the First Mile Alliance (EFMA) and director in the office of CTO at Extreme Networks. “It would be premature to try to show interoperability in the absence of a standard. Maybe next year.”
These industry forums will be demonstrating their members' solutions at Supercomm:
- Ethernet in the First Mile Alliance (EFMA)
- Resilient Packet Ring Alliance
- International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC)
- Service Availability Forum
For extensive and up-to-date coverage of Supercomm – before, during, and after the show – visit Light Reading's Supercomm Preview Site.