Optical/IP Networks

Supercomm Demo Mania

Supercomm 2003 is just around the corner, and the gearmakers have been hard at work setting up demonstrations to show off their gear. This year, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Telecom Association (USTA), organizers of the event, have set aside a special area where eight groups of vendors will set up public demonstrations. Some will highlight interoperability between vendors, while others will simply be demonstrating new technologies.

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:

  • Twenty-seven MEF members will demonstrate interoperability of Ethernet products using multiple aggregation network technologies like TDM over Ethernet and MPLS over Ethernet, as well as Ethernet over Sonet, Ethernet over ATM, and Resilient Packet Ring Technology.

    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:
  • The newly combined MPLS/Frame Relay Alliance will demonstrate MPLS interoperability among 13 vendors’ gear. The testing, which was originally staged last week at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (IOL), will show for the first time in public multivendor interoperability of Frame Relay, ATM, and Ethernet encapsulation over an MPLS core using the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)'s PWE3 workgroup's latest drafts. The test also includes the first-ever successful multivendor testing of Ethernet Virtual private LAN services (VPLS) in a public forum. Isocore, an independent testing facility in Virginia, demonstrated interoperability in its labs in March. New members to the Alliance will also demonstrate Fast Re-Route (FRR) and Layer 3 RFC 2547-bis VPNs for the first time.

    Vendors participating in the demo include:
  • The Broadband Content Delivery Forum (BCD) will focus on technology and applications, as well as the financial models of deploying broadband so as to ensure return on investment. From a technical standpoint, the forum will show interoperability at the application, service provider integration, and content integration levels. The first staging of the demo took place in California last week.

    Primary participants include:
  • The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), which recently sponsored an interoperability demonstration at OFC, has put together yet another one for Supercomm. This demo will highlight the forum's physical and link layer (PLL) technical work. Specifically, it will show off a visual representation of dynamic N–way interoperability of SPI–4.2, SFI–4, SFI–5, VSR, and Tunable Lasers among OIF member companies. The OIF hasn’t yet released details of participating vendors, but it says its members making ASSP, FPGA, ASIC, optical module, and test equipment will be involved.

  • The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Forum will demonstrate different call setup scenarios, including basic SIP calls through several SIP proxies, calls to announcement servers, and multiparty calls through conference bridges. The demonstration network will connect to the public Internet and to the PSTN through VOIP gateways provided by member companies. Vendors involved in the demo include Mitel Networks, Sentito Networks, Radvision Ltd. (Nasdaq: RVSN), and Hotsip AB.

    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: — Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading

    For extensive and up-to-date coverage of Supercomm – before, during, and after the show – visit Light Reading's Supercomm Preview Site.

  • WillLiteFiber4Food 12/5/2012 | 12:02:25 AM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania Networld + Interop had VPLS in their advanced internetworking initiative. I think the MPLS/FR forum needs to get their facts straight.

    Pierre 12/5/2012 | 12:02:24 AM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania All,

    With Supercomm only a few weeks away, has anyone heard anything about Hyperchip? They used SC 2001 to demo the PBR, but there is absolutely NO BUZZ that I have heard about their appearance at SC 2003. From the fact that they are not participating in any of the demos listed in this article, should we assume that they're DOA?

    Many thanks,

    skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:02:21 AM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania With Supercomm only a few weeks away, has anyone heard anything about Hyperchip? They used SC 2001 to demo the PBR, but there is absolutely NO BUZZ that I have heard about their appearance at SC 2003. From the fact that they are not participating in any of the demos listed in this article, should we assume that they're DOA?

    I would not assume anything from participation
    in the demos. When you start looking at the
    details of many of these demos, they turn out
    be mostly worthless and lots of time/money.

    The last time I looked (which was months ago),
    hyperchip was on the exhibitor list for
    supercomm (i.e. they had a booth).

    As to hyperchip's future, I dont think they can
    have all that much money left in the bank.
    Canada could bail them out again, but they
    are not attracting much visibility or interest
    with their potential customers.

    I dont think they have even done a real (
    or even a fake) product
    launch which is strange considering that everyone
    else in that space has done one now.
    right_leading 12/5/2012 | 12:01:57 AM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania

    Ciena will be showing off WaveSmith Networks Inc.GÇÖs gear along with +ëquipeGÇÖs core multiservice switch in an IP/MPLS and ATM interoperability demonstration at the Supercomm 2003 tradeshow in Atlanta next month

    gigeguy 12/5/2012 | 12:01:55 AM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania > Is LU officially dead?

    They're just reselling Juniper in this space, so they're dead in terms of their own products.
    Pierre 12/4/2012 | 11:56:27 PM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania All:

    Any insights on why Hyperchip's site is down? I am curious as to whether this augurs theclosing of the Petabit Routing Company....

    ksig25 12/4/2012 | 11:56:26 PM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania Several folks from Hyperchip were at Supercomm, although I don't know if they were there on company business or to network for new jobs.....6/6/03 there was a Supercomm in Pictures article on this board, and had pics of several Hyperchip people.

    TheVoice 12/4/2012 | 11:55:57 PM
    re: Supercomm Demo Mania check your bookmark :)