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ATCA/Standard Servers

Ethos Claims First

2:55 PM -- Ethos Networks Ltd. might be able to claim the first Provider Backbone Bridging - Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE, or PBT) purpose-built switch. That is, the E-80, announced yesterday, was designed from the start with PBB-TE in mind.

Whether that's worth anything more than bragging rights, who knows. CEO Adam Dunsky tells us custom-built gear can better handle certain subtleties of the protocol -- which is believable, but it might not be enough to unseat a Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), or Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) switch.

Ethos seems to realize this, since they're targeting the Tier 2 and 3 carriers. You'll recall that the company's secret sauce involves adding its Dynamic Traffic Engineering (DynTE) to a PBB-TE network, for added quality of service. (See Ethos Claims Ethernet Answers.)

Ethos already had gear ready to sell. But the E-240 turned out to be too big; a 240-Gbit/s core box is overkill for the metro and aggregation jobs PBB-TE is likely to fill. And the E-60 -- the product the E-80 is replacing -- was more a beta product, to hear Ethos tell it, and needed to be more robust for commercial sales. (Why give it a separate name, then?)

So Ethos built up the E-80 from scratch, using an AdvancedTCA (ATCA) chassis as a head start. (Development would have been two or three times more expensive without ATCA, Dunsky says. By the way, did we mention we're preparing a whole day's worth of talk on that subject, in Boston? (See below.)

Ethos did have to make some tweaks to accommodate a card that used more power than expected. Other than that, Dunsky says ATCA worked out just fine.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading


Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to ATCA, AMC & MicroTCA: Off-the-Shelf Platforms for the Converged IP Network, which will explore the impact these important platforms are already having on the telecom equipment market. To be staged in Boston, September 18, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:32:18 PM
re: Ethos Claims First We're going to hear more about "purpose-built" Ethernet gear, I think.

But I've been wondering about that. I understand Ethos' point that a PBB purpose-built box might have subtle advantages. But then again -- isn't PBB or PBT mostly a software implementation, and one that has to do with subtracting from normal Ethernet?

We also know that the best technology doesn't necessarily win anyway. I wonder if "purpose-built" will make much of a dent. (Unless it's from a large vendor, in which case it will get some default market share.)
K28.5 12/5/2012 | 3:32:13 PM
re: Ethos Claims First With regard to Gǣpurposely builtGǥ, I too donGt believe itGs enough to penetrate a market. In this context, itGs merely a marketing slogan, unless Ethos can prove real benefits for carriers from this fact.

As to the other differentiator Ethos is hailing, i.e., per service advanced QoS capabilities, although QoS is important, I doubt if this is enough of a differentiator to help them win against the big players.
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