Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype

Use of gigabit Ethernet in service provider networks could grow eightfold by 2005 -- with nearly 30 percent of revenues coming from 10-Gbit/s links. But Ethernet must become "carrier ready" to reach its full potential.

So says a recent report from Pioneer Consulting (see Report Sees Gig-E Growth). The firm says use of 1- and 10-Gbit/s Ethernet in access, metropolitan, and wide-area core networks will drive sales to carriers seeking lower-cost technologies to expand their facilities and offer new data-intensive services.

Industry sources bristle at Pioneer's projections, which estimate a gigabit Ethernet market of $44 billion by 2005. Even the most enthusiastic vendors in this market consider that figure excessive.

"The potential for metro optical Ethernet is large, but... I don't know what methodology they may have used," says Nan Chen, director of product marketing at Atrica Inc. and president of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), an industry group.

Chen says it's not unrealistic to assume that the market for gigabit Ethernet in metro networks would double annually, reaching about $5 billion by 2005. But he says that estimate is contingent on vendors proving that Ethernet can perform reliably in carrier networks.

Pioneer Consulting's report concedes that carrier-class reliability and quality of service are still missing from the packet-driven, "best effort" world of Ethernet. And these features must be proven to service providers before the market can reach its full potential, the firm says.

Industry forces are trying to make this happen. At a meeting of the MEF last week, for instance, over 90 attendees from about 50 different companies reportedly agreed on a common method of matching Sonet's link recovery using MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) in Ethernet WANs.

"This was a breakthrough," says Chen. "We've developed a 50-millisecond protection model, when most people think Ethernet recovery takes 30 seconds."

Chen says the establishment of a protection scheme will be key to providing the value proposition carriers will require in order for the metro Ethernet market to take off as hoped.

Details of the spec need to be hammered out. Forum spokespeople say that a first draft spec is aimed for completion by February, with a final version due out in summer 2002.

The group also has started to define a QOS framework for Ethernet, within a set of predefined Ethernet services.

The Metro Ethernet Forum is one of two groups at the forefront of efforts at developing low-cost alternatives to ATM and Sonet/SDH for metro networks. The other group, the Resilient Packet Ring Alliance, has been pursuing its own standard within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE). But industry sources say a range of issues, including higher cost, have brought RPR's goals into controversy, at least temporarily (see RPR: RIP?).

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
<<   <   Page 4 / 4
Scott Raynovich 12/4/2012 | 7:37:56 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype Mudd wrote:
>Except for Yipes, Cogent and Telseon no ther >vendor has committed to using Ethernet in the >metro environment.


Actually, Qwest and Broadwing have announced Ethernet services. Not sure what happened with these, but I will follow up:

Multiplex 12/4/2012 | 7:37:56 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype While Pioneer is clearly not going to post its entire report, perhaps it would be willing to share the underlying assumptions about market penetration and available market for Ethernet. It will be easier to see whether there is any sense behind the hype that way.

How about it Mr. Peterson?

zipple 12/4/2012 | 7:37:55 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype Too much talk about transceivers, BER and other ancient-operator/vendor oriented stuff...

Put it in the same category of other "ancient-operator/vendor" stuff like gross margin, earnings, and other ancient figures of merit.

Maybe we're just in a retro era.
poster 12/4/2012 | 7:37:51 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype who cares?
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 7:37:50 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype who cares?

We all should. His posts have added value for those who can see through the mud.

tobinsmith 12/4/2012 | 7:37:49 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype XO has 10/100 and GBit E, they offer the product not only for Metro users, but also between "XO-lit" cities.

lightmaster 12/4/2012 | 7:37:40 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype "XO has 10/100 and GBit E"

XO offeres GigE, but the CEO is on record as saying that there isn't much demand for it.
metrodude 12/4/2012 | 7:37:40 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype http://www.lightreading.com/do...
toll booth willy 12/4/2012 | 7:37:34 PM
re: Gigabit Ethernet: Hope vs. Hype Good Point
<<   <   Page 4 / 4
Sign In