Ethernet services

LR Dives Into the Ether(net)

A tutorial on enterprise Ethernet services and the technologies that can be used by carriers to provide them has been published today by Light Reading (see Enterprise Ethernet Services ). The report underpins Light Reading's ongoing project to create a global directory of Ethernet services, with the goal of helping enterprise users identify operators that can provide the type of service they want in the locations they want (see LR Creates Ethernet Services Directory). The directory, which already lists more than 150 service providers, is scheduled to go live in the next few weeks.

The goal of the report is to bring greater understanding to the rapidly evolving marketplace for enterprise Ethernet services, in two particular respects.

First, it defines different types of service, noting that they can be distinguished in different ways:

  • Whether they’re point-to-point (like leased lines) or multipoint (like Frame Relay networks)
  • Whether they’re based on transport networks (bandwidth dedicated to individual customers) or switched networks (bandwidth shared among customers)
  • Whether they’re used to connect customer sites or used to provide an access pipe for other services offered by the carrier
Second, it steps through the main infrastructure options for providing Ethernet services, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses in terms of resilience, scaleabiliity, support for service-level agreements, cost, and so on. The technologies reviewed are:

— Chris Somerville, Senior Editor, NGS
Light Reading's Carrier-Class Ethernet in China roadshow will provide an invited audience of senior decision makers from service providers in China with a unique education in how to design and deploy profitable Ethernet services, employing original research written and presented by Heavy Reading analysts.

In Shanghai on Nov. 30 and Beijing on Dec. 2, those interested may register for it

Heavy Reading reports on related topics:
Peter Heywood 12/5/2012 | 1:02:57 AM
re: LR Dives Into the Ether(net) Someone from Cisco has pulled me up on likening multipoint Ethernet to Frame Relay.

He correctly points out that multipoint Ethernet services are more than that. They connect any site to any other site, in the same way that an Ethernet switch connects any to any within a building.

To achieve the same thing in a Frame Relay network, you'd have to configure PVCs to link every site to every other site, which would be very unusual and expensive.

Point taken. I was trying to keep things simple by likening multipoint to the nearest equivalent WAN service that most folk are familiar with.

The Cisco guy adds: "I would suggest that this summary has the potential to be confusing and misleading, and hope the report itself does not suffer the same problem."

Judge for yourself: it's all there for you to read. Here's the link:


fiber_r_us 12/5/2012 | 1:02:56 AM
re: LR Dives Into the Ether(net) The difference is:

For MPLS, you can do it either way:

- In VPLS the mesh of LSPs is configured by the protocols. The mesh of point-to-point LSPs is still there, its just transparent to the client systems.

- For Virtual Private Line, you can still have a full mesh of LSPs, but they are not transparent to the client.

For FR, all of the VCs are visible to the client systems; which complicates configuration.

For ATM, you can have it either way:

- A mesh of VCs that are visible to the client systems

- or, using LANE, the mesh of VCs is configured "automatically" and hidden from the client systems.

I think using the term "multipoint" is what is confusing the issue as it could be used to describe any of the above scenarios.

It might be better to distinguish the two modes as "point-to-point" and "LAN" services.
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