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MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll

In five years' time, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) will play a more important role in metro networks than Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and Ethernet will be more pervasive than Sonet/SDH, according to this month's Light Reading Research Poll.

The poll asks respondents to forecast the relative importance of different protocols in metro networks in 2007. And the results so far, from just over 150 users, make interesting reading.

Ethernet has a rosy future, according to survey respondents. 37 percent of them say it will be "crucial" in metro networks, and another 36 percent say it will be "very important."

This exceeds support for Sonet/SDH. Only 14 percent say that it will be "crucial" in metro networks in five years' time, while 35 percent say it will be "very important."

As already noted, MPLS gets more support than ATM, the two protocols associated with being able to guarantee quality of service. MPLS will be "very important" by 2007 according to 28 percent of respondents. The comparable figure for ATM is a mere seven percent.

Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) technology gets a resounding "don't know" with votes split evenly across "very important," "important," "fairly unimportant," and "unimportant."

In reality, all of these protocols are likely to coexist in different parts of carrier networks, as Light Reading's recent report on metro technologies explains (see Metro Multiservices Evolution).

Other results of Light Reading's Research Poll show that most respondents (60 percent) think boosting revenue should be the top priority for carriers building metro networks. Just 39 percent believe cutting costs is more important.

The best way to boost revenue in metro networks is to reach new customers, according to 37 percent of respondents. That could mean extending geographic coverage or offering a wider range of services. The next-best ways to generate revenue are to speed up provisioning times (21 percent) or offer higher-bandwidth services (20 percent). The most effective way to cut costs is to use bandwidth more efficiently, according to 45 percent of respondents. Next comes cutting equipment costs (29 percent), followed by cutting maintenance staff requirements (20 percent).

Want more details? Take Light Reading's Research Poll yourself by clicking here. — Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
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TelcoDude 12/4/2012 | 10:44:09 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll This is completely a false poll. The audeince of this poll is mostly from startups or standard bodies.

MPLS, and Ethernet.. give me a break. SONET and ATM will be there forever. Etherent may break into fiber access, but SONET is it.

I hope the VC's don't buy this and fund more MPLS and Ethernet companies.
broadbandboy 12/4/2012 | 10:44:08 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll MPLS is not ATM, but it's starting to look like a pretty darn good imitation.

BBboy
AAL6 12/4/2012 | 10:44:05 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll The only selling point for the MPLS is a potential for traffic engineering - that's why IP hot heads started working on this and stole the whole idea from the PNNI (there is NO traffic engineering in IP (everywhere) - "send it and forget it" is what applies to it).

Ethernet is a joke for voice, and data people have no clue when it comes to it - complete new can of worms. On the other hand, you can run ATM over the Ethernet if you want a real thing, anyway ;)))

The MPLS will win if someone could push it to the desktop + phone (not IP phone ;) + video, force CoS to be selected on the acces side, distribute labels everywhere, and replace SONET on fibers.

The catch is OSS and how the whole thing will scale (NOT) and how much effort/money people will have to spend in order to be able to set up calls/data paths (maybe this is an opportunity similar to what Cisco did with its "training" - create user unfriendly and non-intuitive UI, design things with "minor" differences from the standard's requirements, and charge tons of $ for people to learn it)

BTW, MPLS in metro alone won't buy you a thing - if the core is no QoS/CoS aware, the whole story becomes a fairy tale (I didn't mention traffic engineering in the core but as the QoS is a part of that, it's implied)
NetworkMercenary 12/4/2012 | 10:44:05 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll There are truly more selling points than just traffic engineering and management for MPLS. An illustration would be for an existing ATM network that is offering TLS (Transparent LAN) services, with ATM ports, can now offer TLS Ethernet services, using MPLS as the control plane and Ethernet ports on the ATM switch for the hand-off.

It's clear that ATM vendors recognize the importance of MPLS. More than that, ATM vendors are embracing MPLS, as it only proves to add more features and services to the existing ATM platform. The same ATM switches that were bought 5 years ago need only minor upgrades, both hardware and software to implement these new services.

Talking about ROI - NM
Tony Li 12/4/2012 | 10:44:04 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll
Time to set the record straight. The traffic engineering capabilities that some vendors have available today are largely based on what a certain Frame Relay vendor used to provide. They have nothing at all to do with PNNI and we are
instead deeply indebted to John Moy.

Of course SONET and ATM will be around forever. We never seem to uninstall old, working link layers. The last time I checked, there are still
numerous X.25 networks still chugging along. And
I'd hate to guesstimate how much bisync is still
out there. So the only real question is 'what will people deploy now?'

MPLS has the advantage that it allows the carrier
to deploy both connectionless and connection
oriented services on the same network layer. The
integration is a useful economy of scale.

What are the connection oriented services that
will be of value? The jury is clearly mixed, but
to name a few, traffic engineering, fast reroute,
and VPNs to start.

How complex it gets to be in reality depends
entirely on how many people want to do strange and
unnatural acts with MPLS and the size of the checks that they're willing to write. Hopefully,
both carriers/ISPs and the vendor community will
let MPLS evolve in such a way that legitimate
needed services are supported while unnecessary
complications languish. Certainly this has helped
the development of TCP/IP avoid some unnecessary
cruft. If we can carry over this Darwinian
process, we may yet separate the wheat from the chaff.

Tony
NetworkMercenary 12/4/2012 | 10:44:04 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll One other thing that has come to mind with regard to the title of the article "MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll": There's a difference between the control plane and the hardware. Saying that MPLS will outgun ATM is silly.

MPLS will ride on an ATM infrustructure in many situations, as does IP, IPX, AppleTalk, etc. The difference is hardware vs. control plane. For ATM, the control plane can be PNNI or MPLS or even a combination of both (ships in the night). What rides on the physical infrastructure is up to the implementation that is required for the services offered - NM
broadbandboy 12/4/2012 | 10:44:03 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll Tony Li: "Time to set the record straight. The traffic engineering capabilities that some vendors have available today are largely based on what a certain Frame Relay vendor used to provide. They have nothing at all to do with PNNI and we are
instead deeply indebted to John Moy."

We all know you are talking about Cascade's VNN. But why do you say that some other vendor's traffic engineering is based on VNN? Do you mean to say they are all based on OSPF link state routing, hence the indebtedness to John Moy?

Let's not assume the whole world runs on VNN. PNNI has been operating in production networks for several years.

I will say one thing for PNNI - it was the first, and perhaps still the only, working QoS routing protocol. And it was years ahead of comparable efforts by the IETF.

BBboy

Tony Li 12/4/2012 | 10:44:02 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll But why do you say that some other vendor's traffic engineering is based on VNN? Do you mean to say they are all based on OSPF link state routing, hence the indebtedness to John Moy?
----------------------------------------------


Simply this: when we were designing MPLS/TE, we looked at what Cascade had done, NOT at PNNI.

Tony
TelcoDude 12/4/2012 | 10:44:02 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll "MPLS has the advantage that it allows the carrier
to deploy both connectionless and connection
oriented services on the same network layer. The
integration is a useful economy of scale." Tony Li.

A techie guy talking of economies of scale got MPLS and related mindless BS to this point. Today both connectionless and connection oriented networks are on the same network layer, it happens to be on the PHY layer. WHY do you want to bring it to the NET layer. (don't tell me that because you are a layer-3 biggot and made your name ane money in developing routers).

Let go dude, leave "economies of scale" and tell me REALLY what MPLS has to offer. I concur if you came from a line rate abilities or any other techincal merit that MPLS had before JNPR shipped OC-192's.

You get the credit of posting messages with your original name..(:
TelcoDude 12/4/2012 | 10:44:02 PM
re: MPLS Will Outgun ATM, Says Poll TE is an easy case: throw bandwidth at the problem.

In real networks, most of the primary IGP links are not upto 1/2 of thier capacity utilization. Of course you have congestion sometimes to take care of, BUT MPLS is not the only answer. (Just because your company developing MPLS for TE Mt Lee.) Big network UUNET managed TE manually and are still doing it.
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