The EthernetFLEX capability, announced Monday, includes control-plane software to track a customer's bandwidth usage. That's a key to service providers creating new billing options -- things like charging for the occasional burst of bandwidth above the committed information rate (CIR).
Cyan also says it can give end users real-time reports on their bandwidth utilization, through its CyPortal software. One new enhancement there is the ability to see which applications are causing traffic to spike. Eventually, Cyan might let users bless certain important applications with carte blanche to exceed the CIR -- with a corresponding boost in billing, of course.
Cyan is discussing the enhancements at the Comptel Plus and Ethernet Europe shows this week, but all the pieces won't be available until June, says Frank Wiener, vice president of marketing.
Why this matters
Creative billing models (and we mean "creative" in a good way) are one of those things the industry has talked about for a long time but hasn't gotten around to doing in an automated fashion. Cyan, which has been putting a lot of work into control-plane enhancements, is taking a first step toward putting these ideas into production networks.
Cyan has set up CyPortal with an application programming interface (API) for billing systems to tap, which would be a key step in making all this useful.
Other recent bits from the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) realm:
- AT&T: Does the 'Plus' Mean SPIT?
- BT: CIOs Need Smarter Network Tools
- Cyan Widens Its Ethernet View
- The SPIT Manifesto 2.0
— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading