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Ring vs Mesh topology in Carrier Ethernet networks

Network architects have debated over the best way to interconnect network elements. The ring camp believes that the best way to recover from a failure is to have a simple topology where all nodes have a similar access to the bandwidth. The mesh camp believes that the most scalable and flexible way to interconnect network elements is in meshes.Service Providers are familiar with SONET rings and they expect Ethernet based rings in Carrier Ethernet networks to perform similarly. However, Ethernet rings are expected to behave like Ethernet networks with oversubscription, redundant access, node protection, link aggregation and so on. Thus, Ethernet ring requirements can be more complicated than SONET ring requirements.Do we have to mandate a ring topology in Carrier Ethernet networks?It will be very attractive if a protocol can support both ring and mesh topologies in Carrier Ethernet networks.

Are today’s Service Provider SLAs good enough?

Managed services is always a top of mind subject for Service Providers (MSP). As we observe the trend of MSP’s, I continue to see them looking for ways to help Enterprise customers achieve there business goals. Conversations between MSP’s and Enterprises have more and more centered around the intelligent network services that enhance the networks ability to be business relevant. An example of this type of intelligence is: Application Aware Networks. Essentially, with an Application Aware service, businesses identify their applications as critical, important and best-effort, classifications that align to the business goal for application availability. Creating an Application Aware service requires that dynamic QoS be deployed in the carriers IP NGN, along with, the ability to tune the QoS mechanisms as required. Customer satisfaction hinges on the carriers ability to successfully deliver application aware SLAs. This is an excellent opportunity for MSP’s, as, new applications are demanding new levels of QoS on the networks. Read More »

The Impact of India Inc. on Telecommunications

india.gifI recently returned from my first ever trip to India, and experienced firsthand the juggernaut that this country has become across most of the major industries in the world. You almost can’t open a newspaper or an Internet browser these days without seeing the impact this world-changing nation continues to have. Experiencing an average of 9% GDP growth per year for the last 3 years alone, India’s quick rise to global prominence and economic influence has been fueled in large part by the phenomenon of”globalization”, or the outsourcing of well-defined business processes to fast-growing Indian IT and professional services companies. In recent years, leading companies in India have begun re-defining globalization by turning the tide, expanding out and establishing leadership positions, or acquiring companies outright, in a variety of industries previously dominated by businesses from established nations. According to KPMG, Indian companies acquired 62 companies in the first 8 months of 2005, to the tune of $1.7B, and the pace just keeps accelerating. The world’s largest steel company, Arcelor-Mittal, was created less than two years ago by the successful pursuit by an emerging markets bellwether firm of an established Western counterpart, consisting of a small group of 100+-year-old companies. And if the purchase of a Jaguar or Land Rover is in your future, you will soon be making the check out to an Indian firm, Tata Motors. Read More »

Taking Care of Business

Wait! Don’t worry — I’m certainly not about to opine about a 1970′s Canadian-penned classic rock song. (I admit, though, that it was pretty catchy tune despite the fact that they don’t pronounce the”g” in the first word- as a Webster, I am bound by my ancestral tie to Noah to have pet peeves of inappropriate use of language-Needless to say, discussions with my two year old at the dinner table can be quite heated…)Rather,”Taking care of business” in the service provider world means delivering highly available, scalable and reliable experiences -based on a solid foundation (Cisco IP NGN) and real market understanding. Running a great network is very much a provider’s business, and for many of them, offering managed services (or, an end customer business out-tasking the management of selected aspects of their network to a provider) is a very lucrative part of their services portfolio. For some, it is their sole focus. Read More »

Mass Customizing Managed Services (Bringing the glass slipper to all”¦)

200px-KinksGivethePeopleWhatTheyWant.jpgI submit that success by providers in managed business services will be due in large part to an ability to mass customize the experience. The impetus to get this thought out and into a post was prompted by a recent In-Stat research study covering end-users of all sizes was announced and concluded that,”customer feedback indicates that a one-size-fits-all approach to managed services needs to change — by addressing specific vertical and horizontal market stakeholder needs and requirements.” Ahh, the wisdom of The Kinks.—”Give The People What They Want“.The conclusion to give the people what they want is not a radically new topic for managed business services. Providers of all sizes and focus have attempted to solve this either in word or in actual attempts. After all, it’s a mass-customized, on-demand world where end users are emboldened -- at work, home and on the move. Read More »