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Carrier Ethernet and MPLS are on a Roll

October 1, 2009 - 0 Comments

speeding trainIn a recent report, Infonetics Research – Carrier Ethernet market defying downturn, Principal Analyst Michael Howard stated that the “carrier Ethernet equipment market is forecast by Infonetics to top $32 billion in 2013, driven by the need to handle fast-growing traffic from consumer, business, and mobile backhaul networks, including skyrocketing video traffic.”

It all makes sense. As service providers transition from their existing TDM to Packet-based infrastructure, handle a tidal wave of new IP video-based services, and consolidate service specific networks, they are making a shift in their edge, aggregation, and access infrastructure investments. They are doing this because they need new equipment that can concurrently provide high capacity and performance as well as service flexibility and velocity without compromising operational efficiency and reliability.

As we heard over and over again at the 2009 Carrier Ethernet World Congress (CEWC), Carrier Ethernet infrastructure is composed of Ethernet/MPLS/DWDM and is an efficient way to carry  both IP and legacy traffic. MPLS has transformed “metro” Ethernet into “carrier” Ethernet by adding increased scalability, better QoS, higher security, protocol flexibility and improved resiliency.

Here at Cisco, we’re responding as we see MPLS move from the core network into the Ethernet aggregation network by delivering these capabilities on platforms such as the ASR 9000 and 7600 Series. In fact, Current Analysis recently put out independent detailed reports on both the ASR 9000 (Current Analysis Product Intelligence Report: Cisco ASR 9000 Series) and 7600 (Current Analysis Product Assessment: Cisco 7600 Series), rating these platforms “very threatening” in their ability to hit the “sweet spot” of requirements for Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers. And Synergy showed that Cisco gained 1.8% points in market share in the Ethernet Service Edge Router segment in Q2 2009.

And, the MPLS momentum will only continue. Soon, we expect to see more and more MPLS in the access network, too – MPLS or MPLS-TP to the cell site, to the DSLAM and to the building basement. As providers move to fiber-based access, Cisco continues to deploy more and more Carrier Ethernet in the form of E-FTTx into access with platforms like the Catalyst 4500 and ME3400 as well as the cell site router MWR 2941. As a testament to this, TeliaSonera just announced their decision to deploy E-FTTx – giving them the ability to deliver up to 1Gbps to each end point.

Certainly, Carrier Ethernet and MPLS are on quite a roll and there’s little sign of it slowing-down.

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