Carrier Ethernet -Technology of choice for Mission Critical Applications

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) set out eighteen months ago to define and accelerate the worldwide adoption of Carrier class Ethernet Networks and Services. The MEF considers Carrier Ethernet as the front-running technology for the deployment of mission critical applications.

“By defining service quality as part of the standards – verifiable through stringent certification programs – the MEF has initiated a giant step forward in the telecommunications industry” stated Bob Mandeville – President of Iometrix testing labs, the company responsible for the MEF certification testing. “Vendors submitting their products for testing must pass 414 individual test cases before being granted MEF 9 and 14 certification. Additionally, in yet another industry first, Service Provider Ethernet services must also pass a similar set of rigid compliance tests before being granted certification to MEF 9” Bob added.

CIOs are today seeking to streamline their IT infrastructures by introducing service-oriented architecture (SOA) in a bid to align IT investment with business goals. IT Managers within both enterprise and public sector organizations are increasingly having to cope with demands to connect multiple sites over point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connections to support growing numbers of mission critical applications.

These applications include LAN connectivity, PBX interconnection, VoIP, conferencing, disaster recovery, distributed computing and converged applications, e-commerce, help desk support, remote mirroring and fail-over, wireless backhaul and access as well as enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, Supply Chain etc.), amongst numerous others.

“The ability to support the bandwidth requirements and quality of service attributes essential for the growing numbers of converged applications in business, residential and mobile applications, is a key factor in the rapid acceptance of Carrier Ethernet as the transport architecture of choice for mission critical applications” stated Mike Tighe – Chairman of the Board of the MEF.

“The scalability, flexibility and QoS attributes of Carrier Ethernet has now enabled enterprises of all types and sizes to reduce their IT total cost of ownership through server and data center consolidation” he added.
Recent examples of mission critical Carrier Ethernet applications include the Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) in Seatle, USA and the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEx).

Verizon Business installed a Carrier Ethernet network across the VMMCs 6 main campus buildings and 10 regional satellite clinics which are visited regularly by mobile articulated prime movers installed with state-of-the-art CT and MRI scanners. The network in total supports 5,000 phones, along with 4,000 desktop devices and 250 servers.

“Providing 20 times the speed of our old multiple T1 network, Carrier Ethernet has enabled real time transmission of very large CT scan files from our satellite clinics to our main campus, enabling our teams of specialists to provide multiple and near instantaneous diagnosis for patients hundreds of miles away” stated Steve Tsukuno, IT Director of VMMC.

“Due to the nature and urgency of the service we provide to our patients along with the fact that we are a non-profit organization, it’s absolutely essential that our network infrastructure is sound and cost effective” Steve added.