The Evolution of Carrier Ethernet

Vinay Rathore, product marketing director at Ciena, says Carrier Ethernet is no longer the new kid on the block.

“Its many virtues, from flexibility and scalability to lower operational costs and greater simplicity and interoperability, are now well understood and widely attractive to carriers.

A number of business trends have emerged that are changing the traditional nature of telecom products and services and driving new demand curves. For example, the maturation of virtualisation and cloud-based applications is driving significant changes in user behaviour and network resource utilisation. Since virtualisation is a demand trend that is shifting IT resources from the Local Area Network (LAN) into an operator’s or Application Service Provider’s network, it stresses the network to adapt and scale quickly while ensuring quality and performance, particularly for the those mission critical applications for which the enterprise user is now trusting someone else to support. Service providers are left with no choice but to evolve their business model to one that more effectively manages the 1) demand for new services; 2) network traffic distribution and 3) bandwidth growth requirements, all of which can be addressed with Carrier Ethernet technology.

While initially attractive due to its cost, Carrier Ethernet’s adoption is now primarily driven by the shift in emphasis to top-line revenue growth through the creation and deployment of new Ethernet services with greater velocity, automation and customisation.

For this to happen effectively, operators should build on the foundations laid out by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and work with the industry to focus on a comprehensive and sophisticated form of Carrier Ethernet that addresses operational complexity. If done successfully, operators will have open to them new levels of speed, differentiation, operational scalability and reliability in delivering revenue-generating Ethernet business services.”