Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When and why you should move to Carrier Ethernet?

First things first, I would suggest the Communication Service Provider (CSP) should critically analyze the book value of the existing legacy system, spare capacity availability, vendor support availability, Next Generation Network (NGN)/Ethernet transport feature availability, upgrade costs and operational costs like space and power. As long as the existing system addresses the requirement cost effectively in short term and mid term, I would suggest that the CSP continue with the legacy system with a clear replacement/migration plan for long term.

I'll now list 2 important highlights below to show you why I would replace an existing legacy (ex:- SDH) network with a Carrier Ethernet (CE) network.

(1) *Native* support of cost effective and ubiquitous Ethernet interface/service/transport

As you know the current and future traffic on CSPs are more towards IP/Ethernet and this requires that CSP
1. provide "Ethernet interfaces" to customers,
2. transport/provide "Ethernet Services" like MEF E-LINE, E-LAN, E-TREE and E-Access,
3. build "Ethernet based transport networks" like Carrier/Metro Ethernet MANs/WANs.

If you are to transport Ethernet over SDH, you require EoSDH capabilities on your SDH platforms. On the other hand, for you to transport TDM over Ethernet, you require
Circuit Emulation Service over Packet Switched Networks (CESoPSN)/Structure Agnostic Transport over Packet (SAToP). Since the trend is now to move from legacy (TDM) to NGN (IP/Ethernet), you will see more IP/Ethernet than TDM in the future. So it's logical to have CE with TDMoEthernet, rather than having SDH with EoSDH. Finally all will converge to CE.

(2) Vendor support

As these trends happen in the CSP ecosystem (CSPs, OEMs, SDOs etc.), the vendors are also discontinuing legacy systems and move to NGN based technologies like CE. This will make the cost of legacy systems high and cost of NGN systems low due to the economies of scale. This will also made the support (AMC- Annual Maintenance Contract) charges for legacy systems be also high.

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