New Carrier Ethernet tools - multiservice
There’s an old adage that if the only tool you have is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail. Nowhere is that truer than when it comes to IP service aggregation at the edge of the network. So let’s take a look at a new tool—Multiservice Carrier Ethernet—this week as I wrap up my series on edge router retirement (see my previous blogs Time to Let discontinued Routers R.I.P., Banking on Change).
Often legacy edge routers are used to aggregate IP applications such as managed router service or dedicated Internet access, most of which are delivered over today’s TDM infrastructure. Because the end customer service is IP, it’s common to assume that the replacement for your old edge router has to be a new edge router. Common, but wrong.
Enter the Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation platform. A Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation platform supports Carrier Ethernet service aggregation in a central office, point of presence or co-location facility. In addition, it can implement the same IP encapsulations and network control protocols traditionally offered by edge routers. This includes those used between the CPE router and the edge router to share IP addresses and set up the IP interface.
How about traffic management? The Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation platform examines the IP header of the incoming customer IP traffic, uses this information to classify and prioritize the flows, and then quickly maps the IP traffic into Carrier Ethernet VLANs speeding toward the core.
The result? Installed CPE routers do not have to change or even be reconfigured. As far as they know they are still connected to that very expensive and very old edge router. Of course, key to this working widespread is that the Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation platform be very Multiservice. That means supporting numerous IP encapsulations like PPP, MLPPP, HDLC and even Frame Relay.
What is so great about this is that a single Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation platform can handle Layer 3 IP services and deliver the new, premium-revenue, Layer 2 Carrier Ethernet services that the legacy router cannot.
When you consider that MSRP for channelized ports on Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation platforms list out at 70-80 percent less than the cost of equivalent ports on a shiny, new edge router, well, you just might consider it’s time to carry a new tool.
If you want to learn more about Edge Router Retirement and Multiservice Carrier Ethernet aggregation, be sure to register for Carrier Ethernet News’ free webinar “Are you Ready for Edge Router Retirement?”, on Thurs., March 3rd at 1pm Eastern. I’ll discuss the topic with Erin Dunne, Director of Research, for Vertical Systems Group and Lorin Dorco, Chief Technology Officer, of Sidera Networks.