Reporting in from Ethernet Expo Americas 2012
[this article originally appeared in Carrier Ethernet News]
I always look forward to the Light Reading Ethernet Expo in New York. The city and the staff of Light Reading deserve a lot of credit for pulling off this event a week after super storm Sandy. And people were excited to be at the event because there was a lot to discuss and debate. There has been a lot of change since last November, with the introduction of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and the rise of Software Defined Networking (SDN), and the most interesting ideas centered on their relevance to the cloud.
The cloud truly is a transformative phenomenon, and the network has a central role in changing how people collect, store, process and use data to run their businesses and develop new ideas. I particularly liked Coresite’s Jarret Appleby’s remark when describing the emergence of network-based data centers – “the network is like oxygen for the data center campus.” In truth, the network is like oxygen for the entire cloud.
By the end of Prayson Pate’s talk, everyone knew that the three principals of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 were 1) multi-COS 2) managed and 3) interconnected. Throughout the event other speakers dwelled on how these capabilities help the network service providers build predictable, ubiquitous solutions for cloud-based services. I was particularly impressed with hearing how service providers are taking advantage of E-Access to leverage their own network for wholesale services and to expand their service footprint for retail services.
In the SDN arena we heard views on how SDN will help accelerate revenues and drive down costs by reducing provisioning time and making provisioning more accurate; by making bandwidth and connections more dynamic; and by virtualizing many of the specialty appliances that a service provider needs in the network today. These capabilities will most certainly drive demand for cloud-based networking and services. SDN adoption will no-doubt be evolutionary but, when we look back in a few years, we will see network capabilities that are quite different from today’s.