Part 3: New Answers for Bringing Scale to the Carrier Ethernet Metro Edge

Sep 23, 2013 by Brian Van Voorhis

Overture's Product Manager, Brian Van VoorhisService providers want to scale up service capacity and accelerate service delivery as they transition their edge network away from a legacy non-MEF compliant Metro Edge.  In the first part of this article series (Problems? What Problems?) we looked at the intrinsic problems in a legacy, non-MEF Metro Edge that providers are trying to solve.  In the second part (Options to Scaling the Metro Edge) we discussed the cost and complexity tradeoffs associated with extending MPLS from the core to the edge of the network. 

So is there another option?

Yes. New CE2.0 switching and aggregation solutions, like the Overture 6500, coupled with software control and orchestration solutions, like Overture’s Ensemble OSA™

Planning a Solution

The solution architecture shown below creates an MEF CE2.0 network using the Overture 6500 for multimedia switching and aggregation and the Overture 65 for as the Ethernet Access Device (EAD).

Why utilize the 6500 at the edges instead of interfacing directly off the PE to the E-NNI or aggregation network?  The 6500 provides the critical solution in three areas.

  • Full Scale Support for Service Assurance.  Large routers and PE’s have Y.1731 capability but often lack the processing resources needed to deliver CPU-intensive loss /delay measurements or rapidly occurring ring protection messaging on a broad scale .
  • Scalability and Cost. Terminating a small number of CPE or ENNI hand-offs directly on large routers or PE can be done but the prohibitive cost prevents this approach from scaling as numbers of CPE or E-NNI go up.
  • Stranded Capacity.  Terminating relatively low bandwidth customer interfaces directly on high bandwidth PE slots strands hundreds of Gigabit slots with low average bandwidth.

Scaling MEF CE2.0 Services Network

More importantly, the Overture solution leverages elements of Overture’s Ensemble Open Service Architecture to reduce costs and accelerate time to service.  Specifically, the Ensemble Network Controller (ENC) provides automated service provisioning and service level performance reporting and the Ensemble Service Orchestrator (ESO) creates and manages virtual layer 3 CPE functions as server-based applications.  Charting a course in the network that virtualizes many premises-based layer 3 functions allows service providers to avoid stranding CPE, truck rolls and technology obsolescence and accelerates the service creation and activation cycles.

The table below summarizes how the application of these components combine to create a successful network transition for the problems we identified in the first parts of this blog series.

 

Edge/Aggregation Problems and the Solution Direction

Legacy Problem

Solution  Implementation

Resolved?

  1. MAC Address Scaling
  • Migrate legacy STP edge to CE 2.0 using Overture 6500 aggregator.  Interconnect across core via PW3.
Yes
  1. Wholesale Ethernet
  • Offload PE router sand EHT switches through Overture 6500 for ENNI, supporting hundreds of 8-CoS virtual interfaces per Ethernet port with CE 2.0
  • Y.1731 fault management across ENNI trunks with Overture 65 EAD at Operator Site
Yes
  1. Service Assurance
  • 802.3ah link OAM across fiber and copper to  EADs
  • Y.1731 service LM/DM with portal for KPIs via Ensemble Network Controller
Yes
  1. Multi Media
  • Overture 6500 as multimedia aggregator for consistent customer experience over fiber, copper, TDM and SONET
Yes
  1. L2 and L3 Services
  • Ensemble Service Orchestrator virtualizes enterprise network functions.  Advantages:
    • Ubiquitous, low cost CPE
    • Pay-as-you-grow managed services
    • Service chain up-sells without truck roll
    • No technology obsolescence
Yes

The problems trying to scale service capacity and speed service delivery can be numerous when starting with a non-MEF Metro Edge.  However, new CE2.0 switching and aggregation solutions, coupled with software control and orchestration solutions help service providers address current challenges and position them for future rapid service evolution from the Metro Edge.

About the Author

Brian Van Voorhis, is Senior Product Manager for the 6500 Service Delivery Platform and Ensemble Network Controller at Overture Networks.  He is also a Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional (MEF CECP).  With extensive experience in edge an d aggregation networks Brian has successfully launched and managed high profile product development initiatives during his career, leveraging Carrier Ethernet, Active Ethernet, GPON, DSL, and SONET/TDM technologies.   Brian has a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Cincinnati and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University.

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