26 April 2012

NetEvents APAC Press Summit, Hong Kong - Day 2 - Debate 5 Summary

What effect will Carrier Ethernet 2.0 have on the industry?
Daniel Bar-Lev, certification programme director at the MEF opened the panel discussion by remarking that: "I'm addicted to connectivity - I look for it wherever I am, everywhere all the time." He then took a straw poll.

"I find that everyone has a laptop and phone, most have a tablet - and it's a problem if you've can't connect all of them to the Internet. Like you, I want storage somewhere else so I can access it on any device. I want power to be in a datacentre not in a battery or my room. I want my software connected and working all the time. But I don't want to be my own IT manager.

"So what I want is a global Ethernet LAN like the LAN from the office. It's true for individuals and for businesses. That is what Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0 is pointing to - it's not the solution but one step along the way to that seamless global LAN. CE2.0 has four flavours - E-LAN, E-Line, E-Access and E-Tree."

After the panel introduced themselves and their companies, Divesh Gupta (PCCW Global); Irit Gillath (Telco Systems); Jim Machi (Dialogic), Bar-Lev asked about E-Access. It's a wholesale service - what is it?

Gupta said: "Customers ask for SLAs for end to end latency and packet loss. Our network ends at the POP in each country but a local provider provides access to the last mile. Without an end to end SLA, we can't deliver that service but E-Access helps deliver that." He said that there have has problems in the past with incompatibilities between network services but when standardised, they are more efficient and are a critical part of CE.

The panel was asked whether CE could speed up certification of operator partners? Gupta said that it would improve the situation.

Gillath said: "E-Access means you can provide SLAs across different providers - both sides can access and monitor the performance of each others' networks."

Mobile backhaul is an important part of the puzzle, said Machi. "Backhaul is a huge expense every year, it's 27% of the total cost for a mobile operator," he said. "The proportion of backhaul provided by CE is growing, today it's only one-third, and the rest is TDM."

How is CE going into mobile backhaul? Gupta said that, in Africa, it used to be about serial interfaces and then satellite, but now it's RJ45 jacks and going over Ethernet. Gillath said: "We are providing multiple services on the same network because each network has a specific requirement." For example, she said, carriers want to differentiate and provide a distinctive SLA and offer value added services such as cloud.

Won't CE provide complexity because theory is different from practice, the audience asked? Bar-Lev said: "CE2.0 is more than just an Ethernet service, it allows SPs and operators to sue infrastructure more efficiently at lower cost, and can add higher value services."

What about manageability? Gillath said: "Service providers are looking for a dynamic network that can adjust to problems if eg there are spikes in usage or changes in the network." Gupta said: "We need to provide visibility to end users across different networks and service providers. If those service providers deploy network in different ways, that causes problems so we need standards to help us support them."

Final question for the panel asked whether they shared the vision of data everywhere, anytime over a single network?

Machi said: "There's so many interconnections out there so will not ever be one single giant global network."

Gillath said: "We are getting there."

Gupta said: "The Internet is already there but Ethernet at a service level might take 20 or 200 years."

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