Dennis Kruse, Vice President of Network Solutions at Orange Business sits in an interesting position in the Ethernet market, overseeing the marketing strategy, product positioning, pricing and external marketing communications of Orange Business Services' international network services, including Ethernet and IP/VPN.
Spanning about 42 countries via interconnection arrangements with service provider partners, Orange Business' Ethernet footprint is quite vast. Like many service providers, Orange Business sees the value in Ethernet exchanges, but believes they are just one tool in the veritable toolbox they can use to address their end-customer's service needs. FierceTelecom Editor Sean Buckley recently sat down with Kruse to talk about Orange Business' cloud services and the role of the Ethernet exchange.
FierceTelecom: Orange Business recently topped Vertical Systems Group's Mid-2010 Global Provider Ethernet leader board ranking report. To what do you attribute that growth?
Kruse: The big growth for Orange Business' Ethernet service is centered on two big areas. One is our big managed IP network services that we sell to large enterprises. What I think is really interesting is how much Ethernet services are available as an access technology to get from the customer premises to our service provider networks. There's a significant volume of growth in Ethernet access to MPLS services and Internet access.
The other thing that's been growing is we elected to position Ethernet not as a replacement or a substitute for managed IP/MPLS networks, but really as a complement, and that complement is how we can connect to data centers. There's this whole market of interconnecting data centers with high speed Ethernet connections. When we rolled out our Ethernet services we built a parallel network instead of rolling out an Ethernet overlay over our MPLS network. We run our IP network on our IP Global Network (IGN) and we have the EGN (Ethernet Global Network) that's dedicated to delivering these Ethernet speeds. Now, we dedicate a DWDM fiber to that Ethernet or we dedicate the DWDM to the IP network. At one level you can go into an undersea cable and we may be in the same sheath of that undersea cable for both networks, but the EGN and the IGN are separate and distinct logical networks.
FierceTelecom: You mentioned Orange's EGN and IGN. Can you tell us how those fit into delivering Ethernet services?
Kruse: Take Cogent, for instance. They have been a traditional ISP and did a lot of Internet transit, but the Internet transit market has really shrunk so Cogent started selling Ethernet over the Internet. They are using that same Internet backbone and running Ethernet over it. They are doing Ethernet over MPLS on that Internet backbone. We looked at that and said that does not make sense because want to position our Ethernet service as higher quality, low latency and as a fundamental data center service for your enterprise customer's core network. We bought a lot of capacity on undersea cables in Europe so we've been able to dedicate that to Ethernet and ensure reliability as we mix and match some of those technologies for the core network.
The IGN network is dedicated to serve all of the branch office locations. The example I like to use is Air France, who merged with KLM and has large airports in Charles de Gaulle, Toulouse and Lyon where they run Ethernet for that. Then, in all of their call centers and branch offices they use a big business VPN where you integrate more of the security and performance elements. By being focused like that the big growth is this issue is to use Ethernet to connect their big hub sites and data centers as well as lots of Ethernet to access to get to the IP/VPN network or the Internet.