Conducting E-NNI Ethernet-Network to Network Interconnection arrangements is by no means a new concept for Reliance Globalcom. In fact, they have been at it for over six years.
Incorporating the former assets of undersea cable operator FLAG Telecom, Yipes and, more recently, Virtual Network Operator (VNO) Vanco, Reliance Global initially worked with service providers in primarily Asia-Pacific and Europe to expand its Ethernet footprint in pre-standard E-NNI and bilateral agreements.
With these assets in hand, Reliance Globalcom has adopted a hybrid VNO Layer 2-networking 3 model. This model will apply Layer-2 networking to large headquarters sites that require high bandwidth and Layer-3 networking to multiple branch sites (banks and airlines) that require lower amounts of bandwidth.
To reach all of its global sites, the former Vanco had not only established a series of E-NNI and TDM access network arrangements.
But even with all that experience in hand, Dr. Kamran Sistanizadeh, CTO, Reliance Globalcom, knows that what will help move the Ethernet interconnection ball forward will be the eventual ratification of the Metro Ethernet Forum's (MEF) proposed E-NNI standard.
"As the adoption of Ethernet became more widely spread across carriers, larger players got into this game with serious capex expenditures, and almost 99 percent of the E-NNI is complete," he said. "The most important impact that this kinds of a standardization process has for companies like us is it provides a uniform platform for connectivity that translates into both cost savings on the service provider side as well as expanded reach for the service provider."
And while E-NNI standard compliance does not necessarily mean interoperability, Reliance believes it will enable them to enforce technical and business relationship rules such as SLAs, troubleshooting and understanding operational issues around exchanging information on the customer and the network across the NNIs.
In the meantime, Reliance Globalcom continues to take a multi-pronged approach to expand its Ethernet footprint.
Complementing its own E-NNI efforts it is taking with other carriers, Reliance Globalcom is taking part in a trial of Equinix's global Ethernet Exchange platform. As part of this trial, Reliance Globalcom joins seven other trial customers at Equinix's IBX exchange sites.
"We will be doing the equivalent of cloud E-NNI connectivity so there's a switching fabric at Layer-2 that lots of providers can connect to and create automated connectivity across this cloud," Dr. Sistanizadeh said. "We are also pursuing on a bilateral basis where they might not be collocated at these facilities."
With the MEF standard near completion and new neutral options for carriers to expand their respective Ethernet footprints, Reliance Globalcom is confident that E-NNI is well on its way to becoming a more natural process.