COMPTEL Spring 2011: Sidera Networks introduces E-Connect Ethernet Hub service

Sidera Networks' new E-Connect Hub Service is a response to the Ethernet service provider's desire to simplify the Ethernet interconnection process.

Leveraging the Metro Ethernet's (MEF 26) External Network-to-Network Interface (E-NNI) standard, domestic and even international carriers can expand their off-net Ethernet reach by interconnecting with Sidera's fiber network.

"The service follows the MEF 26 standard, and why we are excited about it is that it provides that neutral connection point that Sidera, RCN Metro and NEON were all about," said Maura Mahoney, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Sidera Networks in an interview with FierceTelecom. "It will facilitate an inter-provider network where you can provide that end-to-end circuit and maintain that visibility end-to-end."

Available in both 1 GbE and 10 GbE port increments, the E-Connect service initially consists of 10 initial access points with hubs in Boston, Chicago, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Toronto and Washington, DC. Additional E-Connect hub points will be activated throughout 2011 based on customer demand.

Similar to the advent of new tools like the Ethernet exchange, Sidera's E-Connect is set on simplifying the off-net E-NNI process for service providers establishing off-net Ethernet connectivity for their multi-site customers.

"We have carrier Ethernet standards well defined and everyone can utilize them and when we come together under those standards everything interoperates very efficiently," said Todd Truex, Senior Product Manager, Sidera Networks. "By adhering to the MEF 26 standard we're able to accommodate the standards that are incorporated within that specification such that when we come to a meeting point the tagging conventions and the Class of Service (CoS), prioritization and mapping are already defined so there's no need for the negotiation and engineering that used to go on in situations like that."

This simplicity is having an effect on Sidera as well. Although many service providers, including Sidera, have well-established E-NNI arrangements with other service provider partners, establishing interconnection has typically been a very lengthy process.

Before launching its E-Connect service, Mahoney said that in order to establish E-NNI arrangements it had to "get certified by every single provider, which in some cases was a very lengthy and cumbersome process, but with the MEF 26 standard as long as that provider adheres to those standards we know that we can interconnect with them and preserve those parameters (QoS and CoS) across the network."

Maintaining CoS and QoS across network domains and making those connections seamless for the end customer any ESP is serving, of course, is the ultimate test of any E-NNI arrangement.

Truex said that with "E-Connect you're able to configure that circuit and see it end to end as if it were a single circuit and not across two or more networks."

For more:
- see the release

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