Sizing up Connection-Oriented Ethernet approaches: A new eBook from FierceTelecom

Sean Buckley, FierceTelecomThere's no question that Ethernet has become the accepted service of choice for data that service providers are using for their business and wholesale customers. But an emerging group of vendors, service providers and standards groups are driving a new generation of Ethernet called Connection-Oriented Ethernet (COE).

Offering the deterministic qualities that traditional service providers love about SONET and the flexibility of Ethernet, COE has emerged as a high performance version of point-to-point Carrier Ethernet (CE). However, COE is not just one standard, but a collection of implementations that leverage Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), IEEE, IETF and ITU-T standards.

Since no two service providers' networks are the same, COE can be implemented using either Ethernet or MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) technologies.

In FierceTelecom's new eBook, Connection-Oriented Ethernet, we look at many of the issues surrounding the use of COE.

There are two implementations to COE: Ethernet-centric COE and MPLS-centric COE. Ethernet-centric COE is supported by the IEEE's 802.1Qay standard, which can leverage either PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridging-Transport Engineering) or ETS (Ethernet Tag Switching).

Driven by the IETF and the Broadband Forum, the MPLS-centric approach to Ethernet transport focuses on two key technologies: T-MPLS (Transport-MPLS) and MPLS-TP (MPLS-Transport Profile). These approaches are set on providing interconnection of PE (Provider Edge) routers in a service provider's inter-metro core network.

Of course, the decision to leverage approach to COE depends on the specific issue you're trying to solve. Those in the MPLS-centric camp argue that their approach is the most optimal because it allows a service provider to converge multiple protocols, including TDM, Frame Relay, ATM, Ethernet and IP onto the same network. MPLS-centric COE is optimized to transport multiple legacy services such as ATM, FR, TDM and next-gen Ethernet and IP services.

Alternatively, native Ethernet-centric COE, which leverages existing Carrier Ethernet standards, is best suited for optimized for Ethernet and IP service delivery and transport.

Connection-oriented EthernetCOE has been touted by supporters as an ideal technology to deliver a host of services, including retail Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) services, infrastructure services such as broadband DSL and fiber-based PON backhaul and wholesale wireless backhaul.

While the jury may be out on where and how service providers will use MPLS and Ethernet-centric COE, in this eBook we discuss the options COE offers to the large service provider community. Click here to download your copy today. Connection-Oriented Ethernet features perspectives from of a wide range of players representing both implementations of COE, including vendors, industry forums such as the Broadband Forum and the MEF and of course service providers.--Sean