EPL or EVPL That’s the Question!, SDN in and out of the Airwaves, COLT Gallops to DCE, ETSI NFV Renews, and More!

Weekly Round-Up: 08/10/2014


Welcome to this week’s Round-up – we had a fantastic week, with contributions pouring in from all corners of the globe (from Israel, South Africa, Canada, and the US to the UK, Sweden, and UAE to name a few!),  with highly engaged and active discussions among our members. The energy and collaborations in the Group are, IMHO, definitely meeting stricter SLAs :-), improving the Quality-of-Experience (QoE) for each end-user – provided, of course, that the end-user in question is on the network!

[Clearly, if you’re not on our Carrier Ethernet Group “network” and/or your antennae (of course, I assume you have MIMO :-)) and receiver are turned off, you can’t experience the enhanced QoS or benefit from the interesting discourse :-). Thus, a good reason to participate, and point out to colleagues/peers the value of being on this forum – FYI, you can easily invite colleagues to the Group by sending them the following pointer http://linkd.in/L645fy]

Thank you Ty Estes, John Hawkins, Hashiem Croeser, Marcus Jonsson/Martin Engelmark, Ray Le Maistre, Azhar Khuwaja, Daniel Bar-Lev, Patrick Lopez, Bo Gowan, Paolo Volpato, and Gint Atkinson for your posts on diverse topics (more on these ahead), and thanks are also due to Oleg Kozlov, Yaakov Stein, Dirk Schroetter, Devang Shah, Stephen Hope, Michael Elling, Shawn Cismar, Chandra Shekhar Mallela, Daniel Bar-Lev, Larry Samberg, Hashiem Croeser, Paolo Volpato & Gint Aktinson, among others, for their insightful and thoughtful comments.

I’m also excited to let you know that to help those who, like me, are auditory learners :-), an mp3 audio capsule of this Weekly Round-Up is now available at http://bit.ly/1A7EY3A, so you can download and take this on the go, and be updated on the exciting goings-on in our Group, and contribute more easily.

MP3 Audio Capsule of the Weekly Round-Up is at: http://bit.ly/1A7EY3A (Right click the link and choose “Save File/Link As” to download and save the mp3 file. Then enjoy on your favorite player!)

1. Network Design & Architecture

Wireline Pondering — EPL or EVPL That is the Question?…

Daniel Bar-Lev, Director of MEF’s Certification/Strategic Programs, raised an excellent question, hot off the oven from MEF’s quarterly meeting in Santa Clara last week, about whether operators use EPL or EVPL service to replace traditional T1 lines? http://linkd.in/1lNG6B9 Oleg, Hashiem, Chandra and Stephen weighed in with some excellent points. In particular, Chandra gave an eloquent explanation of the trade-off between deployment considerations for EPL (point-to-point EVCs between a pair of dedicated UNIs; all-to-one bundling; high degree of transparency) vs EVPL (point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connections between a pair of UNIs; allows service multiplexing; less degree of transparency), and wondered if L2CP considerations really would favor one over the other.  The discussion is still ongoing, so please do share your viewpoint http://linkd.in/1lNG6B9

Are you a service provider or operator using EPLs and EVPLs? If so, what is your viewpoint? Have you been using EPL or EVPL services to as a “T1 replacement”? Why? What considerations drove your decision? Do you think it’s worth changing that now, with more enterprise services on the horizon? Comment here http://linkd.in/1lNG6B9

… and Configuration Changes Entailed by a VPWS to VPLS Migration

Illustrating a Classical Ethernet Service from the "Old" Days - To Download a Short Presentation on "Classical Ethernet Services Evolution to VPWS/VPLS" click the image above.

Azhar Khuwaja, on the other hand, raised a related question about the extent of configuration changes required to migrate a VPWS service to a VPLS service for the special case of just two end points, and wondered how involved this might be. http://linkd.in/1mB6cav One of our resident “VPWS/VPLS” experts, Hashiem Croeser from South Africa, provided a cogent response on the changes needed (there are quite a few, since you have to go from a simple PW configuration at an end point to having to configure an entire Virtual Forwarding Instance (VFI), even if it does only have information about a single p2p connection in this case). You can check out Hashiem’s response and contribute to the discourse here http://linkd.in/1mB6cav.

Turns out that an except from a workshop of mine on VPNs could be very helpful here, so I’m providing it as an added resource. To download a short presentation/workshop thatt covers the transition from classical Ethernet services to a VPWS/VPLS service click here.

Do you agree with what Hashiem has outlined? What do the network architects on the Group think? Are there other (simpler) ways you know of to make this switch? How? Comment here http://linkd.in/1mB6cav

Wireless Rumination  — Can Microwave Suffice for LTE-A? Plus,  SDN-NFV in Wireless Networks

Discussion continued on Paolo Volpato’s http://linkd.in/XynuPQ post on how to enhance microwave links to meet the nearly 1 Gb/s capacity requirement of LTE-A Category 6 backhaul (with it’s access speeds of 300 Mb/s download and 150 Mb/s upload per UE, LTE-A has bandwidths that are 2x that of current levels). There was a very useful exchange between Chandra and Paolo on the efficacy of microwave for backhaul, which I recommend http://linkd.in/XynuPQ.

What about you? Do you find Paolo’s arguments convincing that microwave can keep up with LTE-A traffic volumes? Or, will we see a bigger and bigger push to fiber? What are you seeing in your part of the world? Comment here http://linkd.in/XynuPQ.

Patrick Lopez meanwhile has an interesting project on Kickstarter, to fund his comprehensive report on SDN/NFV in wireless networks. As a member of the ETSI, Patrick’s Kickstarter page says that he is “the only analyst with ETSI membership who has interviewed all participants in their PoCs” which helps provide a 360-degree view of SDN/NFV in mobile networks, check out the details here http://lnkd.in/bmJ6W5g. Congrats Patrick on a creative use of Kickstarter – best of luck for a successful campaign and report!

2. Carrier Ethernet Industry

How Many CECPs Does It Take To …?

The CECP seems to be on the minds of our membership recently! Hashiem Croeser raised an intriguing question about the number of CECPs that an operator/service provider should have? And, how that relates to the number of services or EVCs or PoPs that operator has? http://linkd.in/1plRvwL

So, what do you think folks? Is there a relationship between the number of operator PoPs and the number of CECPs they would need to soundly manage their network? If so, what do you think that relationship is?

Do you agree with the numbers that Hashiem quotes per function (design, planning, commissioning, testing), which is 1 person per function for smaller operators, and 2 persons/function for bigger operators?  (My impression is that those numbers, frankly,  are quite low for a provider to have an effective Carrier Ethernet conversant workforce …)

Or, do you agree with what Larry and I have said? Or, do you have another metric entirely?:-)) Comment here http://linkd.in/1plRvwL.

… Answer the MEF’s CEBP Survey … Deadline Extended

Larry Samberg posted about the extended deadline for the MEF’s CEBP Survey I had told you about a couple weeks ago http://linkd.in/1rnCk4H.  Having taken the survey, I would encourage your to take it for two reasons:

  • To be able to provide your feedback on an important new certification in the works that will impact our industry
  • Get a sense of what that certification covers and to dialog with Larry, Daniel and the MEF, if you have thoughts on the content.

COLT Sprints towards Data Center Virtualization! (No, they’re not making a bid for Sprint :-))

Ray Le Maistre brought us the interesting news that UK-based, forward-looking operator Colt is moving full-steam ahead with it’s plans to virtualize it’s data centers http://linkd.in/1uEn853. In fact, Mitch Wagner’s article is an excellent read on how Colt is planning to do that, and how they are introducing SDN/NFV into their networks today. I especially recommend the manner in which they use Arista’s switches in their Cisco Cat 65K dominant network, described on the second page of their article.

… What’s Driving Metro Ethernet Evolution?

John Hawkins meanwhile asked for your inputs on an article in Telecom Ramblings that describes the top 10 factors driving the evolution of metro Ethernet http://linkd.in/1kvggpZ. I thought a few of the factors were redundant, and some other’s weren’t exactly “factors”, and you can join the discussion here http://linkd.in/1kvggpZ.

So, what is your view? Do you think there are missing factors not accounted for here? Or, do you agree with the list in the article? Comment here http://linkd.in/1kvggpZ.

3. SDN Developments

 SDN Orchestrates Service-Provider (SOS) Profits? 🙂 …  Traffic Engineering with SDN …

Gint Atkinson’s comment that SDN isn’t a panacea for operators’ ills, lead to some interesting discussions between Yaakov Stein, CTO, RAD Data Communications, Gint, and I. Gint provided a very nice explanation of  “connectivity services”, which he thought are what operators should look to providing with SDN, as opposed to the more traditional “connectivity” we’re all familiar with. To see more of Gint’s elucidation, go here http://linkd.in/1nlwc9m and join the discussion!

Do you agree with Gint’s definitions? Is there an aspect you’d like to add? More importantly, do you agree with Gint’s assertion? If yes, why? If not, why not? Comment here http://linkd.in/1nlwc9m.

Meanwhile Marcus Jonsson and Martin Englemark of Netrounds posted a link to their webinar on SDN Traffic Engineering that is now available. Thanks Marcus and Martin! http://linkd.in/1nGZeQL Probably something the SDN learners in the Group will want to jump on …

4. Goings On …Events & Activities:

In other industry developments, John Hawkins posted about the ETSI NFV’s recent meeting in Santa Clara last week, where among other developments, the NFV ISG charter was extended for another two years, so we should see continued activity on NFV, as well as the fruition of a number of PoCs in the works.http://linkd.in/VekiHp

Bo Gowan posted about Ciena’s 3rd Carrier Ethernet Summer Camp http://linkd.in/1oVcbv2, which covers some key contemporary topics, such as Ethernet SLAs, big data, and impact of 4K video. So, don’t forget to register!

5. Finally… R.I.P. Net Neutrality and TCP/IP?

Members had opinions on the issue of apparent death of net neutrality http://linkd.in/1xYE5Yg – thanks Dirk! – and on the contention that TCP/IP is dying, which many had a thought on, including Stephen, Michael, Shawn, Larry. Micheal Elling brought up a good point about IP not incorporating price signals and incentives (although Michael, I’m not sure the IP layer’s the place to incorporate those; this, in my view, should be purview of higher levels of network decision-making), and posited that net neutrality is a farcical notion.

What do you think? Do you agree with Michael’s position? And, where should the incentives and price signals really be? Comment here http://linkd.in/Xyofs5.

Welcome your views on all of these, and do take the time to contribute to and learn from those topics that align with what you are working on or interested in at present. Also, for the auditory learners among you (and I am one myself, listening to a few hours of technical content each week!), I’ve made this update available as an mp3 podcast, downloadable from the link below – so happy listening!

Would love your feedback on how you like the new formats, and what else we can do to make this more valuable for you. 

Again … to download:

  • The VPLS Workshop slides, click here
  • An mp3 audio podcast capsule of this Weekly Update, click here.

Until next time, may be bits in your byte and the bytes in your packets be profitable!

Dr. Vishal Sharma

Group Owner & Moderator, Carrier Ethernet@LinkedIn