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Ten Tidbits on Carrier Ethernet in a Software-defined World

Karl Horne, CTO Asia Pacific, Ciena | June 3, 2016
Ciena’s Asia Pacific CTO Karl Horne which shares 10 useful-to-know tidbits about Carrier Ethernet that many I.T. practitioners may not even be aware of.

Carrier Ethernet is defined by five key attributes
In an era where networking terms from NFV to 5G are often loosely used and difficult to define precisely, Carrier Ethernet has been defined precisely by the MEF across five key attributes: standardized services, scalability, reliability, quality of service, and service management.

Cost control is an important driver for adoption
One of the main drivers for the widespread adoption of Carrier Ethernet is cost control through converged networks that combine business, residential, and wireless traffic, thereby achieving economies of scale. Enterprises and other network operators have also realized substantial savings by converging corporate networks in the same way.

Carrier Ethernet allows prioritization of traffic streams to manage quality of service
In a Carrier Ethernet environment, QoS and traffic engineering techniques allow prioritization of traffic streams to ensure quality of service. For example voice, video and HTTP traffic can be differentiated and treated appropriately.

It is friendly and popular
Carrier Ethernet is a popular choice for both enterprises and carriers deploying high-performance networks: it's a little bit like a hard-working but easy-going colleague who can be effective with any type of co-worker. Its flexible framework, universal frame format, simple design, and enhanced Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) capabilities make it a popular choice.    

Carrier Ethernet has evolved for globalized connectivity and cloud
Carrier Ethernet now allows connectivity from enterprise to cloud and for cloud backbones to provide the circulatory system for the "cloudification" of our personal and professional lives. Services like eAccess and eTransit have enabled services to be more easily built across multiple operators without loss of visibility, replicating the global reach of the internet, but with the performance and economics of Ethernet. 

Asia's businesses and professionals are taking up Carrier Ethernet faster than anywhere else
Ovum's 2015-2020 Ethernet Services Forecast shows APAC as the largest and fastest growing region for the Carrier Ethernet market. Asia Pacific countries account for 18% of all MEF Carrier Ethernet certified professionals: in fact, 5 of the top 8 countries are in the APAC region.

There's more to Carrier Ethernet than meets the eye: watch out for this technology to play an ever more central role in the software-defined telecommunications world.


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