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Whitepaper

SOLVING FIRST MILE METRO ACCESS CHALLENGES WITH OPTICAL ETHERNET

Optical Ethernet clearly offers major advantages in simplicity, manageability, and cost-effectiveness for metropolitan networks, yet for all its promise the adoption of Optical Ethernet as a first mile access technology has been slow to date. What has to happen for Ethernet to fulfill its forecasted promise? The biggest impediment to these rosy forecasts is the fiber availability to customer locations. While fiber continues to go in the ground over the first mile (or 50 feet in many cities) at an unprecedented rate, this is not enough to meet such rosy forecasts. While there is fiber already laid into tens-ofthousands of buildings today in the United States alone the problem is that it is already in use, typically by established providers using it to deliver legacy voice and data services via SONET transmission devices in North America and SDH elsewhere. Businesses, campuses, and Multi Tenant Units (MTUs) requiring multiple T1 lines have been fibered over time because it has been more cost effective and adds increased manageability to run T1-to-T3 services over fiber rather than over copper. Several alternatives have been promoted to utilize the existing fiber to bring optical Ethernet to the first mile and it is worth exploring each of them.
Just Add Ethernet

they will only be able to support one or two circuits because of typical SONET/SDH payload capacity limitations.
Next-Generation SONET/SDH Platforms

Next-generation SONET/SDH devices with higher capacities seem to be the next logical choice because carriers can replace the old Add/Drop Multiplexers (ADMs) with new multiservice devices that support both legacy services and new Optical Ethernet services. This approach initially generated interest in buildouts starting 12-18 months ago but it has not gained much traction in existing networks where the investment is focused today. Why the lack of interest? Putting high-capacity Ethernet into limited, fixed Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) timeslots is grossly inefficient. In fact, Ethernetover-SONET is up to 70 percent inefficient in typical implementations today due to the mismatch in timeslots and the mapping required and due to typical Ethernet usage and burst rates. The second problem is that these next-generation SONET/SDH devices or MultiService Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs) are still immature. The bar is high for replacing the older, stable, featured-hardened SONET/SDH platforms that vendors have had many years to add and tune valuable but complex carrier-grade features. The carrier is forced to make a risky tradeoff between existing and future revenue streams. Even if the next-generation platform is a perfect replacement, the replacement process is complex and long, and it is expensive to design, plan, and implement the forklift upgrade. Existing customers with guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) should not be expected to tolerate any downtime. A typical carriergrade service with 99.999 percent availability allows less than 6 minutes of downtime a year, offering precious little time to engineer a cutover to a new system without a hitch.

The first sounds the most apparent: enhance existing SONET/SDH switches with Ethernet capabilities. But this approach has major issues. The installed equipment has typically been in the networks for years and has been continuously enhanced with carrier-grade functionality. So why not just add Ethernet transport capability into open slots on these platforms? Unfortunately, most of this equipment has no current or planned Ethernet interface support, and those that do cannot be easily retrofit to handle Ethernet traffic. Even if these equipment vendors can offer Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) rates over the open capacity of these platforms

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Scheduling this downtime has other major challenges. The cost to upgrade service is typically double during the typical holiday cutover periods utilized. The cost challenges are further exacerbated by the fact that all devices on the ring must be forklift-upgraded simultaneouslyeven for those customers not requesting new service. This adds heavy credit and penalty payments to the cost of rollout and existing ADMs installed over the past 5-7 years must be written off. The limited windows for scheduled downtime severely slow the rollout of new service to very low adoption rates.
Trench New Fiber

and expense required to tie this fiber in through the access Central Office to complex next-generation routers that are only just emerging in the market. The risk alone keeps the launch of these services in the stage of long-term trial rollouts or confined to large carrier technology labs. These costs, while extremely high, pale compared to the ongoing expense of running a second overlay operational model in parallel to the existing SONET/SDH transport network.
A Better Solution

The third option has been to just overbuild the network and not bother with existing fiber to avoid disrupting existing services. This means implementing a new data services network in parallel to the existing SONET/SDH network. The cost of this option can be extremely high. Carriers have to consider not only the cost of acquiring the equipment (which is typically some combination of enhanced Ethernet switch at the edge and a routing device in the Central Office) but even more so the operational costs of planning, engineering, and maintaining the network. Carriers then have to factor in the cost of fiber, including: planning, getting approvals, and laying out the fiber into the customer location. They also have to consider the man-hours

None of these options are adequate to meet the needs of the established carrier let alone drive the rapid adoption and buildout of new Optical Ethernet services. A new choice is required that costeffectively accommodates the risk-free introduction of new Optical Ethernet services. Carriers need to be able to offer new services without affecting the existing revenue-generating SONET/SDH devices at all. New solutions are needed that can be cost-effectively inserted into existing networks with minimal effort and planning that re-use the existing SONET/SDH fiber without disruption. Established service providers need an option that fits within existing operational models to allow new Optical Ethernet services to be offered with a compelling paybackin less than one business planning cycleeven if there is initially only a single paying customer.

New Platforms Designed for CarrierGrade Optical Ethernet Offer Many Advantages Over Monolithic MSPPs

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Carrier-Grade Ethernet Transport While several initial offerings are starting to emerge based on complex metro optical multi-service platforms, to truly capitalize on the economic benefits of Optical Ethernet solution providers must bring the carrier-grade reliability features of SONET/SDH to Ethernetwithout the complexity and costin platforms tailored for the needs of carriers, not just the needs of enterprise networks. Carrier-grade Optical Ethernet transport solutions can now allow incumbent carriers to cost-effectively deploy high-speed Ethernet alongside legacy SONET/SDH infrastructure and utilize the same fiber without disruption. Next-generation Optical Ethernet transport solutions for the first time bring the best SONET/SDH attributes to Ethernet, including:

Five nines (99.999 percent) availability and reliability Carriergrade, standards-based Operations, Administration, Management, and Provisioning (OAM&P) with performance monitoring, fault signaling and isolation, and alarming Equipment and facilities protection Deterministic delivery of all services without the need for traffic engineering Secure delivery of end-user traffic Established metro providers can simplify networking by deploying Ethernet alongside SONET/SDH equipment since they do not need to try and integrate these systems into one new physical sub-optimized platform. They can swiftly deliver reliable services in the metropolitan area using native Ethernet transport from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps line rates.

Advantages of Optical Ethernet


Demand for Optical Ethernet services continues to grow. Metro service providers will therefore need to build higher capacity, cost-effective data-centric networks. Given the state of capital markets, metro providers are looking for ways to create new revenue streams with minimal capital expenditures. They are seeking to evolve the network while optimizing the use of existing network assets.

Worldwide Gigabit Ethernet Services Demand


Ethernet Wan 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Ethernet Man

Optical Ethernet is very appealing to both service providers and their enterprise customers. Ethernet is simple, ubiquitous, and standardized throughout the world, resulting in volume2,103 produced components and cheaper interfaces. Approximately 95 percent of LAN traffic today is 514 209 130 22 7 in the Ethernet format. Handing off this traffic to 0 the service provider in Ethernet format results 2001 2002 2003 in a lower interface cost for the enterprise Source: Pioneer Consulting October 2001 network. It also removes the need for the enterprise customer to train IT personnel in the complexity of implementing Wide Area Network (WAN) protocols.

Optical Ethernet brings major scalability advantages over todays alternatives of Frame Relay and ATM, and Frame Relay. Typical Frame Relay circuits run from 1.5 Mbps to only 45 Mbps, and ATM scales today only up to 622 Mbps. Ethernet offers smooth scalable bandwidth from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps (and soon to 10 Gbps) in small increments as low as 1 Mbps. This approach delivers service flexibility and incremental service offerings without requiring truck rolls or changes to the physical interface to the customer.

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World Wide Ethernet Services (in Millions)

11,547

6,281

1,831 650

2004

2005

The deployment of Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) service in the metropolitan area will allow carriers to cost-effectively transport simplified data services and generate new revenues, improved margins, and increased market share. Providers can now deploy Optical Ethernet infrastructure alongside SONET/SDH equipment to evolve their networks to support simpler and more cost-effective Optical Ethernet services. They can integrate Optical Ethernet platforms into existing OAM&P systems so that Ethernet services can be deployed that retain compatibility with existing business operational models. Carriers can therefore maintain the performance monitoring and look-and-feel attributes of SONET/SDH but gain the efficiencies of high-speed Ethernet transport. They can solve first mile metropolitan access challenges by deploying Optical Ethernet platforms on existing networks alongside SONET/SDH infrastructure and incorporate Optical Ethernet deployments into existing operational models for deploying SONET/SDH Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and voice circuits. Compelling Economics on Low Service Take Rates Metro providers can realize astounding rates of return and investment payback in only a few months by deploying Optical Ethernet alongside SONET/SDH networks on a customer-by-customer basis. This evolutionary approach allows them to selectively deploy new services only where there is customer demand and thereby greatly reduce the risk of offering new data services. Carriers can introduce services tactically while still yielding immediate profits. Established carriers can

optimize revenue from existing fiber in the first mile and defer the costs of laying new fiber to build out metro networks. By offering Optical Ethernet services, they can also protect revenue streams by allowing Optical Ethernet to co-exist with SONET/SDH infrastructure. They can preserve existing SONET/SDH capacity primarily for voice services while deploying data services over more cost-effective nextgeneration Optical Ethernet platforms. Operators can therefore retain hard-earned revenue streams while creating new ones and they can better leverage existing infrastructure to support voice services. They can migrate data services to Optical Ethernet and benefit from the simplicity of Ethernet. Next-generation Optical Ethernet platforms can simplify networking and remove much of the cost and complexity. Unlike complex solutions based on legacy technologies and designed as one-size-fits-all platforms, nextgeneration products can allow carriers to leverage the simplicity of Ethernet to deliver highly available services across metropolitan networks. The simplicity of Optical Ethernet solutions can allow service providers to reduce both capital and operating costs and achieve rapid return on investment results on even minimal service take rates. Finally, carriers can deliver services that leverage the simplicity of Ethernet but the reliability and availability levels of carrier-grade platforms. This compelling economic model minimizes the risk of deploying new services, thus providing carriers with greater freedom to develop creative new services that solve the first mile metro access challenges.

Metro Providers Can Cost-Effectively Deploy Carrier-Grade Optical Ethernet Private Line Services Alongside SONET/SDH Infrastructure

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Optical Ethernet with the Best Qualities of SONET/SDH Deploying Optical Ethernet in a carrier environment requires an Optical Ethernet architecture that delivers Ethernet services reliably and cost effectively, yet fits or adapts to the established operational model of the service provider. Internet Photonics calls this capability Mainstream Operational Adaptation, a unique and powerful attribute of its carrier-grade Optical Ethernet solution. Established providers need cost-effective solutions that are simple to plan, install, operate, and manage. The best way to do this is to allow Optical Ethernet to fit within the existing methods and procedures already used by todays established providers in their SONET/SDH transport networks. Optical Ethernet platforms must maintain existing SONET/SDH transport attributes so they can be successfully deployed in established service provider networks and run by the same operations staff that already know how to run SONET/SDH networks. These attributes include: Private line security and deterministic bandwidth Support of any traffic type SONET/SDH-levels of reliability and protection SONET/SDH-levels of management, monitoring, and alarming Providers need a true, carrier-grade Optical Ethernet solution offering that serves as a demarcation for offering Ethernet services. This requires bringing the same SONET/SDH management, monitoring, and fault detection attributes to client-side Ethernet interfaces. This approach results in a much simpler and more reliable means of managing the end-to-end service. By gathering and storing statistics on the quality of the light transmitted as well as Ethernet code violations, service providers gain a much simpler means of creating

end-to-end SLAs and providing the data to not only document the availability of the service but to identify and correct potential problems long before they can disrupt service. (See the White Paper: Bringing Carrier-Grade Optical Ethernet to Metro Networks.) First Mile Optical Ethernet Solutions From Internet Photonics Internet Photonics is an innovative early stage company that is the first to deliver carrier-grade Optical Ethernet solutions that set new cost standards for reducing capital and operating expenses. These solutions are designed to be deployed alongside legacy SONET/SDH networks so that established metro providers can speedily increase revenues by offering Optical Ethernet services on an as-needed basis. They can reduce capital expenditures by deploying these space-saving, highly dense platforms that augment SONET/SDH networks and quickly integrate with customer infrastructure. Internet Photonics offers a simple, space-and-power saving solution that scales effectively to accommodate increased demands for high-speed data services. This evolutionary approach allows providers to offer new revenuegenerating services without compromising services offered to existing customers. It delivers major economic advantages for both capital and operating expenses and avoids legacy service disruption. Internet Photonics offers a simple solution that is easier to rollout and operate, and it includes the carrier-grade attributes necessary to insure integration with existing Operational Support System (OSS) systems. Internet Photonics is setting the standard for carrier-grade Optical Ethernet by bringing the advanced performance monitoring management and fault isolation features of SONET/SDH to Ethernet without the complexity and cost. With these carrier-grade capabilities, Ethernet is finally ready to move from the LAN to the WAN to enable carrier-grade Optical Ethernet services.

Established Providers Can Implement Optical Ethernet Transport Solutions to Add RevenueGenerating Services over SONET/SDH Inter-Central Office Links without Disrupting Existing Services

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Solutions from Internet Photonics simplify network deployment, streamline service provisioning, and offer dramatic size, footprint, power consumption, cost, and capacity advantages over current solutions. Providers can introduce Ethernet services and scale them successfully to accommodate subscriber demands. Solutions from Internet Photonics allow carriers to more effectively manage risks and deploy new high-bandwidth services with minimal upfront and ongoing investments. Delivering Carrier-Grade Optical Ethernet Solutions Today Internet Photonics offers carrier-grade Optical Ethernet transport solutions today that simplify networking and demonstrate the economic efficiency of deploying Optical Ethernet alongside SONET/SDH. The LightStack MX integrates transport and optical networking functionality to provide data-centric carriers with ability to seamlessly connect revenue-generating services to a SONET/SDH by multiplexing up to 8 GbE services onto a 10 gigabit wavelength. The LightStack MXA is the industry's first carrier-grade customer premises element that provides a carrier-managed optical demarcation point between the carrier network and the customer for Optical Ethernet service delivery. Both the LightStack MX and LightStack MXA deliver GbE services in the 1550 nm band. The LightHandler Passive Combiner (PC) is a scaleable, all optical passive DWDM wavelength management platform that has been flexibly engineered to unleash stranded capacity in the network so operators can optimize billable capacity. It can optically merge 1310/1550 nm channels onto SONET/ SDH networks. The LightStack Network Control System (NCS) offers metro providers a unique tool set for management features that enable efficient deployment of Optical Ethernet services and proactive network management. These best-of-breed platforms from Internet Photonics can be deployed with existing optical infrastructure to deliver major savings all without carriers having to replace, upgrade, or change existing equipment. They can deliver up to a twenty-fold saving in co-location operating expenses and a substantial initial capital investment savings over SONET/SDH-based platforms.

Tactical Optical Ethernet Solutions from Internet Photonics Metro providers can benefit from simplified deployment of carriergrade Optical Ethernet services. They can solve first mile metro access challenges by deploying Optical Ethernet platforms from Internet Photonics to evolve the metro network efficiently. These nextgeneration platforms offer the highest port densities and offer investas-you-grow scalability so that service providers can swiftly offer carrier-grade Optical Ethernet. As these challenging times force metro providers to do more with less, Internet Photonics offers the ability to quickly develop new revenues with minimal investment risk without disrupting existing revenue streams. Providers can solve first mile metro access challenges and evolve their network cost-effectively while benefiting from the simplicity of Ethernetand the carrier-grade implementation of Optical Ethernet services. For more information on Internet Photonics application solutions and product information, please visit www.internetphotonics.com. If you would like to find out more about delivering carrier-grade Optical Ethernet today, please make sure to visit our White Papers page.

Internet Photonics, LightStack, LightHandler, and Delivering Carrier-Grade Optical Ethernet Today are trademarks of Internet Photonics. Other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

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