Vendors this week are using the NXTcomm conference to disclose ways in which they're linking Layer 2 metro Ethernet protocols with Multi-procotol Label Switching and Virtual Private LAN Services in order to grow and extend Ethernet across metro and national boundaries.
Foundry unveiled software and firmware for its NetIron routers that lets service providers integrate standard Layer 2 protocols, such as Spanning Tree and Rapid Spanning Tree, and Foundry's own Layer 2 protocols -- Metro Ring Protocol and Virtual Switch Redundancy Protocol -- with VPLS/MPLS services. This integration is intended to scale Ethernet services across Layer 2 metro and MPLS networks; provide uniform end-to-end monitoring using IEEE 802.1ag Connectivity Fault Management; and increase resiliency by combining MPLS and Layer 2 protection mechanisms.
Service providers can also combine Ethernet and VPLS/MPLS QoS, Foundry says.
The Foundry upgrades also let service providers boost capacity by aggregating up to 32 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet into a 320Gbps load balanced trunk. Among other features, this capability allows service providers to trunk existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports without having to purchase additional router hardware or optical infrastructure upgrades, or increasing router overhead, Foundry says.
Extreme is demonstrating at NXTcomm network utilization improvements offered with a new Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) to MPLS inter-working capability on its BlackDiamond 12000 switch. PBT is point-to-point mechanism designed to help scale Ethernet in the metro area by "hiding" MAC addresses.
The demo includes automated service creation through a Soapstone Networks control plane and highlights the failover capabilities of PBT.