NetEvents Americas Press Summit, Miami – Day 2 – Debate 6 Summary

Debate VI: Ethernet’s Growing Role in the Cloud

Introduced by Roopashree Honnachari, Program Manager, Business Communication Services – ICT, Frost & Sullivan

Chaired by Bob Mandeville, President and Founder, Iometrix

Honnachari opened the debate with research showing that both MPLS and Carrier Ethernet (CE) are predicted to show strong growth curves. She said that CE underpins cloud adoption, allowing optimising for video, network visibility, and universal service provision across geographies. However, Honnachari said that 61% of enterprises say they only want private cloud, and 64% say they are concerned about using Internet for cloud applications.

Panellists: Patrick Ostiguy, President & CEO, Accedian; Roopashree Honnachari, Program Manager, Business Communication Services – ICT, Frost & Sullivan; Ben Mack-Crane, MEF Technical Committee Cloud Project Editor; Huawei Technologies; Greg Gum, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Telco Systems

Mandeville then chaired the debate, and asked the panel what CE 2.0 could deliver compared to other technologies.

Gum said that CE 2.0 adds more classes of service as more applications and application types grow. He pointed out that the cloud concept includes several types of cloud – private, public and hybrid – and that they need to interconnect. It also adds features for operations, administration and maintenance (OAM), visibility, and measurements.

Mandeville said that the MEF has specified three classes of service (CoS) for a number of attributes for performance objectives, such as frame delay and frame delay variation, and that it’s critical to provide performance objectives for a vendor’s implementation to pass conformance testing.

Ostiguy said that CoS allows service providers (SPs) to define application priority and performance, which means SPs can build them into an SLA. Using CoS, he cited the example of one SP that built big datacentres to provide services because it wanted to be more than just a bit carrier. “This company is extending cloud pipes to the customer premises and can provide real-time applications such as transactional and time-sensitive applications,” he said.

Mandeville said that CE 2.0 provides the CoS that cloud will need, and that the process of measuring it is in an advanced state. He said there are still some missing pieces, and asked what they were.

Mack-Crane said: “We are seeing dynamics that are not well addressed when setting up cloud services. For example, when moving a virtual machine, you need to move a database across datacentres which means dramatic changes in bandwidth requirements.”

He said the best way to do this was to make Ethernet services more dynamic by changing bandwidth on the fly and dropping it back after a spike. “This means you don’t pay for bandwidth you don’t need and network providers can sell bandwidth in more granular fashion,” he said.

He said the MEF was working on use cases for the CE for Cloud project. This would cover timescales, how big the service dynamics should be, and how to manage them to allow SPs to build end to end cloud services. He said the MEF aimed to get use cases out by mid-2013.

Mandeville asked what SPs were saying about the CE 2.0 initative.

Honnachari said that multi-CoS is critical. “Traffic was going over MPLS as Ethernet couldn’t do it, but that will change. On interconnect, ENNI not being much used – this addresses that and it will help the wholesale market and operator interconnect.”

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