Posted by: Tom Nolle
Carrier Ethernet, MPLS, PBT
NXTcomm 08 was an interesting show, something a lot better than some of the disasters that followed the breakup of the SuperComm partnership, but far less than SuperComm in its prime.
<p>We believe this is due not as much to the show as to the industry; infrastructure doesn’t have buzz any more. In the heyday of the older show, the bubble was in bloom and there was a lot of trade press action around it. Today, publication coverage of infrastructure issues is down because the buyers are all big telcos who don’t do things interesting enough to make the press happy. The big news in the show was the substantial vendor presence in Carrier Ethernet.
<p>While most of the companies that showed products were objectively doing less than half of what the market would require in terms of features, there was enough support to make it clear that despite the PBT announcement by BT, this technology isn’t going away. We believe, in fact, that the major deployments will begin to roll in 2H09 and that most of the opponents of PBT will end up quietly supporting it by then.
<p>We had 10 interviews with vendors and carriers on our ExperiaSphere initiative and we were thus able to exceed our own objectives for the show. Service management issues and their relationship to standards and to network resources are a key part of the Ethernet picture, and also key for IP/MPLS in any form. In fact, a report we are publishing in the July issue of Newatcher, our newsletter, shows that service and operations management issues with both Ethernet and IP/MPLS result in more swing in total cost of ownership than technology issues do.