Today, network edge (or access) is the driving source of data. With the extreme heterogeneity of network access methods and network services, service providers are having to deal with chaotic networks where customers are demanding all types of services over all types of access media while meeting stringent requirements. Providers are in a tough situation - it is a network in chaos!
Businesses are increasingly moving away from traditional TDM, Frame Relay and / or ATM circuits and turning to lower cost and higher bandwidth Carrier Ethernet Services to address their needs. Service providers have responded with rich offerings that combine unmatched scalability and flexible bandwidth options as well as reliability and quality of services previously available only with "old-school" telecom circuits - dominantly based on SONET/SDH. Today, the Carrier Ethernet Technology market has evolved to the point where purpose-built hardened equipment is now used to deliver Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) certified services. The MEF technical work resulted in the formal definition of the carrier-class Ethernet which has come to be known simply as Carrier Ethernet. The customer base for Ethernet services has evolved from large Enterprises located in fiber-rich metropolitan centers to those with globally distributed operations as well as mid-sized businesses in suburban and rural settings. However, there are huge challenges for ISPs to provide these new services to these large Enterprise Customers.