Cisco Broadens Ethernet Portfolio From Aggregation to Edge

Ending a yearlong lull in metro Ethernet announcements, Cisco Systems Inc. is announcing enhancements to the access and aggregation components of its carrier Ethernet portfolio that will allow carriers to migrate existing Layer 1, 2 or 3 networks to support Ethernet.

Carrier Ethernet is the foundation for services coming up, says Mark Milinkovich, director of core and edge routing for Cisco. Because of the breadth of our portfolio, we dont dictate how carriers architect their networks. We leverage 20 years of IP experience and 18 to 20 in Ethernet. This is our strength.

Milinkovich says the company offers a migration path to a converged Ethernet environment for lower cost and higher value services.

For carriers, such as RBOCs and other ILECs, operating optical networks , he says, Cisco has added a 10/100 Carrier Ethernet (CE) card for its 15454 ONS that enables E-Line services. It also has added a Multilayer (ML) card for enabling MPLS across optical networks.

For PTTs and other carriers that are operating Layer 2 networks, there is a new ME 3400 Series Ethernet Access switch that will enable Ethernet access in multitenant business and residential environments. In addition, the new Supervisor Engine 32 card for the Catalyst 6500 Series switches and Cisco 7600 Series routers, delivers MPLS over Ethernet. The resulting four-slot chassis is about half the price of its standard aggregation device.

For next-generation carriers, the Cisco 7600 series routers and the Catalyst 4500 series switches now include 10gigE cards for uplinks and trunking.

Brendan Gibbs, Ciscos director of product management for Routing Technology Group, says Ciscos IOS software runs across the Ethernet product line from core to access, so service providers can run the same features across all boxes.

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