Building Carrier Networks Using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Technology

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Tom Keating
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Building Carrier Networks Using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Technology

Anyone want to build a carrier-class network? Show of hands - would you rather use "tried and true" hardware gear from Cisco or Juniper Networks and pay through the nose OR would you rather build your carrier network using commercial off the shelf (COTS) components? Well, just a few short years ago, most of you would raise your hands for the former over the latter. After all, who would trust their carrier network using various COTS components from multiple vendors? Whose neck would you strangle if something went wrong or it didn't integrate correctly?

Today, COTS is quickly gaining steam due to lower cost, faster standard processors, and open source software. Rich sent me a link to his post titled COTS to the Service Provider Rescue which piqued my interest. He goes through some analysis and perspective including talking about CompactPCI and Advanced TCA. He also points out an educational webinar coming up which I think I might check out. Here's a brief synopsis:

Innovative telecommunications service providers, NEP’s (Network Equipment Providers) and ISV’s (Independent Software Providers) are leveraging commercial off the shelf (COTS) technology to help reduce the cost and complexity of delivering their Next Generation Network (NGN) services.

The IBM BladeCenter family is a COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) platform providing greater deployment flexibility - Central Office, Data Center, or Customer Premise; seamless integration into existing network infrastructures with support of a wide range of protocols and interfaces; and an increase in the quality of provisioned services, facilitated by a high-speed architecture at substantially lower CAPEX cost when compared with legacy and proprietary platforms. This common infrastructure enables simple standard processes, shared spare inventory, pre-installation of power, cables, racks, and networking to reduce ongoing OPEX costs.

To learn more be sure to check out the upcoming TMCnet webinar titled Building Carrier Networks Using COTS Technology which takes place December 5, 2007 at 2:00 PM EST/ 11:00 AM PT. Ironic, that Blade Network Technologies chose to be a sponsor, considering I “spanked” them and Nortel (who formerly owned Blade) in this uber-popular blog post picked up by Slashdot, TechDirt, O’Reilly, ZDNet, and a ton of blogs.

IBM Webinar

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