Next Generation Communications Blog

IP Platforms

IP/MPLS Helps the Paris Metro Handle Increasing Complexity and Commuter Volume

p>By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The Paris Metro shows that you can, in fact, teach old dogs new tricks.

For more than a century, the massive Paris Metro has been enabling commuters and tourists to easily travel across the French capital. Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), which operates the metro network, employs roughly 54,000 employees and has yearly revenue of more than €5 billion ($5.43 billion). As part of the Grand Paris initiative, which has support from several levels of government, RATP is planning:

  • 205 km of automatic metro lines
  • 68 new stations
  • Deployment of 30,000 high-definition video cameras

However, getting there means having a next generation communications network. With that in mind, the Paris Metro is converging its five communications networks into a single IP/MPLS network.

Railways Can Meet Regulatory Needs and Boost Services with IP/MPLS

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

While signaling and train control technologies have long existed to automatically trigger emergency brakes, railways are struggling to put them into place.

In North America, the Positive Train Control (PTC) system was mandated by the United States federal government in 2008 for railway lines carrying passengers and hazardous materials. Yet, the government deadline to have 96,500 km of track with the feature by 2015 will not be met.

Similarly, the European Train Control System (ETCS) in Europe, part of the Europe Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), is currently only deployed on 5000 km of track. The EU is aiming for a rollout on Europe’s 68,000km core network by 2030, and there is a long way still to go.

“With the US government set to introduce a five-year extension of the PTC bill by the end of 2015, and the EU turning the screw on ETCS deployment, this is not going away,” noted a recent blog post, Unlocking the benefits of train control with IP/MPLS, by Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent. Sens, explained that, “Railways should therefore embrace the respective mandates as an opportunity to improve their network architecture and technology, specifically by introducing IP/MPLS.”

Large Enterprises: Think Like a Service Provider When it Comes to Network Connectivity

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

There is hardly a business today that does not require high speed and high performance Internet connectivity. Let’s face it, quality network access is table stakes for running a successful business in an increasingly connected world where commerce is 24/7/365 and can originate or terminate from anywhere and over any device with a browser.  As a result, ensuring good networking and communications for employees is a major priority for all businesses, but it is an especially daunting one for large enterprises due the volume and the accommodation of rapid change thanks to things like the cloud, BYOD, mobility and the virtualization of the workplace.

A recent Alcatel-Lucent application note, The large enterprise has changed, gave an interesting snapshot of large enterprise IT today.

The Next Evolution for SCADA will include M2M

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Is machine-to-machine (M2M) technology the future of SCADA?

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is widely used by railways, highways management, power utilities and the oil & gas industry, among others. It brings an end-to-end supervisory system which acquires data from the field through Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) or Intelligent Electrical Devices (IEDs) and connects it to sensors through a communications network.

The oil industry employs SCADA technology to monitor offshore and onshore extraction, for instance.

Some pundits are predicting the end of SCADA in the near future.  However, a recent TrackTalk article by Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation, Oil & Gas Segments, Alcatel-Lucent, entitled with the same question posed above, Is M2M killing SCADA?, arrives at a different answer.  Sens argues that SCADA instead will adapt and include M2M, which is closely related to the Internet-of-Things (IoT) megatrend currently sweeping the consumer world.

Why CSPs Will Retain a Strong Position in Video Services

By: Paula Bernier, TMC Executive Editor

Facilities-based service providers that own the access network are ideally positioned to distribute video both today and in the future, according to Chris Croupe, who works in strategic marketing at Alcatel-Lucent. Video comes in a variety of forms, its applications continue to expand, and this kind of content continues to multiply, Croupe notes in his recent TechZine posting, Future of video content: Evolution toward 2020.

Calls leveraging video have become widespread, he adds, noting that 59 percent of smartphone users under 35 years of age make at least one video call a month, and 37 percent of this group does so at least once a week.

Virtual Residential Gateways Greatly Improve Route Reflection Resource Use

By: Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

There’s a strong case for virtual residential gateways, especially when it comes to route reflectors (RRs).

Border gateway protocol (BGP) route reflectors have long been an important network component, reducing the need for a full BGP mesh within an autonomous system. They often run on IP routers either dedicated to route reflection or performing that role in addition to IP routing and service functions.

The case for using a virtual residential gateway is a strong one when it comes to RRs. A dedicated RR is underutilized in the data plane because RR functions require minimal data-plane resources. Yet, routers that perform this role in addition to other jobs may not have enough resources in terms of CPU and memory.

New network service platform adds agility to cloud computing

Guest blog: Paul Parker-Johnson, leader of cloud and virtual system infrastructures practice at ACG Research

Alcatel-Lucent has developed its Network Services Platform (NSP) as a unified solution for creating agility in delivering network services. NSP brings efficiency and flexibility to the front-end problems of new service creation and the immediately downstream problems of operating those services efficiently and intelligently in a multilayer, multidomain, multivendor network. It does so in a unified and holistically designed solution.

Remarkable gains have been made in the cloud computing community to create and deploy new services efficiently and at scale. It’s also true that a significant impediment to service delivery is the rigidity of networks we deploy and processes used to define and instantiate services being offered.

A great deal of energy has been expended in recent years to enhance the flexibility of networks. Solutions have begun to appear that address parts of the problem, but to date they have been constrained to a particular function or domain and haven’t actually solved the whole agile service delivery problem for networks.

Until the Alcatel-Lucent NSP.

Quantifying IP/optical integration synergies

By:  Alcatel-Lucent’s:

  • Ben Tang, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Bell Labs Consulting Services department
  • Mohcene Mezhoudi, Senior Consultant Member of Technical Staff in the Bell Labs Consulting Services department
  • Arnold Jansen, Senior Product Marketing Manager

From original Alcatel-Lucent TechZine posting

IP/optical integration typically results in cost savings, but maintaining service availability is also essential when measuring total return on investment (ROI). An analysis of 3 modes of operation found multi-layer protection and restoration to be the most cost efficient while meeting availability requirements.

Transportation communication networks: Combating the cyber terrorist threat

By: Thierry Sens, Marketing Director Transportation Segment, Alcatel-Lucent

Originally posted on Alcatel-Lucent Blog February 3, 2015

Talk of “cyber armies” working on behalf of nations might once have been the work of Hollywood, but recent events have demonstrated the opening of a new front in the global war on terror: cyber security.

On the Road to IP and Optics Convergence

By: Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor

For what seems like ages now the communications industry has been talking about convergence. We have already gone through many phases as networks move from TDM to being end-to-end Internet Protocol (IP) with voice traffic increasingly being carried on converged networks.  Indeed, the popularity of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and the coming of Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) on mobile networks is the future.  

That said, convergence is not just about IP but is also about the transformation of global network infrastructures in the wired world, with legs into the wireless one as well, of IP and Optics.  And, as Steve Vogelsang, VP Strategy and CTO, IP Routing and Transport Business Division, Alcatel-Lucent noted in a recent TechZine blog, IP and optics: Time to make nice, “Let’s face it. The future of the communications industry requires a convergence of IP and optics. So maybe it’s time to give each other some overdue respect."

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