The metro network is a diverse on-ramp for residential, enterprise and wireless services where a mix of Ethernet, TDM and IP protocols and services all converge for transport to the IP Core. Targeted at the metro network and mindful of the diversity of service providers and their networks, ECI designed the Neptune portfolio with Elastic MPLS to flexibly support IP/MPLS, MPLS-TP and Carrier Ethernet services.
With support for stitching and interworking, parts of the network can be deployed with MPLS-TP while other parts utilize IP/MPLS. Elastic MPLS is smart enough to interwork between the two domains and sets of protocols, creating a seamless networking experience for service providers. ECI is also committed to helping service providers develop open, disaggregated, flexible and programmable networks. Neptune software currently supports open interfaces and advanced data modeling with REST APIs, NETCONF and YANG.
As networks change and workloads become virtualized and shift to public and private data centers, network designs and architectures are also evolving beyond traditional IP/MPLS and MPLS-TP solutions. As service providers migrate toward SDN, two powerful approaches have emerged: utilization of segment routing to reduce control plane protocol complexity and external path computation for increased scale and enhanced best-path calculations. By relocating path computation out of the routers and centralizing PCE per domain or hierarchically across multiple domains, service providers can enable PCE to scale compute resources independently from the underlying network elements. ECI is now augmenting Elastic MPLS and the Muse Software Suite with the inclusion of segment routing, Path Computation Element (PCE) and Path Computation Element Protocol.
Consistent with ECI’s longstanding commitment to multi-vendor interoperability, ECI is participating in the 2018 European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) multivendor showcase as part of the 2018 MPLS+SDN+NFV World Congress that runs April 10−13, 2018. If you are attending the conference, stop by and talk with ECI about how you can evolve your network with Elastic MPLS and segment routing.
Tim Doiron is principal analyst for ACG Research’s Intelligent Networking practice, which includes Packet Optical Transport solutions, Data Center Interconnect, Transport/Multi-Layer SDN and mobile anyhaul. In addition, Tim has ongoing collaborations in open source adoption, network programmability and virtualization, visibility, telemetry and automation.