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Ahead of Keynote, tw telecom's Rouleau Gives Insight into Role of Ethernet

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January 31, 2012

Ahead of Keynote, tw telecom's Rouleau Gives Insight into Role of Ethernet

By Tammy Wolf, TMCnet Web Editor


If there’s one person well-aware of the role of Ethernet in networking, it’s Mike Rouleau, senior vice president of Business Development & Strategy at tw telecom (News - Alert) and keynote speaker for ITEXPO East 2012, this week’s communications conference taking place in Miami Beach.


So, it’s no surprise that Rouleau has been chosen as the East Coast show’s keynote luncheon speaker. Even more, tw telecom – a leader in business Ethernet services – is also headlining as a Gold Sponsor.

During Editor’s Day, TMCnet had a unique opportunity to speak with Rouleau before he takes the main stage for his keynote lecture, scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 1, at 12:45. Not only was Rouleau greatly vocal on a pervasive need for networks to adjust to ever-changing bandwidth requirements, but he also served up a preview for what he hopes to impart on his ITEXPO (News - Alert) audience. 

When asked why ITEXPO is, and has been, a must-attend event for tw telecom, Rouleau said, “This event is important for us because it allows us to reach the right audience. There’s so much clutter, and so much noise these days, and ITEXPO allows us to break through that to get through to the customer with our key messaging.”

In the same regard, Rouleau hopes to use his keynote opportunity to break through this “clutter” by shedding some light on how Ethernet is being impacted by next-generation technologies, like the cloud.

“My intent is to highlight what the role of the network is we look at cloud-based services. People tend to forget about the network as they look to integrating applications from the cloud, whether it’s infrastructure services or CRM applications,” Rouleau revealed. “My plan is to highlight the role of Ethernet in that, where there’s opportunity for cloud providers to work with network providers to deliver an end-to-end applications environment.”

So, what exactly is the role of Ethernet nowadays? According to Rouleau, there is still room for Ethernet, MPLS and IP VPNs. But, it all comes down to the customer determining what there are so they can order ensure their strategy for accessing the network and “integrated backbone” is enough to successfully run their business.

“Just because you have Ethernet at a location, doesn’t mean you can’t run MPLS and IPVPN on top of that,” Rouleau affirmed, segueing into tw telecom’s recent news of its expansion onto Platform Equinix (News - Alert), a platform from data center provider Equinix connecting enterprises and a variety of companies and network service providers to help them grow their businesses, improve application performance and protect critical digital assets. This arrangement, announced last week, will help tw telecom securely reach cloud service providers and enterprise customers operating in Equinix data centers across the country.

“This will give customers access over our fiber network to the 800-plus cloud-based providers that reside in Equinix facilities in the U.S.,” Rouleau explained. “They will do it over a dedicated infrastructure as opposed to a closed architecture and ‘walled garden’ approach that some others are taking.”

Through this newly-formed agreement, Equinix data centers will now gain access to tw telecom’s Intelligent Network Services portfolio, the company’s latest project designed to give customers more control of their networks and IT expenditures by more cost-effectively and efficiently delivering new applications at a more rapid pace.

As described by Rouleau, tw telecom is on the brink of entering the second phase of the Intelligent Network Services initiative. Whereas the first stage focused on giving customers better visibility into what’s going on in their network, the next phase, dubbed will address the pervasive issue of capacity.

“The next step is to focus on capacity on demand and…give customers capabilities to burst their bandwidth on their Ethernet segment to match up with their dynamic application needs,” Rouleau said, also shedding light on the third stage, which will be entirely about creating an “application-aware” network that can prioritize applications in real-time.

As one of the three top business Ethernet providers in the U.S., tw telecom has successfully connected more commercial buildings to its fiber network than any other communications provider in the market. Thanks to its robust metro fiber networks and ownership of one of the 10 most interconnected IP backbones globally, tw telecom is capable of supporting mission-critical enterprise applications and delivering high-quality customer experiences and improved business productivity.

tw telecom’s initiatives, according to Rouleau, all center around the ever-present challenge of getting through to customers that the way they purchase and consume bandwidth is changing.

“Our networks need to be flexible enough to accommodate those demands for an hour, a day or a month,” he said.

For more on Rouleau’s take on the ever-changing Ethernet space, stay tuned to TMCnet’s on-site coverage of ITEXPO and Wednesday’s keynote luncheon.

tw telecom is a Gold sponsor of ITEXPO East 2012. Happening now at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Fla., ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit tw telecom in booth #322. For more information on registering for ITEXPO, click here. 

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO… Follow us on Twitter.




Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell








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