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NEBS: The Myths and Realities of 40G


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August 07, 2009

NEBS: The Myths and Realities of 40G

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

The promise of 40G optical networking has been tempting professoinals in the IP communications and IT spaces for some time. Thanks to advancements in technology, the reality is now closer.
Canton, Mass.-based NEI, an integrator of technologies and solution designs for robust carrier communications platforms and services, offers support for those providers who want to design a framework that will be successful when 40G happens.

To find out more about the company’s offerings and the reality of 40G, I caught up with Jeff Hudgins, vice president of marketing at NEI.
Hudgins said that more adoption is happening in the communications space, especially as it revolves around ATCA.
There's a myth, however, that 40G is here, when in reality, 40G is coming - and there are steps that both NEI’s partners and the eco-system are taking to prepare for that. A mid-2010 early adoption and a late 2010 from a production standpoint, Hudgins said, is the true 40G reality.
According to Hudgins, there are a lot of different moving parts that still have to come in alignment to really support true 40G speed.
Our exchange follows.
TMCnet: What does NEI contribute for the 40G market?
Jeff Hudgins: NEI was an earlier adopter of ATCA, and from the beginning, we have been very active on the committees advancing the architecture. Since we were so early to the ATCA architecture we developed a core competency that continues to benefit our customers. So, it was only natural being in the communications space that we started to work on developing solutions which support the architecture inside of the ATCA framework and then some of the network processing.
That’s what we bring to the 40G – a way to future proof designs. If someone is looking to be an earlier adopter in 2010, we can help design in the right framework now so no upgrades are necessary and money is not wasted on investments today for technology that will have to be thrown away next year.
TMCnet: What applications or environments are best suited for 40G?
JH: We see the heaviest early adoption happening in core and network-type applications, as well as those services that require high-packet processing such as security applications, authentication and billing applications and even video streaming. Also, any organization looking at any kind of aggregation of services or provisioning will be looking at 40G.
TMCnet: Has 40G been successful so far, is there still room for growth?
JH: It’s still really early in the 40G game, but we’re seeing that there is future proofing going on already, especially in the ATCA markets. We’re also seeing it come up as a question from folks dealing with enterprise security apps especially, those that are closer to the core. They’re already talking about 40g as a future option.
The companies that will truly be leveraging 40G are looking at what to do now to prepare, and planning on the transitions for next year.
TMCnet: How can users best plan for a migration to 40G when it becomes mainstream?
JH: The best way to plan is to understand what products are available today that can be leveraged without having to take on too much risk. You want to be an early adopter but not necessarily on the bleeding edge... so through the balance of this year, there will be a lot more activity occurring in 40G future proofing. It will still be relatively slow however. A lot of production today and production going into next year is 10G.  For most applications right now, even in the core, 10G is more than sufficient.
TMCnet: What are some realistic timeframes for mainstream product availability?
JH: I expect that in the spring of next year, 2010, product of road maps will begin to line up, and by the middle of the year you will see initial releases. By the end of the year, customers will start validating those initial releases for production use and start to deploy.
For more, check out the NEBS channel on TMCnet.

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Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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