Carrier Ethernet 2.0 soups up service delivery for the cloud

With broader service support and expanded management capabilities, CE 2.0 will make service delivery more reliable and less costly

Ethernet creator and former InfoWorld columnist Bob Metcalfe this week announced Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0, representing an array of advances to the networking technology that will be a boon for both service providers and customers in an increasingly cloud-based, service-oriented world.

The idea behind CE 2.0 is to make the delivery of Internet-based services faster, more reliable, more predictable, and less expensive, thanks to support for multiple classes of services, increased interconnectivity, and superior management capabilities. In a nutshell, whereas CE 1.0 was geared toward delivering standardized Ethernet services over a single provider network, CE 2.0 aims to deliver multiple classes of service and manageability over interconnected networks.

CE 2.0 will be particularly impactful in the world of cloud computing: Enterprises running fiber networks will effectively have end-to-end Ethernet between the data centers and clouds. The fact that it's Ethernet end to end means better QoS (quality of service) and reliability through bandwidth guarantees and prioritization for the most important apps and class of service for the most important customers.

The innovations within CE 2.0 aren't new in and of themselves. Rather, it encompasses an array of CE specifications that have been developed and approved over the past several years.

CE 2.0 supports eight port- and VLAN-based services, including E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree, and E-Access, while CE 1.0 supported just three. That expanded support means that providers will be able to deliver services consistently and reliably to more locations -- locally, regionally, and globally -- via multiple providers as though through a single network. CES 2.0's E-Access standardization means simpler buying and selling of wholesale services, which will make it easier for new providers to embrace CE at a lower cost.

For the enterprise, this means greater access to services, as well as more consistent and predictable service performance. Companies will be able to more easily validate QoS requirements to ensure SLAs are being met. "This is of great value to enterprise companies as they plan networks and understand how new applications will function. Further, it creates a sound basis for long-term application planning," according to documentation from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF).

Small and midsize businesses stand to gain from CES 2.0 as well, according to MEF: "The new E-Access services enables new local and regional providers to join the Carrier Ethernet community and make Carrier Ethernet services available to a much wider market of small and medium business."

Enterprises will reap more efficient operations because they will be able to optimize their purchased bandwidth, according to MEF, especially when using MEF's VLAN-based services (e.g. EVPL, EVP-LAN, EVP-Tree). That increased efficiency also will help mobile backhaul operators save 25 percent or more; access providers will reap as much as three times the revenue from currently deployed infrastructure. CE 2.0 also enables end-to-end fault manageability within and across networks, making it easier to providers to provide support at lower costs.

This story, "Carrier Ethernet 2.0 soups up service delivery for the cloud," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.