Alleviating the Pain in Today’s Edge Networks 
by TeleChoice




All-optical networks have delivered tremendous new capacity in the core network. Aggressive broadband deployments are providing incredible service capabilities in the access network. Unfortunately, the edge network has failed to effectively bridge the chasm between the two. Carriers have been unable to effectively access all the new bandwidth that is available. Service providers have been forced to try to fill the chasm with a complex array of point solutions resulting in many overlapping layers of functionality and capability.


This edge network wilderness is painful for service providers to navigate. As their customers demand new services, service providers struggle with implementation pain, integration pain, provisioning pain, operational pain, and cost and investment protection pain. 


These pains have real financial and operational impacts. Investors are demanding capital efficiency, but service providers may be facing even more critical shortages in basic commodities such as real estate, power, and people.


Thankfully, technology advances hold promise in alleviating these pains. Vendors are beginning to integrate these technology advances into solutions that appear to effectively address the real pains of today’s edge network. We believe it is technically feasible for a vendor to develop an optimal edge network platform that can span from the edge of the access network to the edge of the core network and support all the services required of carriers today and in the future. This single vendor solution could eliminate much, if not all, of the pain service providers are currently suffering. 


We have developed a simplified model of all of the layers in the edge network. Based on this model, we believe that once this optimal edge network becomes available, service providers will realize real, order of magnitude benefits:



Reductions in rack space requirements of up to 82% 


Reductions in power requirements of up to 83% 


Acceleration in service provisioning time of up to 21% 


For a growing network, these issues are critical. Service provisioning represents a very high cost to service providers today—achieving a 21% reduction in those costs would be significant. 


This vision is within our grasp. We are aware of a number of companies leveraging one or more of these new enabling technologies. Gotham Networks, in particular, is integrating many of the key technology advances into a new network architecture that can flexibly reach from the edge of the access network to the edge of the core. Its GN 1600 Switchless Switch™ platform supports any protocol on any interface port and its innovative architecture enables breakthrough scalability and simplicity in managing the edge network. Gotham is planning the initial release of its product in the first half of 2001 and plans to continuously build upon the architecture to move towards the optimal solution we have envisioned and described.



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