The project, which was slated to be complete by the end of February, will allow Enmax Envision to offer 10-Gigabit Ethernet services and quality-of-service features to support voice and video applications running over its city-wide network, said Erwin Kantwerg, general manager of Enmax Envision, the telecommunications arm of city-owned electrical utility Enmax Corp The move was also necessary to help Enmax keep up with a rapidly increasingly demand for its Gigabit Ethernet services, Kantwerg said.

“Gigabit Ethernet has become very, very popular,” Kantwerg said. “As a result, with the existing equipment we had, we literally ran out of bandwidth in some parts of our network.”

Fuelled by the boom
Calgary’s booming economy is driving demand for Enmax Envision’s services, said Kantwerg. Many of the company’s customers – who include most of the major oil and gas companies headquartered in the city – use its services to extend their office networks among multiple locations. “In Calgary, we’ve seen such growth in the economy that it’s a major issue for companies just to house all their employees at one location,” Kantwerg said. So as large businesses spill over into overflow space, they are using Envision services to link those locations together.

According to Kantwerg, there is also growing interest in voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services, but to implement those services, organizations need to be able to prioritize traffic so that voice quality remains up to scratch. Until now, Enmax Envision couldn’t provide those guarantees, but quality of service capabilities built into the Juniper T-series routers will allow it to do so.

Tim Lambie, vice-president Americas international at Juniper in Sunnyvale, Calif., said quality of service capabilities are a key selling point for his company’s T-series routers. Their ability to prioritize traffic allows carriers to support customer applications with different service requirements without segmenting the network into multiple virtual private networks per customer, he said.

While Lambie expects carriers will still create a separate virtual network for each customer, he said the T-series capabilities eliminate the need to create separate VPNs for each application in order to meet service requirements, thus avoiding “an infinite overlaying morass of complexity.”

Kantwerg said the new routers will also help Enmax Envision meet an emerging demand for 10-gigabit Ethernet services. A handful of customers have inquired about such offerings, he said, and they appear quite serious about wanting the added speed.

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