What is mesh networking?

What is Self-Provisioning?

In addition to flexibility, mesh delivers control to service providers. For the first time in history of the public network, service providers can view, monitor and provision their own services. Now, not only can a service be up and running in minutes, but a service

provider can set up, tear down and monitor that service through a graphical user interface (GUI) accessed through a Web browser. This feature is also called Customer Network Management (CNM).

Intelligent Service Options

In addition to protection and restoration options, the flexibility of a mesh network delivers a wide range of service offerings that can be customized to the unique needs of the service provider and the end user.

Customer Network Management (CNM) enables service providers to monitor network performance and provision and reconfigure their own connections. These features allow service providers to manage their own networks, thus reducing provisioning and re-route times as well as the costs associated with network management resources. CNM provides maximum control and provisioning speed to the customer.

Bandwidth on Demand allows service providers to select bandwidth capacity in response to event-driven requirements on a timescale that meets their immediate needs. They can

then revert back to original service capacity levels when the window of opportunity ends, allowing them to maximize revenue opportunities and enabling the provider to realize higher utilization.

Gigabit Ethernet enables service providers to leverage the networking intelligence and scalability of the Intelligent Optical Network to address a broad range of IP-centric application needs, including transparent LAN interconnect, Gigabit Ethernet private lines for backbone routers/switches, and high-speed optical network access. This service couples Ethernet technology with the Intelligent Optical Network, where scalability, capacity and restoration provide the foundation for true carrier-class performance.

Additionally, with a mesh network, all IP services would have guaranteed “”one hop”” connectivity between all optical mesh ingress and egress points. This is accomplished through the intelligent NOS and enables routers connected to optical endpoints to appear as single “”hops”” regardless of the number of nodes utilized to complete the circuit.

Network operators provisioning a new service are presented with a simplified, continuous view of the new circuit, easing network management and accelerating time-to-implementation, rerouting or restoration. Subsequently, a high quality of service may be established for mission-critical IP services such as streaming video and web broadcasting applications.

Reliability and Scalability for New Business Opportunities

Mesh networks provide levels of reliability comparable to or exceeding those of legacy

SONET/SDH networks. The dynamic routing and signaling software in a mesh NOS is utilized to maintain system route transmissions over many alternative paths in the event that a path between two locations becomes compromised or is experiencing unusual congestion.

Therefore, mesh configurations are at their best when network conditions are at their worst. For example, in the event of multiple failures in a network, the intelligent nodes are able to dynamically reroute signals over multiple path options, maintaining a high quality of service and network integrity.

If multiple failures occur in a legacy network, both the working and the protection paths can be out of commission. Since there would be nowhere to reroute traffic, the result of such a situation would be significant downtime and subsequent lost revenue.

An additional benefit of a mesh network is its ability to quickly scale to meet the demands of this new data-centric economy. Due to the software-centric approach, system upgrades are accomplished through mouse clicks. Since there are multiple paths in a mesh network, hardware upgrades occur without disruption to customers. This allows for the simplified introduction of new products and services, maximizing time to revenue.

A New Era In Service Delivery

The Intelligent Optical Mesh is indeed heralding a new era in service delivery. It will enable service providers to quickly provision services and dramatically reduce their time to revenue from months to minutes. Mesh delivers infinite service possibilities through a wide range of protection, restoration and application-specific options. This new network architecture also gives control to the customer for the first time in the history of the public network.

In conclusion, network operators and service providers are entering into a new phase of partnership. Innovations are driving new end-user applications to market faster than ever before. The needs of business and residential consumers are rapidly changing and evolving. Not only must a network be flexible enough to meet current demands, it must be smart enough to meet future demands that are not yet realized.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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