Even as the value of Ethernet beyond the LAN was being widely recognized, the major challenge was the lack of clarity as to what this “Carrier Ethernet” entailed, and more generally, a lack of understanding of the delivery solutions over the diverse network infrastructures used by Service Providers. This was to a large extent understandable given a) the infancy of the field, b) the numerous network solutions that could be used, and c) the fact that these solutions are generally very different from each other in terms of the technology, focus, relevance, and extent of optimization needed to deliver Ethernet services.
This book attempts to mitigate that hurdle—and in its own small way, accelerate the deployment of Carrier Ethernet services—by providing a comprehensive, practical, and insightful description of Carrier Ethernet and the different network solutions that can, and are, being employed currently. Furthermore, using a common template across the various commercial solutions focusing on the vital strategic and field issues, the book attempts to provide a meaningful relative assessment of the different solutions. In so doing, the book strives to provide both Service Providers and end users alike with a solid and holistic understanding to aid in making an informed choice in the delivery and usage of Carrier Ethernet services, respectively.
The absence of a reasonably comparable book on this subject of delivering Carrier Ethernet added to the urgency of this endeavor; although there is a lot of material on this topic available on the World Wide Web, it is largely fragmented, often with contradictory versions, and would take a substantial effort to distill the necessary information. The value of this book, therefore, became compelling; it is the first and, currently, the only book that addresses this very timely topic and one where the stakes are high, in the billions of dollars.
Given the substantial number of very different technologies/solutions that had to be covered in the context of delivering Carrier Ethernet, it was felt that the most effective and authoritative approach would be to leverage world-class experts who not only understood the technology in depth but also offered the wisdom acquired from substantial real-life field experience. It was enormous good fortune that exactly such a panel of leaders could be assembled and contribute to this book.