Feeds

Carrier backbones: bandwidth glut or gap?

Overcapacity row breaks out

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A fierce industry debate has been sparked off by claims by industry analysts Gartner that carrier backbones are running at just 10 per cent utilisation.

The assessment by Ian Keene, a chief analyst at Gartner Group, pointed to the need for telcos to drive end-user bandwidth needs, for example by building out Gigabit Ethernet services on metropolitan networks, rather than invest in terabit switches.

Keene said: "Who wants to install a bunch of terabit switches when only 10 per cent of the network is being used as it is?

"Investors like to see a carrier who is operating at around or above 90 per cent utilisation, not investing in things that will just lie dormant and be written off. There is tremendous under-utilisation, which is a big problem."

Keene's figures on carrier backbone utilisation, delivered in a keynote presentation at the NetEvents networking symposium in Portugal last week, were described by a representative of optical networking firm Sycamore Networks as "absolute rubbish".

Phillip Hemstead, director of marketing at Sycamore Networks, said that the topology of optical networks meant that for every working path you need a protected path, so that capacity is effectively halved. Gartner's conclusions fail to take into account that links are seldom run at peak capacity and that customer churn created capacity that can't be reused, he added.

Hemstead admitted carriers do have "stranded assets" but this was an issue of putting intelligence into optical networks, rather than some bandwidth "glut" on carrier backbones.

Keene stood by Gartner's figures: "There is total overcapacity there, whereas in other areas, the capacity is not being tapped. It is not the fact that there are tonnes of fibre; it is in the wrong place and it is not spread out enough."

While there was heated disagreement over whether there was a bandwidth "glut" on carrier backbones (an Intel rep we spoke to, for one, sided with Gartner) there was a consensus of a bandwidth "bottleneck" between the edge of carriers' networks and their customers.

Networking vendors (such as Cisco Systems) are looking to improve sales to debt-ladened telcos by developing 10Gbps Ethernet kit for Metropolitan networks, on which service providers can layer profitable services, such as remote storage and ASP services.

Cheap "but not very sophisticated" bandwidth available via high-speed Ethernet-base metropolitan networks offers 25 times improved price/performance than can the legacy optical networks, based on technologies such as SONET, according to Keene.

Gartner believes that one in five medium and large businesses around the world will have at least one metropolitan connection in their enterprise in four years' time. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.