Verizon Launches 100G Ethernet Network

Mar 5, 2011 12:00 PM PST
CYBERSPACE — Verizon has launched a 100G Ethernet network on one of its Internet backbones in Europe.

According to Verizon, this implementation makes the company the first backbone carrier to deploy the new Ethernet standard with speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second. The company established the 100-Gigabit Ethernet network between routers on a 555-mile stretch between Paris and Frankfurt, CNET.com reported.

Internet Protocol backbones facilitate communication between different networks by using high-speed fiber-optic lines to connect the major routers across the Internet. Different companies and organizations maintain separate IP backbones, including telecom providers such as Verizon and AT&T. Providing a major performance boost The 100G Ethernet standard provides a major performance boost over the older 1G and 10G Ethernet and the more recent 40G Ethernet. In Verizon's words, this development marks the first "standards-based, multivendor 100G Ethernet link for an IP backbone." Verizon said it will increase capacity for business customers and organizations that tap into it.

Two other companies contributed critical pieces to Verizon’s efforts. Juniper Networks provided the actual routers, while Ciena offered the technology that allows the link to stretch across a distance as far as 555 miles, according to the report.

Most backbone carriers are still using 10G Ethernet, though a lot of the Tier-1 carriers, such as Verizon and AT&T, are using 40G, according to one Verizon official. Regardless what type of connection carriers and companies are offering, the 100G Ethernet offers a giant boost in performance as well as other benefits.

That benefits include the ability to consolidate network traffic onto a single 100G channel rather than multiple 10G channels, as is currently done, making it more cost effective as it allows backbone providers to easily ramp up capacity as more customers hop onto their networks. It's also considered less error-prone as it can better handle intermittent bursts of traffic. The upgrade of existing backbone networks from 10G to 100G Ethernet can also be done fairly quickly. Upgrading Internet backbones doesn't translate into a direct performance boost for the average user, however it does give Internet providers and large enterprises the ability to handle more individual customers.

Verizon is now looking to adopt the faster network standard in other areas because the company is preparing for what it feels will be the new industry standard for large connections in the core of the network — 100G.

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