IP traffic drives need for more 10GE port density

Jessica Scarpati
SearchTelecom.com
While wireless carriers tremble at the prospect of an oncoming data tsunami flooding their networks, wholesale transit provider NTT America, the US subsidiary of Tokyo-based NTT Corp., has for years been knee-deep in managing rapid Internet Protocol (IP) traffic growth and the demand for fatter pipes.
 
NTT America had been feverishly updating line cards in its decade-old Cisco Systems' Catalyst 6509 switches located in its 11 US point-of-presence (POP) facilities to meet its carrier customers' needs at the edge. But scaling its network infrastructure to support IP traffic growth soon became unmanageable.
 
As end users consumed more bandwidth-hungry, real-time content and applications over the Internet, NTT America's carrier customers gobbled up a rapidly diminishing number of bundled 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) ports on those 6509s, said Doug Junkins, CTO and vice president of IP engineering at NTT America.
 
Even NTT's own operations were cramming the pipes, never mind its carrier customers' contributions to IP traffic growth. About 90% of homes and businesses in Japan are expected to have fiber to the home (FTTH) by the end of 2010, delivering 100 Mbps connections to consumers, Junkins said.
 
"We have [carrier] customers today on our network that have more than ten 10GE connections bundled together … [so] we've had to invest a lot of money in expanding the capacity of our network, both domestically as well as international links," he said. "We have now exceeded 300 gigabits of capacity between the US and Japan on our international network."
 

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