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Nortel, others demo PBT interop
By Ed Gubbins

Jun 19, 2007 11:10 AM

Nortel Networks and two other vendors are demonstrating interoperability of their Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) gear at the NXTcomm trade show in Chicago this week in an effort to further promote the nascent technology.

On the show’s exhibit floor, Nortel’s 8600 metro Ethernet switch will transmit video traffic to a Black Diamond 12802 Ethernet switch in Extreme Networks’ booth via a 1-Gb/s link based on PBT.

Nortel and Extreme are using continuity fault management messages to monitor the Mac-in-Mac framed Ethernet connection between their two booths.

Nortel is also demonstrating interoperability with the HSX 6000 edge aggregation switch that PBT Hammerhead Systems has vowed to turn into a PBT gateway this year to interface with multiprotocol label-switching (MPLS) networks.

Nortel also announced a “carrier Ethernet ecosystem” at the show, a group of vendors working toward Ethernet transport interoperability and promotion. The group includes Anda Networks, Axerra Networks, Extreme Networks, Hammerhead Systems, Lightstorm Networks, Meriton Networks, RAD Data Communications and Soapstone Networks.

Peter Lunk, Extreme’s director of service provider marketing, acknowledged Nortel as a competitor but is working with the company to further promote PBT technology, for which complete industry standards don’t yet exist. “Every service provider now wants to hear about PBT,” Lunk said. “A lot of people say, ‘That’s that Nortel thing.’”

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