The growing nature of enterprise data requirements is driving significant growth in the demand for Optical Broadband services. Service providers are in the process of defining scalable network architectures to enable mass deployment of these retail services. This paper introduces Optical Ethernet services as they are being delivered today, and discusses how these are offered over different architectures, more specifically switched metro Ethernet, RPR, and SONET networks. Challenges of each architecture and technologies that enable scalability are described. In switched metro Ethernet network architectures, challenges are addressed with features like VLANs, Q-in-Q, and Service Provider Ethernet Switching. RPR networks can be evolved in a smooth fashion by deploying service planes and implementing a bridged RPR design. SONET networks currently offer wide scale Optical Ethernet services most effectively using GFP and VCAT, and network-related costs can be reduced through a focus on switching points and hub selection.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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