Utility Wide Area Networks of Today & Tomorrow
There comes a time when all utilities need to make a decision to upgrade their WAN networks from current legacy TDM and SONET based technologies to Carrier Ethernet or MPLS. Bandwidth requirements and networking complexity for substation data connectivity continue to increase. Legacy TDM and SONET based solutions are inadequate to meet the cost and network flexibility requirements needed for the future. Many TDM and SONET vendor platforms have reached end-of-life status and are difficult and costly to source and support.
Newer technologies such as Carrier Ethernet and MPLS are feature rich and can offer many advantages including lowering costs, higher bandwidths, better network utilization, and ability to flatten networks and eliminate overlays. These technologies also include a rich set of operations, maintenance and service assurance tools.
Many of the past concerns about moving to packet based networks were related to resiliency, availability and delay. Today, these concerns have been addressed by packet ring protection standards, service assurance tools, and other mechanisms that make packet networks capable of providing the levels of service previously provided by TDM and SONET.
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