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Middle East; (September 7, 2011) – Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Huawei, Solana Networks and Spirent Communications today announced that they have completed the industry’s first large-scale, multi-vendor interoperability test leveraging IEEE 802.1aq Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) technology.

SPB allows customers to greatly simplify how they create and configure networks—across the enterprise and for the cloud— by requiring service provisioning only at the edge of the network. It uses Intermediate System To Intermediate System (IS-IS), a proven carrier-grade link state protocol, to dynamically build the topology between network nodes, saving network administrators time and effort, and virtually eliminating human error.

The interoperability test simulated a large network environment of almost 200 nodes and more than 400 links. It demonstrated full control plane interoperability between each vendor’s equipment, native network discovery in a multi-vendor network and Layer 2 Virtual Private Network (L2VPN) interoperability. L2VPN connectivity was validated by passing real and simulated traffic between network connected devices and a network emulator. Avaya and Spirent also tested the Ethernet Connectivity Fault Management (IEEE 802.1ag) standard, showing successful Layer 2 operations.

This test builds on previous validation efforts that have showcased SPB’s capabilities for multi-site data centers and hybrid clouds, including the migration of a virtual machine over a multi-vendor SPB network that seamlessly transferred services between nodes delivered by different vendors.

“This was the first multi-vendor commercial test for multi-path Ethernet leveraging Shortest Path Bridging technology,” said Mike Spanbauer, principal analyst, Current Analysis. “Shortest Path Bridging was built on the premise of retaining capital investments customers have today in addition to building on the engineering strength of Ethernet over the last 30 years.”

The SPB network consisted of 10 physical switches—including the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch™ 6900, Avaya Ethernet Routing Switch 8800 and Huawei Quidway S9300—alongside Spirent TestCenter™, a Huawei LINUX/Quagga emulator and SmartHawk, a non-intrusive, real-time network discovery and topology mapping tool from Solana Networks.

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