Cisco Sees ‘Greenfield’ for Metro Ethernet

Cisco  is expanding its Metro Ethernet initiatives, acquiring privately-held Greenfield Networks for an undisclosed sum.

Greenfield Networks makes Ethernet switches tailored for Metro Ethernet packet processing. Metro Ethernet employs Ethernet standardsfor Municipal Area Network (MAN) or Metro deployments.

The Greenfield Networks technology and the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s 60 employees will be tucked into Cisco’s Ethernet and Wireless Technology Group (EWTG).

“By integrating Greenfield Networks technology with Cisco’s family of Metro Ethernet switches, we will be able to improve time to market of new carrier-class features to our service provider partners,” said Kathy Hill, senior vice president of Cisco’s EWTG, in a statement.

Cisco is engaged in competitive fight for dominance in the Metro Ethernet space versus Juniper Networks , Nortel Networks  and other networking players.

All three have announced multiple Metro Ethernet offerings this year already.

According to the Metro Ethernet Forum, which Greenfield Networks recently joined, Metro Ethernet is well on its way to achieving dominance.

At the last Interop event in New York, Mike Tighe, chairman of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), said in a panel discussion that the tipping point for Metro Ethernet is now.

Rich Klapman, product director of Ethernet services at AT&T, who sat on the panel with Tighe, didn’t agree that the tipping point is now, but he did say that AT&T is seeing a lot of tire kicking.

Metro Ethernet isn’t just a North American phenomenon either; Europe and Asia are both rapid adopters of the technology.

According to a recent Yankee Group report, the Asia-Pacific region is worth $675 million in Metro Ethernet revenues, second only to Europe.

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