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Ethernet is the hottest thing going in metro networking. Ethernet enterprise services are forecasted to grow at a compound annual rate of over 25% per year and first-generation triple play networks are all based on Ethernet. To satisfy these demands, service providers have deployed a wide variety of Ethernet technologies, depending upon the specific application. Broadly speaking, these have been either connectionless native Ethernet technologies or Ethernet encapsulated into connection-oriented networking technologies like SONET or OTN. The connectionless networking approaches have been vital for multipoint-to-multipoint E-LAN enterprise services applications, but have also been used for aggregation of Ethernet traffic although the service quality has been lower.
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