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4. Layer 3 to Layer 2 Conversion

Chapter 4. Layer 3 to Layer 2 Conversion

Service providers have deployed and enterprises have used IP networks for a couple of decades now, routing IP packets over a core network. The core network in these deployments consists of a series of IP routers. Recently, the trend has been to deploy a Layer 2 technology (Ethernet) in place of, or to augment, the Layer 3 networks. In this engagement, our tribe of network warriors assisted an enterprise (wishing to become a limited service provider) in deploying a Layer 2 virtual private network (L2VPN) service in one of the most inhospitable environments possible: Alaska.

This network warrior is a Vermonter, and we consider our state to be rugged and, for the most part, sparsely populated. I can now say we are mistaken. Alaska is wilderness; it has a similar population to Vermont (~730,000 versus ~630,000) but almost 70 times the land mass (663,000 sq. mi. versus 9,600 sq. mi.). The old Vermont saying, “Ya can’t get thar from here,” applies in Alaska as well, because for the most part there are no roads to get where you want to go. I heard an ad specify that one in five of the Alaskan population holds a pilot’s license, and now I understand why. A traveler in Alaska uses every available means to get from point A to point B: cars, planes, trains, quad bikes, 4x4s, and yes, sleds (although p....


  

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