Extreme Networks last week used the Supercomm trade show in Chicago to highlight new MPLS features on its BlackDiamond and Alpine switches.Several software enhancements to Extreme's ExtremeWare operating system are aimed at service providers offering Ethernet-based services with MPLS. One feature allows for the sharing of bandwidth among different classifications of traffic when rate-limiting features are deployed on Extreme BlackDiamond switches. This will be useful for carriers providing triple-play voice, video and data services, Extreme says. For example, if a customer is allocated 1M bit\/sec for IP phone, TV and Internet services, a voice call could borrow from the TV service's bandwidth if that service is not in use.Extreme is also boosting support for Hierarchal Virtual LAN Services (HVPLS) on the BlackDiamond and Alpine series. The HVPLS improvements will allow Extreme switches to connect multiple metro-area VPLS service areas at Layer 2, instead of Layer 3, which would require providers to deploy expensive BGP-capable routers such as the Cisco GSR, or Juniper M160. Extreme says this difference could allow a carrier to link MANs across long distances starting at around $50,000, instead of the $250,000 to $500,000 starting price for Cisco and Juniper gear.Extreme is also adding sub-50-millisecond failover capabilities to its Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS) technology for building metro ring topologies on Ethernet instead of SONET. Previously, the rerouting of traffic on an EAPS ring was in the range of 100 ms to 200 ms, Extreme says. Another enhancement to EAPS is the capability to have multiple sub-rings linked to switch nodes on a main EAPS ring. Previously, EAPS rings could only interconnect with a maximum of two other rings. Now an unlimited number of sub-rings can hang off of a main ring, Extreme says.