Carrier Ethernet 2.0 - Standardizing Efficient and Reliable Backhaul

Welcome to April 2012 issue of Creanord EchoNEWS, keeping you informed of developments at Creanord and in the fields of SLA assurance, automated Ethernet service delivery and OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance).

This edition focuses on Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and its implications for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). CE 2.0 comprises a set of Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) standards with three main new features: Multi-CoS, Interconnected and Managed, which is set to redefine the industry - again.

A New Generation of Ethernet Unleashed

In recent years, Ethernet has seen a great upsurge in popularity to become a platform for enabling new services among carriers. In addition to attractive price points, the technology can provide significant flexibility. Ethernet was at first a technology for communication within the LAN, then later conquered also the WAN and proceeded to evolve to carrier-class in what later became to be called Carrier Ethernet 1.0. This development was enabled by the emergence of service guarantees to the originally best effort-only technology. Currently Ethernet is the fastest-growing service worldwide in the carrier space. CE 2.0 was announced in 2012, indicating a new generation of services and networks that can be implemented as new industry standards. The new standards are set to transform the efficiency and usability of Ethernet Service delivery allowing differentiated applications over interconnected, managed networks globally. The driver has been to improve interconnection and service alignment, which have increasingly become issues in the industry. With this standardization, the carriers are in position to further exploit the flexibility of Ethernet.

CE 2.0 includes standards in the following areas:

  1. Multi-CoS
  2. Interconnection
  3. Service Management

Multi-CoS allows simplified management as the service classes are clearly defined. This makes management simpler both internally for the service provider and between service providers. Interconnected in this context means that using the new E-Access CSPs can align their services to reach external customer locations through another service provider's network. Previously, interconnecting between CSPs has been complex, costly and cumbersome to negotiate and implement because each CSP has been using proprietary service and CoS definitions. This means that there is potential for even more significant growth for Ethernet as these hurdles are removed. In the are of manageability, the standard provides end-to-end fault and performance management per class of service and virtual connection allowing for lower cost and improved quality.

4G Backhaul is seen as the single biggest challenge and operating cost of the industry. With this in mind a new standard for efficient and reliable Backhaul is welcomed by CSPs as this initiative provides not only guidance into implementation, but also opportunity for savings while delivering the same or better user Quality of Experience. The Multi-CoS is in itself not something new, but the definition of performance objectives for each service class mean the customer knows what service level and associated SLA to expect regardless of provider. Another driver for standardization is Cloud services. One of the hurdles of Cloud services has been the lack of performance guarantees for the network. Secure, enforced SLA delivery allows dedicated, standardized service classes for applications across operators and geographic locations allowing for a consistent experience across the various networks.

Figure 1. The Carrier Ethernet 2.0 services are defined in MEF Service Specifications and Implementation Agreements (MEF 6.1, 6.1.1, 22.1,33). Multi-CoS with Performance Objectives, Interconnect and Manageability can be provided through the integrated delivery of MEF Service Attributes (MEF 10.2, 10.2.1, 26.1), Implementation Agreements (MEF 13, 20, 23.1) and Management Specifications (MEF 7.1, 16, 17, 30, 31)

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 networks and services enable multiple classes of service and manageability over interconnected provider networks. The framework adds a number of new services, extending the number of supported services from 3 to 8. It includes two services each in E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree and E-Access.

Standardizing the SLA

Having been at the forefront of SLA management for Carrier Ethernet for many years, Creanord is well positioned to help addressing the requirements of CE 2.0. In fact, Multi-CoS management is already available with a powerful toolbox focused on managing the services the CSP is providing. Combining our best practices with the standards, it is easy to create SLA templates for each of the 8 services included in CE 2.0 and provision, manage, report on services internally as well as through the SLA Portal to customers. The portal view provides each customer a flexibly customizable view to the services they have purchased and this added visibility .The customer may be another operator and the SLA Portal can be used to bring visibility to Carrier Ethernet 2.0 services.

Key Carrier Ethernet 2.0 points for CSPs:

  • Simpler and cheaper transaction costs and expanded reach for access
  • With wholesale growth continuing, interconnection becomes vital
  • Supports management of Mobile Backhaul and Cloud Services
  • Improved network efficiency and improved customer experience
  • End-to-end fault manageability across networks

The common denominator for new functionality is standardizing the service delivered, and by extension the SLA, to ensure performance and interoperability. Another way of looking at it is a framework for SLA Management. A proper SLA Management system allows you to 1) define the service in business and technical terms, i.e. the SLA 2) provision the service with performance objectives 3) monitor the service performance and trigger events. The system should support performance data such as latency and values calculated from the data, such as standard deviation of delay variation. To allow managing SLAs, also events such as power loss under third party responsibility should be covered in the and management should extend to consider for instance business hours.

The MEF states that in future simplified and automated service delivery are in store. We have been fortunate to work with progressive CSPs in this area already for some time and this functionality is something that is available in EchoVault today. Contact us to see how we can help pave the way to expand your market reach and accomplish more cost savings by speeding up your implementation of CE 2.0.

Stay tuned for more information on how EchoVault helps you tame the next generation of Carrier Ethernet.


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