Welcome to the latest issue of Creanord EchoNEWS. EchoNEWS aims to keep you informed of developments at Creanord and in the fields of SLA assurance, automated Ethernet service delivery and OAM (Operations, Administration and Maintenance).
February issue provides information about Ethernet Operations Administration and Maintenance (OAM) and best practices for rolling out Y.1731 based Performance Measurements.
Ethernet Operations Administration and Maintenance (OAM) and best practices for rolling out Y.1731 Performance Measurements
The main drivers for Ethernet OAM have been the need to upgrade the OAM features of Ethernet to the level of which Frame Relay, ATM and other legacy WAN technologies had evolved during time. The continuous need for reducing OPEX and truck-roll costs have also pushed for Ethernet OAM features to be introduced and at the same time providers will have more tools for reducing downtime costs. Last but not least Ethernet networks have grown so widespread and complex to manage that unified OAM features become a necessity.
Given the current success of Ethernet and the need for OAM tools, every major player delivering Carrier Grade Ethernet Devices has implemented the Ethernet OAM and ITU Y.1731 as part of their product line. For example Cisco has implemented Ethernet OAM features based on Y.1731 as part of Cisco IOS. Also Alcatel-Lucent's 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) and Service Routers and Metro Ethernet Switches support the new OAM standards including Y.1731.
Key advantages of Ethernet OAM standards
Solutions based on the ITU Y.1731 Ethernet OAM provides operators with a standardized way to measure network characteristics. The Y.1731 based Ethenet OAM also benefits from larger development community thus will likely outperform proprietary OAM solutions as the standard evolves. Furthermore it?s unlikely that your peering Service Provider is using the same proprietary OAM solution and therefore you lose the advantages a standards based OAM solution offers.
For Enterprise customers standards based measurements equal good news, because the requirements imposed for Carrier Ethernet service assurance have evolved far beyond element on - element off type reporting used in traditional packet-switched networks. Standardized measurements provide a framework for producing real quality driven SLAs. Ethernet services with flexible bandwidth allocation, policing, shaping and multiple EVC's require OAM tools to match and ITU Y.1731 delivers this promise - providing the standards for measuring frame loss, delay, delay variation, and service availability.
Challenges and best practices for deploying the Ethernet OAM and Y.1731
The real challenge and an operational issue related to Ethernet OAM is MEP (MEG* End Point) provisioning and discovery. A MEP must have information about its peer MEPs in order to generate OAM test probes to a given MEG. This information can be potentially discovered with Continuity Check Messages (CCM) but this requires manual work. The EchoVault's Service OAM provisioning implementation includes automatic creation and management of MEP IDs.
For Service Providers implementing Y.1731 OAM tools this is a welcomed feature since manual configuration and management of hundreds or thousands of IDs is a cumbersome task. Not only consuming staff recourses, this manual work is very prone to errors. By automating the MEP ID creation, provisioning and maintenance Creanord EchoVault greatly simplifies and accelerates this task and makes the roll-out of Y.1731 Ethernet OAM within Service Provider networks a much easier task. The creation and management of EchoVault's topology aware SLA-Meter Y.1731 DM (Delay Measurement) & LM (Loss Measurement) is as easy as the Enhanced L2 and L3 SLA-Meters always have been.
*MEG Maintenance Entity Group
Given the great promise the Y.1731 has to offer the technology is still pretty new and some solutions available need to evolve in order to become truly Carrier Grade. This is especially true with some Y.1731 Delay Measurement implementations out there that lack accurate timestamping for the test packets. Also operational considerations are important while selecting the right solution. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and challenges at a time convenient for you.