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Transport MPLS (T-MPLS)

The Transport Technology for Packet-Based Networks

To stay profitable, service providers must focus on introducing revenue-generating services while controlling their cost structures. At the same time, they must respond to the demand placed by new bandwidth-hungry services for capacity and aggregation functionality in the underlying transport infrastructure. To achieve this, transport networks for packet-based services and networks must continue to provide the same levels of reliability, availability and manageability that service providers have come to expect from circuit-based infra- structures. This paper describes how the transport-multiprotocol label switching (T-MPLS) architecture — an emerging solution developed by the ITU-T — answers this challenge.

Table of Contents

1

Introduction

3

The Packet Transport Network

3

What is Transport MPLS?

4

Basic Features of Transport MPLS

6

How T-MPLS Delivers Converged Transport Services

7

Managing a T-MPLS Network

8

Comparison of Network Transformation Techniques

11

The Alcatel-Lucent 1850 Transport Service Switch

12

Conclusion

13

Acronyms

Introduction

To stay competitive, service providers are deploying new revenue-generating services, such as:

• Triple play that requires the simultaneous delivery of video, high-speed Internet (HSI) and voice. This service relies on an always-on quality of experience for the end user, and places high-capacity and reliability demands on the transport network.

• Virtual private networks (VPNs) that are built from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)-defined Ethernet E-Line and Ethernet local area network (E-LAN) services. This service relies on high availability and security for mission-critical applications.

• Mobile backhaul that requires high reliability and high-capacity transport to backhaul the increasing data traffic that 3G introduces in the mobile network today, and that the 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) will introduce in the future.

To stay profitable, service providers need flexible operational models that allow them to evolve their existing networks efficiently and cost effectively, so they can introduce these new services while maximizing revenues from existing services. These needs are driving the evolution of transport infrastructures.

Transport multiprotocol label switching (T-MPLS) is a networking-layer technology based on the IETF suite of MPLS standards. It provides the high-availability and reliability features required for transport network evolution toward transport-class packet-based networks.

There is an increased use of hybrid packet and circuit transport technology to better accommodate native packet applications while offering differentiated quality of service (QoS). This paper examines how hybrid packet/TDM transport networking helps service providers evolve to a service-aware transport network suitable for delivering these new all-packet-orientated services.

Traditional optical transport networks provide reliable aggregation and transport of any client traffic type, in any scale, in a cost-efficient manner. They are characterized by:

• Multiservice support – the ability to deliver any type of client traffic (transparency to service)

• Scalability – the ability to support any number of client traffic instances for any network size, from access to core

• Quality – the ability to ensure that client traffic is delivered with predictable and high levels of reliability and availability (survivability, low failure rate, end-to-end for performance monitoring)

• Cost efficiency – derived from their ability to serve multiple clients/technologies, keeping pro- cessing complexity low, and providing ease of operations (provisioning, troubleshooting and monitoring)

These features of optical transport networks developed through the evolution of TDM, and continue to be important in the transition to packet transport technology networks.

The transport network mission clearly partitions its roles and functions (which include traffic aggre- gation and distribution, bandwidth management, and survivability/dependability of transported traffic) from those of service networks. Service networks, such as IP/MPLS metro and core networks or 2G/3G mobile networks, are defined by the services they deliver (e.g., Internet access, IP virtual

private networks [IP-VPNs], mobile multimedia and IP multimedia subsystem [IMS]). This partition- ing allows a service provider to optimize total network costs because transport-oriented and service- oriented functions are provided separately over optimized platforms where they are needed in the network, without cost penalties.

As client services move toward IP technology, the transport network has to evolve to provide service- aware capabilities while still supporting native TDM and wave division multiplexing (WDM) clients. Service-aware transport networking provides the capability to aggregate and forward client traffic at a finer level of granularity, taking advantage of statistical multiplexing for optimal leverage of the optical transport infrastructure. Converging the best of traditional optical transport attributes with packet transport technology, in terms of manageability, reliability and availability, enables a smooth transformation and evolution from the incumbent TDM-based infrastructure paradigm to a new hybrid networking paradigm, incorporating native WDM, TDM and packet transport. This allows service providers to meet the challenge of supporting new networking requirements effectively.

Figure 1 illustrates the partitioning of functionality, and demonstrates a clear separation between the service layer and the transport layer. The service layer is evolving toward all-IP-service user devices and all-IP platforms that host service applications. The transport layer is moving toward providing a service-aware packet transport network that provides a highly reliable, available and flexible infrastructure that can support existing services and new all-IP services.

Figure 1. Roles of Transport and Service Networking

• •

• •

• •

• •

• •

• •

Detailed service management/quality of service (QoS)

Detailed service management/quality of service (QoS)

Localized

Localized

Service and subscriber awareness

Service and subscriber awareness

High number of entities

High number of entities

Deep-touch service richness and operations and

Deep-touch service richness and operations and

maintenance (OAM)

maintenance (OAM)

Stateful, short holding times

Stateful, short holding times

User/Application User/Application Service Network Service Network
User/Application
User/Application
Service Network
Service Network
Transport Network Transport Network (Geographic Reach) (Geographic Reach) Fiber Fiber
Transport Network
Transport Network
(Geographic Reach)
(Geographic Reach)
Fiber
Fiber
Services are moving to IP Services are moving to IP
Services are moving to IP
Services are moving to IP
Transport is moving to packets Transport is moving to packets
Transport is moving to packets
Transport is moving to packets

• •

• •

• •

• •

• •

• •

Effective bandwidth management/QoS

Effective bandwidth management/QoS

Ubiquitous

Ubiquitous

Transparency: service-awareness

Transparency: service-awareness

Low number of entities

Low number of entities

Resilience, robust OAM

Resilience, robust OAM

Stateless, long holding times

Stateless, long holding times

Figure 2 shows how the transport network can be positioned with Layer 2 packet-switching capabilities. Packet technology provides service scalability, bandwidth efficiency and the ability to support the bursty nature of packet traffic. These capabilities help optimize the delivery of popular Ethernet or MPLS-based services. The T-MPLS architecture complements this while providing the key features of traditional carrier-class networking.

Figure 2. Layer 2 Packet Switching in the Transport Network

Service Provider’s Servers

Service Provider’s Servers

Service Contents and Feeds

Service Contents and Feeds

Layer 3 Layer 3 PE PE Residential Residential Services Services Layer 2 Layer 2 Business
Layer 3
Layer 3
PE
PE
Residential
Residential
Services
Services
Layer 2
Layer 2
Business
Business
Services
Services
CE
CE
Layer 1
Layer 1
(TDM and/or λ)
(TDM and/or λ)
XC XC
Access
Access
Metro Aggregation
Metro Aggregation
Core
Core
Transport Transport

Transport

Transport

Transport Transport

The Packet Transport Network

The following sections define the T-MPLS architecture and explain its underlying concepts. They explain the relevance of T-MPLS to the evolution of transport networking, and outline the benefits service providers will realize by deploying T-MPLS.

What is Transport MPLS? Transport MPLS is a networking layer technology for packet-based transport. The framework for T-MPLS is defined by the ITU-T (see Table 1). It leverages IETF MPLS and meets the operational requirements of traditional carrier networks. It:

• Is client-agnostic (able to carry L3, L2, L1)

• Is strictly connection oriented

• Implements strong operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) capabilities similar to those available in traditional optical transport networks (e.g., SDH, optical transport network [OTN])

• Implements linear and ring resilience mechanisms, similar to those available in traditional optical transport networks

• Allows network provisioning via a centralized management tool and/or a distributed control plane

• Allows a common approach for management and control of multilayer transport networks

Table 1. Framework of ITU-T Recommendations for T-MPLS

G.8110.1 – Architecture of Transport MPLS (T-MPLS) Layer Network

Definition of the functional architecture of T-MPLS networks

G.8112 – Interfaces for the Transport MPLS (T-MPLS) Hierarchy

Definition of the interfaces for a T-MPLS network (frame format, client mapping)

G.8113 – Requirements for OAM Function in T-MPLS-based Networks

Requirements for user plane OAM functionality

G.8114 – Operation & Maintenance Mechanism for T-MPLS Layer Networks

Definition of mechanisms for user plane OAM functionality

G.8121 – Characteristics of Transport MPLS Equipment Functional Blocks

Definition of the functional description of T-MPLS equipment

G.8131 – Linear Protection Switching for Transport MPLS (T-MPLS) Networks

Definition of mechanisms for 1+1 and 1:1 linear protection switching

G.8151 – Management Aspects of the T-MPLS NE

Definition of the management aspects of T-MPLS equipment

Figure 3 shows a high-level view of the T-MPLS relationships with IETF MPLS and IP features. The T-MPLS data plane is a profile of MPLS, focusing on highly reliable and manageable transport func- tionality with limited use of IP for the control plane and management functions. For example, T-MPLS excludes the MPLS connectionless forwarding mode, but adds linear and ring protection mechanisms.

In a packet transport networking architecture, client signals are adapted at the edge into a packet-based T-MPLS format for switching and aggregation. This ensures the best use of optical transport resources, as shown on the right side of Figure 4.

The layering in the center of Figure 4 is an example of T-MPLS coexisting with SDH/SONET-based transport infrastructures.

Figure 3. Relationship of the T-MPLS, MPLS and IP

T-MPLS MPLS IP
T-MPLS
MPLS
IP

Figure 4. Packet Transport Networking Architecture

Client

Client

L1

L1

L0

L0

Map and

Map and

Map at

Map at

Switch

Switch

Edge

Edge

L0 L0 Map and Map and Map at Map at Switch Switch Edge Edge ATM, ATM,

ATM,

ATM,

Ethernet

Ethernet

SAN,

SAN,

PDH

PDH

Edge Edge ATM, ATM, Ethernet Ethernet SAN, SAN, PDH PDH SDH/SONET SDH/SONET WDM WDM TDM-Based Architecture

SDH/SONET

SDH/SONET

ATM, Ethernet Ethernet SAN, SAN, PDH PDH SDH/SONET SDH/SONET WDM WDM TDM-Based Architecture TDM-Based Architecture Note:

WDM

WDM

TDM-Based Architecture

TDM-Based Architecture

Note: In this context, TDM

Note: In this context, TDM

stands for SDH/SONET

stands for SDH/SONET

Map at Edge Map at Edge SAN, PDH, ATM, SAN, PDH, ATM, Ethernet, IP/MPLS, FR
Map at Edge
Map at Edge
SAN, PDH, ATM,
SAN, PDH, ATM,
Ethernet, IP/MPLS, FR
Ethernet, IP/MPLS, FR
T-MPLS
T-MPLS
TDM
TDM
Photonic
Photonic
Switching
Switching
Present
Present
Transport
Transport
Transport
Transport

• •

Packet transport introduction

Packet transport introduction

Push L2 clients to the edges

Push L2 clients to the edges

Map at Edge

Map at Edge

SAN, PDH, ATM,

SAN, PDH, ATM,

Ethernet, IP/MPLS, TDM

Ethernet, IP/MPLS, TDM

T-MPLS

T-MPLS

Photonic

Photonic

Switching

Switching

All-Packet Transport

All-Packet Transport

• •

TDM as a client

TDM as a client

Packet transport

Packet transport

Ti

Ti

me

me

as a client Packet transport Packet transport Ti Ti me me Basic Features of Transport MPLS

Basic Features of Transport MPLS T-MPLS includes packet-switching capabilities to handle differentiated services and tools for net- work supervision.

Transport MPLS is a connection-oriented packet transport technology, based on MPLS frame formats, reusing the most widespread label swapping paradigm existing in telecom. It inherits all IETF defini- tion activity for server and client encapsulation rules while profiling MPLS to avoid the complexity and need for IP-routing capability.

In a T-MPLS connection-oriented domain, a stream of client data always traverses a common, pre- determined path via the establishment of a label switched path (LSP) (see Figure 5). At the ingress switch, each packet is assigned a label and is transmitted downstream. At each switch along the path, the label is used to forward the packet to the next hop.

Transport MPLS defines powerful OAM capabilities that enable status and performance reports to remain confined in the T-MPLS layer, and do not require deeper packet inspection. It permits guar- anteed service level agreements (SLAs), defines protection switching and restoration, and enables efficient fault localization and multi-service provider service offerings.

OAM capabilities are structured into the definition of frames and tools, describing their usage and indicating the locations where they are applied. The specification provides well defined mechanisms to support the implementation of continuity checks, quality monitoring, fault localization, protection and restoration mechanisms that trigger:

• Probe frames — configurable for fast or slow — that verify the continuity of the connection

• Backward and forward defect indicator flows that detect defects and suppress unnecessary alarm indication on higher layers

• Frames to implement loopback transactions, performance measurements and automatic protection switching mechanisms

Proactive and on-demand OAM tools are available. Proactive OAM tools continuously verify con- nectivity, performance and alarms under fault and degradation conditions. On-demand OAM tools help locate an alarmed fault, and verify the connectivity or performance on request, typically when proactive OAM tools are disabled for a specific T-MPLS LSP.

Maintenance entities identify exact points to exercise monitoring and OAM mechanisms. They provide a method for the application of OAM procedures to administrative domain sections of connectivity paths.

Figure 5. Label Switched Path in T-MPLS

Packet Transport Packet Transport Network Network Tunnel LSP Tunnel LSP
Packet Transport
Packet Transport
Network
Network
Tunnel LSP
Tunnel LSP
Mapping Mapping into into Label Swapping Label Swapping Labelled Labelled Packets Packets T-MPLS T-MPLS T-MPLS
Mapping
Mapping
into
into
Label Swapping
Label Swapping
Labelled
Labelled
Packets
Packets
T-MPLS
T-MPLS
T-MPLS
T-MPLS
T-
T-
MPLS
MPLS
ϕ ϕ
ϕ ϕ
ϕ ϕ
ϕ ϕ

T-MPLS uses a differentiated services architecture to manage traffic: all packets crossing a link and requiring the same forwarding behavior are said to constitute a behavior aggregate. At the ingress node, the packets are classified and marked with a code point that corresponds to their behavior aggregate (based on the service configuration policy). At each transit node, the code point is used

to identify the per hop behavior that determines the appropriate scheduling and buffer manage-

ment treatment and, in some cases, the drop probability for each packet. The differentiated services implementation provides mechanisms to control two basic parameters that map service-quality requirements into traffic flows. The parameters are latency (relevant for real-time service classes requiring low delay, jitter and loss) and the drop probability of packets that are determined by a priority discriminator when peaks exceed the available bandwidth.

With its linear/ring protection and restoration schema, differentiated service capabilities and flexible, configurable on-demand OAM tools, T-MPLS carrier-class packet transport network technology enables service providers to provide a wide range of service levels to users.

How T-MPLS Delivers Converged Transport Services The T-MPLS architecture is based on the client-server model, in which the T-MPLS network oper- ates independently of its clients and associated management and control networks.

Figure 6 shows the architecture for mapping client traffic flows over T-MPLS LSP connectivity —

or path — according to the following guidelines:

• A generic client (e.g., a particular link protocol) can be mapped into a T-MPLS channel (G.8110.1)

• T-MPLS channels are based on the pseudowire emulation edge-to-edge (PWE3) model. A PWE3 emulates the essential attributes of a physical connectivity service over a packet-switched network. Examples of client services are Layer 2 protocols, such as frame relay, ATM, Ethernet, and TDM leased-line circuit emulation. From the client point of view, the pseudowire is perceived as an unshared link or circuit. A T-MPLS tunnel can aggregate multiple pseudowires.

• T-MPLS paths can be used to build a meshed infrastructure connecting packet transport net- work edges.

Internal transfer and switching of traffic in the packet network is inde- pendent of the specific protocol stack and application service at the client side, while the edge mapping may be optimally configured and tuned according to the client’s requirements.

Figure 6. Client Traffic Types Carried by a T-MPLS Transport Service L3 (IP) Any L2
Figure 6. Client Traffic Types Carried by a T-MPLS Transport Service
L3 (IP)
Any L2 (FR, ATM, etc.)
IP/MPLS
MPLS Tunnel
PWE3
T-MPLS Tunnel
Optical Packet
Transport Service
Transport
Network
Switch

A T-MPLS network can accomplish

the interconnection of a set of IP- routing devices with a set of point- to-point pseudowires (see Figure 5)

or E-LAN transport services. The actual interoperability is at the Ethernet link or media access

control (MAC) level, and the client device may be a generic Ethernet-interfaced device rather than an MPLS-enabled one.

The Ethernet frames from client ports are mapped into point-to-point pseudowires or multipoint virtual LAN connectivity, based on a meshed tunnel infrastructure. No exchange of routing or topology information is required at the border with the transport network.

Deploying T-MPLS frees service providers from managing a variety of single-purpose packet-oriented transport networks. With T-MPLS, a single packet network can emulate the characteristics of legacy services while introducing new connectivity services that are synergistic with advanced all-IP-oriented packet services.

Managing a T-MPLS Network T-MPLS is strictly related to the data plane where user traffic flows are handled. T-MPLS takes feature profiles related to the control plane from MPLS. The ability to support synergy with trans- port network operations and management models is a key reason to deploy T-MPLS in an optical transport infrastructure. T-MPLS networks should be able to be operated by a centralized network management system (NMS), with or without the support of a distributed control plane. There are no restrictions in deploying a traditional centralized NMS that relies on a distributed control plane to operate the network, or in using both.

The transport plane functionality of T-MPLS must be independent of the control or management plane solutions. This provides an important separation between the selection of T-MPLS data plane behaviors and the choice of control or management technologies to operate a T-MPLS layer network. There are many protocols available that can be applied to controlling T-MPLS layer networks, some have features designed to support applications and network modes that T-MPLS does not. If a proto- col supports more features than are necessary, but are sufficient for T-MPLS applications, a suitable subset (necessary and sufficient) for the T-MPLS control plane should be specified.

In multiservice, multitechnology networks, using a common control and management plane to support packet and optical transport technologies allows deployment of a common operational framework and toolkit at all network layers. To enable common control and operations regimes across the set of transport technologies used in a network, other transport layer networks must also be able to use the T-MPLS control plane. This provides the option to use either separate control plane instances or a single control plane instance to control a set of transport layer networks. Har- monization of operational practices, in conjunction with enhanced network resiliency, will simplify the operations and management of multilayer transport networks that encompass packet- and circuit- based technologies. Also, it enables a common foundation of routing and signaling protocols for converged optical and packet networks. A T-MPLS control plane based on automatic switched opti- cal network (ASON)/generalized multiprotocol label switching (GMPLS) architecture and protocols will support these requirements.

ASON/GMPLS control plane initiatives were triggered by interest in applying concepts from data networks to facilitate a more dynamic optical transport network, and rapidly gained industry momentum. Different standards development organizations (SDOs) have tried to resolve the related challenges:

• The ITU-T called it ASON, and initiated work on a suite of recommendations, starting with protocol-neutral requirements/architecture and moving towards specific protocols.

• The IETF called it GMPLS, and initiated work on an umbrella of RFCs, providing extensions and enhancements to the MPLS-based control plane.

• The OIF focused on developing control plane implementation agreements, and providing associ- ated interoperability demonstrations with the intent of offering a testing vehicle for the industry.

• These SDOs are moving towards a convergence of requirements and protocols, involving an iterative multiyear process of analysis, solution assessment, interoperability testing and feedback.

• The GMPLS protocol concept generalizes the concept of an MPLS label, so that wavelengths or timeslots could be considered labels (wavelengths and timeslots are examples of link connections in ITU-T G.805 terminology), and be applicable to any connection-oriented technology, e.g., WDM/ OTN, SONET/SDH, TDM (T1, E1, T3, E3), connection-oriented packet transport technologies.

An ASON/GMPLS control plane has additional attributes (related to enhanced network resiliency, flexibility, and multilayer agility) that offer further synergies with optical transport network deploy- ments. For example, they:

• Provide support for connection persistence so that a failure of the control plane will not affect the data plane; i.e., the topology of the controlled network is not assumed to be identical to the topology of the network that supports control plane communications. This allows separate engi- neering of the control plane with respect to the data plane traffic flow, including its own design for redundancies, congestion control and monitoring facilities over segregated channels.

• Facilitate multilayer network engineering to enable an automated process of cooperatively tailor- ing the capacity of a multilayer network, based on analysis of network topology and resource- usage information. This can be used to predict cyclic traffic patterns.

• Provide support for bidirectional and unidirectional connections, and the ability to gracefully support the control of multilayer network-deployment scenarios.

ASON/GMPLS has a proven record of integrating with centralized network management systems, such as the Alcatel-Lucent 1350 Management Suite. The centralized network management system integrates the functionality of the control plane, providing the service provider with the ability to:

• Define static data for control plane traffic engineering as information that pertains to shared routing groups of links, which are cost equivalent for routing purposes

• Plan nominal traffic-flow patterns and transfer them to the control plane engines. The real traffic patterns can be retrieved periodically for comparison with the nominal ones, and reconfigured for network optimization.

• Show an integrated view with a legacy transport network, allowing a controlled environment for graceful migration toward an all-packet architecture

T-MPLS architecture segregates the control and management plane flows from the data plane traffic. It provides a superior level of manageability required for carrier-class transport networks with the flexibility and scalability provided by ASON/GMPLS.

Comparison of Network Transformation Techniques Service providers want to evolve their existing networks to introduce and operate new all-IP-based services while maximizing revenues from existing services.

Network transformation strategies are becoming crucial to service providers as they plan to evolve their existing transport infrastructures. Every service provider will apply network transformation in a different way, based on existing service mix, new service mix, ARPU, competition, etc.

T-MPLS is one technological approach to network transformation. Other technological approaches are:

• A limited evolution of the SDH/SONET technology with simple extensions of the circuit-based services to transport Ethernet-type traffic

• A complete change of incumbent TDM architecture, with Layer 3 IP-routing equipment working directly on top of optical wavelength multiplexers

• Carrier-class Ethernet-transport techniques, such as the provider backbone bridge traffic engi- neering (PBB-TE) proposal, previously known as PBT

SDH/SONET technology evolution

ITU-T recommendations specify the functionality needed for the evolution of SDH/SONET to support packet-based clients.

The evolution of SDH/SONET capabilities to directly accommodate Ethernet traffic over a TDM infrastructure without packet switching/aggregation functionality is a step forward in the transfor- mation of existing transport networks. It leverages the widely deployed incumbent TDM installed base, and allows service providers to start providing new packet-based services.

It can be viewed as an intermediate step in a full network transformation. Given the correct equipment architecture, it will provide efficient transmission support of T-MPLS aggregated flows.

Layer 3 IP routing devices over optical wavelengths

Figure 7 shows an architecture that is based on Layer 3 IP-routing devices working directly on the optical wavelength multiplexing Layer 1. Wavelength multiplexers allow reconfiguration of optical level paths though the use of the reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM). Pass- through/protection traffic flows are always switched by the routing devices.

The configuration shown in Figure 8 has some benefits, adding transport packet switches as long- distance front ends of routers. Layer 3 devices are required at sites requiring Layer 3 capabilities. Layer 3 devices are not required where connectivity services can be delivered directly with switch- ing at Layer 2.

Figure 7. CORE Routers Supported by Optical Transport Network

ROADM ROADM ROADM ROADM ROADM ROADM Client IP-Based Devices Client IP-Based Devices L3 Router L3
ROADM
ROADM
ROADM
ROADM
ROADM
ROADM
Client IP-Based Devices
Client IP-Based Devices
L3 Router
L3 Router

Figure 8. CORE Routers Supported by T-MPLS enabled Optical Transport Network

Huge data-traffic growth Huge data-traffic growth ROADM ROADM XC XC TSS TSS ROADM ROADM ROADM
Huge data-traffic growth
Huge data-traffic growth
ROADM
ROADM
XC XC
TSS
TSS
ROADM
ROADM
ROADM
ROADM
XC XC
XC XC
TSS
TSS
TSS
TSS
Client IP-Based Devices
Client IP-Based Devices
L3 Router
L3 Router
Packet Transport Switch Functionality
Packet Transport Switch Functionality

Carrier-class Ethernet transport techniques

A technical alternative to providing a packet transport layer through T-MPLS is to extend Ethernet

technology with transport-class features, upgrading the virtual LAN (VLAN) handling mechanisms

or splitting the addressing horizon through the introduction of additional features. The PBB-TE proposal is one of these techniques.

The PBB-TE is a proposed extension of IEEE 802.1ah or provider backbone bridge. It defines an archi- tecture and bridge protocols compatible and interoperable with provider bridged network protocols and equipment that permits interconnection of multiple provider bridged networks. The aim is to implement connection-oriented tunnels across a backbone network, adding a header to the ingress Ethernet frames. Forwarding inside the backbone is based on this header. Tunnels can be set up manually or with modi- fied GMPLS (called GELS).

Table 2 compares T-MPLS and PBB-TE architectures. A stable framework has not been standardized for the PBB-TE architecture yet. The simplicity of the PBB-TE architecture must be balanced against the carrier-grade features required by transport networking.

Table 2. T-MPLS versus PBT-Based Architecture

ISSUE

T-MPLS ARChITECTURE

PBB-TE-BASEd ARChITECTURE

Maturity of Standards

Standards are more mature than PBB-TE architecture

The PBB-TE standard project just started in IEEE as P802.Qay. It is designed to provision tunnels with a centralized network manager in a single domain network. A control plane based on GMPLS may be used but requires extensions.

Supports transport-grade capable features not included or con- solidated in PBB-TE, e.g., multilevel tunneling, tunnel segmenta- tion to establish per-domain intermediate monitoring points and ring protection mechanisms

Claims of Simplicity

Eliminating unnecessary features is a key driver defining T-MPLS as a profiled subset of MPLS

The extensions to support transport-grade features will solve some technical issues (e.g., subdividing identifiers on a port between PBT and spanning tree protocols when multipoint-to- multipoint services are requested) but will reduce its simplicity

The Alcatel-Lucent 1850 Transport Service Switch

The Alcatel-Lucent 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) enables effective packet transport net- working, including the T-MPLS-layer networking (see Figure 9). The Alcatel-Lucent TSS product family enables:

• Strong QoS, linear/ring protection mechanisms and end-to-end/domain-segmented OAM

• Support of traffic engineering capabilities inherent to a connection-oriented architecture

• An environment that enables the convergence of existing infrastructure technologies (Ethernet, TDM, frame relay, ATM) on a common packet infrastructure (e.g., for mobile backhauling)

• Integrated packet and lambda transport to best engineer the core network through MPLS-peering support with routers and an ASON/GMPLS multilayer control plane

Figure 10 shows how the Alcatel-Lucent TSS product family can switch in the appropriate mix of both TDM and packet-based traffic using a universal switching matrix. This product family allows the designer of the network evolution to master the network convergence and transformation strategy.

Figure 9. Transport Service Switches Support the Transport Layers in a Single hybrid device

Packet Packet TDM TDM Photonic Photonic
Packet
Packet
TDM
TDM
Photonic
Photonic

Three Separate Platforms

Three Separate Platforms

Transport Service Switches

Transport Service Switches

One Purpose-Built One Purpose-Built Convergence Platform Convergence Platform
One Purpose-Built
One Purpose-Built
Convergence Platform
Convergence Platform

Figure 10. Transport Service Switches Provide a Universal Switching Matrix that Supports Any Mix of TdM and Packet

SONET/SDH SONET/SDH TDM Model TDM Model Universal Universal Switch Switch STM-64 STM-64 STM-1 STM-1 E1
SONET/SDH
SONET/SDH
TDM Model
TDM Model
Universal
Universal
Switch
Switch
STM-64
STM-64
STM-1
STM-1
E1
E1
TDM Card
TDM Card
Multiservice Multiservice Carrier Packet Carrier Packet Node Model Node Model Transport Model Transport Model
Multiservice
Multiservice
Carrier Packet
Carrier Packet
Node Model
Node Model
Transport Model
Transport Model
Universal
Universal
Universal
Universal
Switch
Switch
Switch
Switch
Photonic
Photonic
STM-64
STM-64
GE FE
GE FE
Card
Card
10 10
GE
GE
10 10
GE
GE
Packet Card
Packet Card
100% Circuit 100% Circuit Any Traffic Mix Any Traffic Mix 100% Packet 100% Packet
100% Circuit
100% Circuit
Any Traffic Mix
Any Traffic Mix
100% Packet
100% Packet

Figure 11 maps the functionality required by the type of all-packet transport network depicted in Figure 2 to the Alcatel-Lucent TSS product family.

Figure 11. Alcatel-Lucent TSS deployment in an All-packet Transport Network

Layer 3 Layer 3 PE PE Residential Residential Services Services TMPLS (Layer 1.5) TMPLS (Layer
Layer 3
Layer 3
PE
PE
Residential
Residential
Services
Services
TMPLS (Layer 1.5)
TMPLS (Layer 1.5)
Layer 2
Layer 2
L2(L3)
L2(L3)
Business
Business
CPE
CPE
Services
Services
CPE
CPE
CEs
CEs
High-end CPE
High-end CPE
Layer 1
Layer 1
(TDM and/or λ)
(TDM and/or λ)
XC XC
Low-end CPE
Low-end CPE
Metro Access T-Switch
Metro Access T-Switch
Metro Core T-Switch
Metro Core T-Switch
Core T-Switch
Core T-Switch
Conclusion

T-MPLS provides the capabilities that allow service providers to perform the network transformation needed to evolve their existing networks to support new all-IP services. T-MPLS allows service pro- viders to migrate to an end-to-end MPLS network while maintaining the capabilities they require and are comfortable with in their existing network. T-MPLS allows service providers to deploy MPLS with the dedicated protection mechanisms they are used to with their existing TDM infrastructure, where required (see Figure 12).

Figure 12. T-MPLS Capabilities

Packet Te chnology

Packet Te chnology

• • Packet granularity Packet granularity • • Statistical multiplexing Statistical multiplexing • •
• •
Packet granularity
Packet granularity
• •
Statistical multiplexing
Statistical multiplexing
• •
Dynamic control panel
Dynamic control panel
• •
IP/MPLS client delivery
IP/MPLS client delivery

Transport Features

Transport Features

• •

• •

• •

• •

• •

Bandwidth, guaranteed QoS

Bandwidth, guaranteed QoS

Connection manageability

Connection manageability

Optical capacity/scalability

Optical capacity/scalability

High resiliency/protection

High resiliency/protection

Multiservice support

Multiservice support

Deploying T-MPLS in the network offers:

• A packet-based, carrier-class forwarding model that can provide the necessary scalability and management simplicity for huge packet-based traffic flows. Services with bandwidth demands that range from a few kilobits per second to hundreds of megabits per second are supported within a scalable architecture where aggregates — or T-MPLS paths — are internally manipulated.

• Extensive flexibility in the creation, deployment and management of services offered, including clear architectural separation between the service-related functions of underlying transport-related technologies. This operational model allows services to be offered separately and to evolve independently. It also allows the provisioning of existing and new services independent of the transport network and the access type used.

• A clear operation streamlined to facilitate network convergence and convergence of services and effective assimilation with legacy networks via open interfaces/adaptation functionality

• Support for the evolution of existing TDM networks to the end-to-end MPLS transport infrastruc- ture required to support the new IP-based services, while allowing service providers to maintain their existing transport models with deterministic protection and Layer 2 behavior, where required

Service providers can leverage the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS to achieve their transport network transformation. The Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS has the universal capability to switch mixed traffic flows ranging from full T-MPLS packet-based to full TDM, with flexible intermediate configurations over a common wavelength multiplexing layer.

The implementation of this flexible networking, in combination with the cross-layer network man- agement provided by the Alcatel-Lucent 1350 OMS, offers the benefits of T-MPLS architecture and the graceful transformation of existing transport networks.

Acronyms

ASON

automatically switched optical network

GMPLS

generalized MPLS

IEEE

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IETF

Internet Engineering Task Force

ITU-T

International Telecommunication Union – Telecommunication Sector

LAN

local area network

LSP

label switched path

MPLS

multiprotocol label switching

OAM

operations, administration and maintenance

OIF

Optical Internetworking Forum

PBB-TE

provider backbone bridge-traffic engineering

PBT

provider backbone transport

SDH

synchronous digital hierarchy

SONET

synchronous optical network

T-MPLS

transport MPLS

TDM

time division multiplexing

TSS

Transport Service Switch

WDM

wavelength division multiplexing