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Carrier Ethernet Call v40 20th January

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					JANET(UK) CARRIER ETHERNET PROJECT

Call for Participation

Carrier Ethernet project

Victor Olifer v. 4.0

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Table of Contents
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION........................................................................................................... 1 CARRIER ETHERNET PROJECT ................................................................................................... 1 1. 2.
2.1. 2.2.

INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................... 3 BACKGROUND – TECHNOLOGIES .................................................................................... 3
CARRIER ETHERNET DRIVING FORCES .................................................................................................. 3 DIFFERENT FLAVOURS OF CARRIER ETHERNET .................................................................................... 4

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

OBJECTIVES ............................................................................................................................. 5 PROJECT ACTIVITIES ........................................................................................................... 6 TESTBED ORGANISATION ................................................................................................... 7 CRITERIA FOR PARTICIPATION........................................................................................ 9 TIMESCALES .......................................................................................................................... 10 FUNDING AVAILABLE ......................................................................................................... 11 CONTACT INFORMATION.................................................................................................. 11 FORMAT AND SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS ............................................................... 12 EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS .......................................................................................... 13

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1. Introduction
Carrier Ethernet is a set of emerging technologies and transport services, which aims to combine the simplicity of Ethernet and robustness of a carrier grade technology. During the 1990s, traditional Ethernet emerged as the leading LAN technology; now Carrier Ethernet promises to do the same in the MAN&WAN category. Many vendors and providers consider Carrier Ethernet to be a very promising technology that is capable of bringing significant change to the telecommunications industry. This Call for Participation proposes a number of funded practical and theoretical activities, to investigate the functionality and maturity of Carrier Ethernet technologies: Ethernet over MPLS (EoMPLS) from the IETF and Carrier Ethernet Transport (a.k.a. PB/PBB/PBB TE family) from the IEEE. The Carrier Ethernet project will focus on evaluating the use of these technologies on JANET, taking into account the multi-domain nature of the network, and where it might be possible (or appropriate) to use different types of Carrier Ethernet technologies. The project may make use of experience gained from the recent deployment of EoMPLS on the JANET Lightpath service, which provides packet-based point-to-point circuits for the JANET community. To facilitate the practical activities a JANET-wide project testbed will be deployed. The testbed will reflect the JANET hierarchical structure of core, Regional Networks (RNs) and connected organisations. A connected organisation could just be an architectural feature, rather than a real organisation. For example, a project participant may deploy equipment to simulate a connected organisation – this does not, of course, preclude a Regional Network Operator (RNO) and one of its connected organisations from participating in the project together. As the JANET Lightpath service is already moving to a basic EoMPLS network, it is expected that the Carrier Ethernet project will primarily investigate the PBB TE technology and more advanced EoMPLS features. To avoid the disruption of the production JANET Lightpath service, all work will be carried out on the Carrier Ethernet testbed. During Summer 2008, JANET(UK) conducted local lab trials of PBB TE enabled switches from World Wide Packets (WWP) and the trial results proved the expected functionality. The project results will include activity reports and case studies to inform the JANET community on the possible uses of Carrier Ethernet technologies. Experience from the project will also be used to help shape the future development of the JANET Lightpath Service and provide input to the JANET6 project. Participation in the project is flexible; responses to the Call are welcomed from RNOs and JANETconnected organisations. The deadline for responses is 8th April 2009.

2. Background – Technologies
2.1. Carrier Ethernet driving forces
Carrier Ethernet (or more precisely Carrier Grade Ethernet) is an attempt to expand Ethernet beyond the borders of local area networks and into the territory of wide area networks. The driving force behind this expansion includes the fact that Ethernet has become a de-facto lower-layer network

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technology on LANs. Traditionally Ethernet frames were re-packaged into some other format for wide area transmission, only to be reassembled as Ethernet at the destination. So why not have Ethernet everywhere, and not only within LANs? Global availability of Ethernet-like services from service providers gives customers the ability to connect their geographically distributed networks on Layer 2 without the use of routing and routers. Such a way of connecting sites is in some cases very desirable because of its simplicity and independence from a provider’s IP infrastructure. There is another and also very important reason for the Ethernet expansion – Ethernet interfaces are normally cheap in comparison to other technologies, as its popularity has allowed for mass production and thus cheaper unit prices. Previously this did not come without hidden costs – unlike Ethernet, other technologies have far more sophisticated failure and error detection systems built in which enable more accurate, and thus faster, tracing and rectifying of faults. The development of equivalent mechanisms for Ethernet is part of what spawned the Carrier Ethernet variant of the protocol. The difference in cost of equipment is significant if you compare Ethernet equipment with SDH. SDH is the technology of choice which has been used by communications carriers for building robust and high-speed WAN circuits for many years. It is feature-rich in detecting, signalling and recovering from failures. However this comes at a high financial cost, and thus SDH could be the main target for replacement by Carrier Ethernet.

2.2. Different flavours of Carrier Ethernet
It is very useful to understand that there are actually two different areas under the Carrier Ethernet umbrella: one is “Ethernet as an internal carrier transport technology” a.k.a. Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET) and another one is “Ethernet as a carrier service” a.k.a. “Ethernet over something”, where something is a technology other than Ethernet carrier grade which a provider uses internally but ‘wraps’ into the Ethernet cover so that for end users it looks like Ethernet. While those areas obviously overlap – when Carrier Ethernet Transport is used for providing Ethernet service for customers – understanding this difference helps substantially to sort out all Carrier Ethernet related issues. Ethernet as a carrier service takes the customer’s point of view, which means that a carrier network has an Ethernet user network interface which customers can use to connect their sites on Layer 2 as a VLAN. Service providers do not take into account any IP or other Layer 3 protocol information about the customers’ networks – a Carrier Ethernet link simply transports frames between the two endpoints, giving the illusion that they are directly connected. However, different transport technologies can operate within the service provider network to underpin a global Ethernet service. Currently three options are available: Ethernet itself , IP/MPLS and Optical Transport (SDH, OTN, DWDM). Respectively, three versions of Carrier Ethernet service are available: Carrier Ethernet Transport, Ethernet over MPLS and Ethernet over Transport. The project will investigate only packet-based versions of Carrier Ethernet, i.e. Carrier Ethernet Transport and Ethernet over MPLS. Ethernet over MPLS (EoMPLS) MPLS has several carrier grade-like features: control over traffic paths, resilience and troubleshooting functionality. This technology is quite mature (it is has been around for more than 10 years) with successful deployment by large providers, which has also contributed towards its use as an internal provider technology for providing Ethernet as a service for end customers. The IETF (which standardised MPLS) has developed several standards describing different applications of EoMPLS: Virtual Private Wire Service (VPWS) and Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS). VPWS provides point-to-point type connections while VPLS provides LAN-style any-to-any connectivity. Both VPWS and VPLS support standard Ethernet User-Network Interface (UNI).

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The maturity of EoMPLS compared to emerging CET technologies was the main reason for its selection for the Lightpath service.

Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET) Several strands of improvements aim to transform Ethernet as a carrier grade transport technology a.k.a. Carrier Ethernet Transport. It is worth stressing that these target both the external (a service for customers) and internal (a reliable transport for connecting provider’s equipment) aspects of a provider’s business. The main standards bodies working in the Ethernet improvement area are the IEEE, the ITU-T and to a lesser extent the IETF. • De-coupling of provider and user networks. If a provider network and all customer sites worked as a single LAN then the result would be hardly manageable. The IEEE has developed two standards: Provider Bridges (PB) and Provider Backbone Bridges (PBB). PB separates provider VLAN tags from customer tags while PBB goes further and separates MAC addresses as well by encapsulation of a user Ethernet frame into a provider frame. Both PB and PBB support point-to-point (VPWS) and multipoint-to-multipoint (VPLS-style) types of connectivity. Traffic engineering, bandwidth guarantees and QoS. Several standards have been or are developed to support these very desirable and interrelated features. One of the key standards here is PBB TE which is based on the Nortel proprietary PBT (Provider Backbone Transport) technology and is expected to be complete by the end of 2009. PBB TE adds support to PBB for deterministic paths and thus provides the feature set needed for providing bandwidth guarantees, resilience and robust QoS. Currently PBB TE only supports point-to-point connections but as the standardisation of this technology is not finalised the situation may have changed in the future. Resilience. The main tool for supporting resilience in LANs – the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) – does not satisfy the requirements of modern networks for fast switching to an alternative route when a failure occurs. Neither do the recent improvements in STP such as Rapid STP or Multiple STP. Currently the IEEE is working on two standards in this area which are based on different approaches: PBB TE which uses a protection switching mechanism based on a deterministic backup path (in SDH style) and Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) which is going to use link-state routing protocols for finding the proper topology (in a similar fashion to link-state IP routing protocols such as OSPF and IS-IS). Operation, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) has probably been (and still is) the main concern of providers who were looking at Ethernet as a carrier technology. Traditional Ethernet supports no OAM functionality at all; the recent standards 802.1ag and 802.3ah from the IEEE and Y.1731 from the ITU-T bridge this gap.

•

•

•

It should be noted that CET is a less mature technology than EoMPLS, and the majority of the CET standards were only finalised between 2006-2008 years; indeed some are still under development.

3. Objectives
• To gain practical experience with Carrier Ethernet by trialling its core functionality in a multidomain (the core and the regional prototype networks) and multi-technology (EoMPLS and PBB/PBB-TE) environment.

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• • • • •

To compare two main strands of Carrier Ethernet – EoMPLS and PBB – against each other in different scenarios (e.g. within a core or a RN; for point-to-point or any-to-any connectivity). To investigate the manageability of Carrier Ethernet within a multi-domain and multitechnology environment (path provisioning, troubleshooting). To evaluate the deployment of Carrier Ethernet on JANET (for the core, for RNs, for IP and Lightpath traffic) and to identify areas for the further investigation. To evaluate the state of standardisation for Carrier Ethernet technologies. To analyse third-party experience in the Carrier Ethernet area.

4. Project activities
The project includes two types of activities: practical and theoretical. Practical activities consist of a number of trials, while theoretical activities involve research and analysis and drawing on experience (our own and third-party) to produce appropriate documentation that is useful for the JANET community.

Practical (trialling) activities The practical activities require a testbed within the participant’s network to be established. This testbed will be integrated with testbed established in the core (see Fig.1 in section 5). T1. To investigate the core functionality and manageability of Carrier Ethernet in multi-domain environments (core, Regional Network and site), using multiple technologies (EoMPLS and PBB/PBB-TE) for point-to-point connections. T2. To investigate the capability of Carrier Ethernet to provide bandwidth and QoS guarantees on end-to-end basis. T3. To understand the possible and practical ways of path provisioning and automation (including both out-of-band (e.g. NMS) and in-band (e.g. (G)MPLS) approaches). T4. To investigate multipoint-to-multipoint type connectivity (e.g. VPLS). T5. To investigate how these connections can be made resilient. T6. To evaluate the risks involved in combining IP and Lightpath traffic within the same box. Participation in activity T1 is mandatory for participants who would like to participate in practical activities; all others activities are optional. Interest to participate in particular activities should be clearly indicated.

Theoretical activities The theoretical activities aim to produce the documents that analyse all aspects of Carrier Ethernet technologies. Any available sources may be used for such an analysis, e.g. the results of the project

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trials; a participant’s own experience and expertise; third-party experience; published standards etc. Participation in any of the theoretical activities does not require a participant to establish a testbed; however, for analysing the project test results appropriate collaboration with the participants will be required. D1. Current status of standardisation of Carrier Ethernet technologies. D2. Evaluation of the equipment in the marketplace. D3. Comparison of EoMPLS against PBB/PBB-TE: benefits and drawbacks; evaluate and summarise which one of the technologies has more benefits to JANET. D4. Case studies of Carrier Ethernet deployment. D5. Potential benefits or drawbacks of Carrier Ethernet as a provider internal transport technology. For example restoration times, flexibility, bandwidth overheads, the risks of complexity at both layer 2 and layer 3 of a network.

5. Testbed organisation
The testbed to be built will resemble a production infrastructure as closely as possible. In particular, the structure must reflect the multi-domain nature of JANET. The suggested testbed architecture is highlighted in Fig.1. The testbed will consist of a core network part managed by JANET(UK), and the Regional and site networks will be the responsibility of the project participants. The testbed core will use two separate infrastructures: EoMPLS and PBB/PBB TE (at the time of writing this call, it is assumed that the same box cannot support both technologies). It is possible that because of some restrictions (e.g. core wavelengths available) the testbed will be phased so that the PBB/PBB TE core infrastructure will be built first and then it will be replaced by the EoMPLS one. Either the core boxes will be installed at RNEPs (Regional Network Entry Points) of those RNOs which participate in the project practical activities and hence will need to connect their equipment to the testbed core; or the RNO could assist one of its sites in connecting to the testbed by either providing a transparent link across their network, or space at the RNEP for the site to place its equipment, which in turn allows the site to connect to the testbed core.

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Each project participant (a RNO or a JANET-connected organisation) participating in the practical activity(ies) will build its own testbed, which must support at least one of the tested technologies, i.e. EoMPLS or PBB/PBB TE. The participant network will be connected to the core network in order to carry out the practical work. The testbed deployed by the project participant will be under its own management. JANET-connected organisations can connect their testbed networks to the testbed core in two ways: by directly placing a box at an RNEP covered by the testbed (as Org. D in Fig.1); or through a peripheral part of the testbed built by a RNO (as Org. B in Fig.1). The testbed diagram shown in Fig.1 is simplified and only reflects the main principles of the project testbed which will be built in due course. The testbed may be phased so that the PBB/PBB TE core infrastructure will be built first and then possibly replaced with EoMPLS. The diagram shows three-node participant testbeds within an RNO network; however one or two-node test networks are also possible. EoMPLS and PBB/PBB TE core boxes on the diagram may physically be the same boxes but with EoMPLS or PBB/PBB TE functionality activated.

6. Criteria for participation
Responses to this call are welcomed from Regional Network Operators (RNOs) and JANETconnected organisations.

Flexibility Organisations can participate in the project in different ways by selecting one or more activities according to their preferences and resources. Participation in theoretical activities will not necessarily require the deployment of a testbed. However, participation in practical activities will require a testbed to be established. Participation in the practical activities Regional Network Operators A RNO should be able to build its own part of the testbed, consisting of one or more nodes supporting PBB/PBB-TE or EoMPLS. This testbed will be connected to the core testbed at one RNEP of the RNO. To establish the testbed the RNO will be required to: buy the equipment; deploy the equipment; manage its own part of the testbed and participation in common tests. RNOs who will manage to build a three or more node testbed (a three-node configuration is the minimal requirement for testing the majority of Carrier Ethernet functions) will be able to do both local and JANET-wide tests with other participants over the core testbed. RNOs who have a one or two-node testbed will be able to do only JANET-wide tests.

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JANET-connected organisations

A JANET-connected organisation (e.g. university, FE college) can participate in the practical activity in two ways. First, an organisation can participate in co-operation with the Regional Network Operator it is connected to. Second, an organisation can participate on its own but in such a case an organisation should:

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• •

Be reachable by a JANET Lightpath circuit which will be used for connecting the organisation testbed to the core testbed. Be able to build its own part of the testbed which should consist of one or more nodes supporting PBB/PBB-TE or EoMPLS. To establish the testbed the organisation will be required to: buy the equipment; deploy the equipment; manage its own part of the testbed and participation in common tests. Organisations who manage to build a three or more node testbed (a three-node configuration is the minimal requirement for testing majority of Carrier Ethernet functions) will be able to do both local and JANET-wide tests with other participants over the core testbed. Organisations that will have a one or two-node testbed will be able to do only JANET-wide tests together/via their RNO, as well as local tests with their RNO (subject to the RNO’s participation and the testbed deployed).

7. Timescales
Responses to this call should be returned to arrive no later than 12 noon on 8th April 2009. The overall project timescales as follows:

Activity Responses to Call of Participation Clarification meeting with potential partners Organisation selection and pre-selection notification Contracts signed Core testbed established Kick-off meeting Activities start First year progress meeting Deliverables to JANET(UK) editorial board Project final meeting

Date 12 noon 8th April 2009 Mid April 2009 End April 2009 May 2009 End May 2009 Early June 2009 Mid June 2009 June 2010 February 2011 May 2011

The timescales may change if a procurement of the testbed equipment is required.

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8. Funding available
For participation in practical activity(es) funding will consists of two parts: • • Effort: A maximum of £5000 per organisation for the duration of the project, Testbed equipment: will be considered individually on a case by case basis.

For participation in theoretical activity: • • Large reports: A maximum of £5000. Small reports: A maximum of £2000.

9. Contact information
For further information about this Call, please contact: Don Bishop, Network Development Project Manager at JANET(UK). Contact details: Email: don.bishop@ja.net Telephone: 01235 822 238 Victor Olifer, Network Development Technical Specialist at JANET(UK). Contact details: Email: Telephone: victor.olifer@ja.net 01235 822 243

In the event of Don or Victor being unavailable, please refer any queries to Rina Samani (rina.samani@ja.net, 01235 822 260).

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10. Format and submission of proposals
A single response to this call is expected from a Regional Network Operator or a JANETconnected organisation (university, FE institution) that wishes to participate in this project. A joint response from an RNO and a JANET-connected organisation can also be submitted. Proposals should consist of a maximum of four pages of A4 paper in the following format: A. Participating organisation’s (or organisations’ if it is a combined RNO/JANET-connected organisation response) details. To include: contact details for an individual (or individuals) to whom clarification queries and subsequent progress of the contractual side of the application may be addressed. B. Identification of the activity(ies) within the overall programme which the respondent proposes to undertake, using the designation conventions of this document (e.g. T1, D1 etc.) and a summary of the actions proposed to meet this goal. C. Statement of reasons for participation in the project and expected results. D. For an organisation wishing to participate in practical activity(ies) relevant details of its network and possible applications of Carrier Ethernet on it should be provided. E. Details of the personnel to be assigned to the trial, including any relevant experience (if any) with the technologies involved, and any other resources to be devoted to the trial(s). Responses to the call should be completed and signed by the Head of Computing Department or equivalent and returned by post, to arrive no later than 12 noon on 8th April 2009 to: Don Bishop at the following address: JANET(UK), Lumen House, Library Avenue, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, UK OX11 0SG (Note: email submissions are acceptable but must be followed by a signed proposal by post. Please send to don.bishop@ja.net) JANET(UK) will confirm receipt of all proposals by email if requested and an email address is supplied.

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11. Evaluation of proposals
The selection process will be carried out by JANET(UK). The criteria for selection will be: • • • • • Reasons for participation in the project.

Meeting the core requirements of the activity(ies) proposed.

Availability of appropriate expertise.

Realistic assignment of resources to the selected activity(ies).

Outline of an appropriate infrastructure on which to implement a testbed (for practical activities only).

•

Complementary to other current development programmes at the respondent site.

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Description: Carrier Ethernet Call v40 20th January