November 16, 2011
The International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) has opened the possibility for a formally split MPLS-TP standard.
Two contrasting approaches for MPLS-TP management, G.8113.1 and G.8113.2, could both be "conditionally approved" at the next meeting of ITU-T Study Group 15, in December, an ITU spokesman tells Light Reading via email. It's a compromise brokered by the Study Group's chairman.
This would give official standards-body legitimacy to G.8113.1, a proposal that uses the ITU's Y.1731 recommendation as a basis for operations, administration and management (OAM). There's been vocal opposition to G.8113.1, as some vendors would prefer to use plain multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) management -- which is the G.8113.2 proposal.
One catch is that neither recommendation will get approved unless the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) assigns a code point to G.8113.1 within four weeks. A code point is an identifier letting the network know what's inside a packet; in this case it would be a way of detecting OAM packets that are using G.8113.1.
If G.8113.1 doesn't get its code point in time, then the ITU-T won't approve either of the OAM proposals, the spokesman adds.
The debate about OAM has been intense. G.8113.1 is supported by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and by carriers China Mobile Communications Corp. and Telecom Italia (TIM) . The G.8113.2 camp, meanwhile, counts Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) among its supporters. Here's our coverage of the MPLS-TP OAM saga:
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