ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

The International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) is satisfied with an option for handling the dispute over MPLS-TP operations, administration and maintenance (OAM).

But as readers point out in our message board below, the answer still needs an OK from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) , the governing body for MPLS and MPLS-TP standards. Specifically, the IETF needs to assign a code point, an identifier that would flag certain packets as using the ITU's G.8113.1 version of OAM.

As Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. employee Huub van Helvoort pointed out on our message boards early Tuesday morning, the idea is to craft a compromise whereby the ITU's Y.1731-based option for OAM (known as G.8113.1) would become an ITU recommendation, but would not be included in the "MPLS" definitions set by the IETF.

There had been industry opposition to G.8113.1, with some vendors preferring plain multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) management -- which is the G.8113.2 proposal. G.8113.1 will, as expected, have its name changed to disconnect it from "MPLS" proper. The new name is: "Alternative mechanisms for Operations, Administration and Maintenance of MPLS-TP networks using the tools defined in G.8013/Y.1731."

Think that's long and unwieldy? The G.8113.2 name is: "Operations, Administration and Maintenance mechanisms for MPLS-TP networks using the tools defined for MPLS."

So there.

The relevant ITU documents can be found here.

Here's our coverage of the MPLS-TP OAM saga:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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schlettie 12/5/2012 | 4:47:44 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

I read the ITU-T Newslog links, and I read the relevant IETF mailing lists.  I don't see any evidence that the IETF has agreed to anything the ITU-T has proposed regarding G.8113.1.  As the IETF chair stated in one of the Newslog articles, "IETF consensus continues to be required to allocate the code point."

Graybeard 12/5/2012 | 4:47:43 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer <div style="margin-top: 3px;">&nbsp;</div>

Schlettie is right, Huub is wrong. There is no agreement (other than the Joint Working Team agreement from years ago, which requires bringing the work into the IETF). I don't see how posting this sort of mis-information does service to the ITU-T, the IETF, or to&nbsp;anyone else.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:42 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

Guys -- you're right; I overreached here. My apologies.

It's the result of having to rifle through the documents while trying to catch a plane Tuesday morning.&nbsp; I'll submit some revisions overnight.

amitawal 12/5/2012 | 4:47:42 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

I hope Craig updates the article to reflect this. Without a code point allocation, there's no meaning to this.

Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:41 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

Reading through the posts, it sounds like there has been no change of position from either side. Has the IETF made any official statement on this? Or can someone representing IETF clarify?

If there is no code point allocation, as the poster has commented, then I would view this as the battle rages on.


mfaisalk 12/5/2012 | 4:47:41 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

so what is the &nbsp;problem having two standards on MPLS-TP OAM. The alternative MPLS-TP is addressing the needs of the tranport operators and is already used by a number of them. The logic that it will make the equipment more expensive since the equipment has to support both standards to me is not a valid one. For the time being , it may be but their would be sizeable number of operators who would just settle for the transport based version even if it is the only supported one on the equipment without asking for the support of both standards on the equipment.&nbsp;Comparing it with other technologies, e.g&nbsp;LTE, there are many flavours of the frequency bands that&nbsp; vendors have to support since there is no one industry standard on which band to use. So the practice of multi standard support is not something uncommon in this industry. Then lets not forget the SONET and SDH case which are quite succesfully working in different parts of the world....

chechaco 12/5/2012 | 4:47:41 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

The problem is obvious - ensuring interoperability and interworking between the two. Former requires dynamic advertisement of capabilities, latter is for e2e OAM over multiple administrative domains. Adding more options rarely makes product solution better. Y.1731 adaptation is not technically better then IETF OAM toolset. Even more, currently G.8113.1 addresses fewer constructs than IETF's suite. The argument is not technical but purely political "we have installed base".

schlettie 12/5/2012 | 4:47:41 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

Official statements of the IETF are announced here:


and discussed here:



schlettie 12/5/2012 | 4:47:40 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

The IETF chair has posted an official statement here:


Sterling Perrin 12/5/2012 | 4:47:38 PM
re: ITU Pushes Toward MPLS-TP Answer

Thank you Schlettie. This IETF/ITU exchange clarifies a great deal. It looks like&nbsp;this isn't over yet ...&nbsp;

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