Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down
According to an audio clip called to Light Reading's attention by a source requesting anonymity, T-MPLS supporters tried to get their IETF draft discussed in the MPLS working group's session on Monday, kicking off 12 minutes of bickering that apparently drew in quite a few participants.
Not all of the discussion is audible. While the clip is supposedly an official recording and doesn't sound like a bootleg, only a couple of microphones in the room were captured on tape.
Even so, the direction of the argument is clear, as is the annoyance of the people on both sides. "No! It's not a denial of service attack! It's trying to solve the problem," one of the T-MPLS supporters says.
At one point, things get so unruly that someone -- possibly the working group chairman -- lays down the law: Either stop trying to bring that draft into the discussion, or the meeting will shut down.
"Hey! Children!" he says (getting some laughs). "An observation. I have heard requests to present material to the working group. We do not typically present drafts to working groups. We discuss drafts on mailing lists, and we come together to discuss the issues and resolve the issues that have been raised on the mailing lists."
The debate is about the standardization of MPLS - Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), which is being handled jointly by the IETF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) . The problem is that some vendors and carriers favored T-MPLS early on. It seems they're now trying to get ITU Y.1731, the Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) part of T-MPLS, inserted into the MPLS-TP standard. (See MPLS-TP Delays Keep T-MPLS Alive.)
On the recording, T-MPLS supporters, including two identifying themselves as being from China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) and Telecom Italia (TIM) , apparently want the chance to present to the working group a recent revision of what's called the BHH draft, an IETF document about the use of Y.1731 in MPLS-TP.
That draft was written by employees of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , both of which have shipped equipment supporting the incomplete T-MPLS standard.
One representative notes that three Chinese operators, along with Telecom Italia and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) have all "input their requirements for the MPLS-TP OAM mechanisms," apparently in support of the BHH draft or a similar Y.1731 proposal.
The working group's organizers seem to have a valid point about the BHH draft not being properly added to the agenda. Separately, though, many group members were obviously exasperated to hear T-MPLS come up again.
"We have a very full agenda, and I don't think there's a lot of point in repeating the same arguments we've had at every IETF [gathering] in the last two years," one participant says.
"Should we do it six times? Eight times? Twelve times? Should we do it every meeting for 20 years?" another person asks.
It's not clear on the audio clip whether the issue got completely resolved, but it does sound like the T-MPLS camp lost the argument. It doesn't sound like this is over.
"There was a huge discussion here. There were many concerns. There was a major complaint about the fairness of the process. I want this recorded in the minutes of the meeting," one T-MPLS supporter vents on the recording.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading