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Optical/IP

Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Some unexpected excitement came to this week's Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meetings in Beijing as supporters of Transport MPLS (T-MPLS) apparently got scolded for staging a virtual denial-of-service attack on the proceedings.

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

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opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 4:18:07 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

"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 SpA (NYSE: TI),"


 


I'll state upfront that I don't know much about this technology one way or the other. But it doesn't look like it is vendors getting shouted down. It looks like it is end-users. Maybe these committees need to think about what it means when they are shouting down the end-users of the technology.

Huub_van_Helvoort 12/5/2012 | 4:18:06 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Indeed these are the end-users that are shouted down, see my previous reply.


The supporting end-users are major operators from China and Europe. They are listed in the drafts I mention in the other reply.

Huub_van_Helvoort 12/5/2012 | 4:18:06 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down




"On the recording, T-MPLS supporters, including two identifying themselves as being from China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) and Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI), 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."


 

<hr>




What you call T-MPLS supporters are in fact MPLS-TP supporters and they wanted to have a chance to present draft-fang-mpls-tp-oam-considerations that documents their concern with the progress of MPLS-TP OAM. This draft also presents figures of nodes deployed in operational networks that actually use and will soon use MPLS-TP OAM based on draft-bhh-mpls-tp-oam-y1731.


I was at the microphone asking why I was not allowed to present draft-bhh-mpls-tp-oam-y1731 which is indeed edited by employees of Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei Technologies, but there are many more co-authors that support the text in that draft.



&nbsp;


&nbsp;

cross 12/5/2012 | 4:18:05 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Craig, good summary of a topic that has become a political mine field in the past two years.


We have been caught in the middle of the debate, with excerpts of our EANTC test reports frequently being quoted by different industry players. We have actually never been in favor of either protection variant - we just test innovative, multi-vendor interoperable solutions publicly to let service providers decide how they feel about it. In lack of a standard, we tested all candidates available. This is good IETF style and actually used to be an RFC requirement: Create at least two independent implementations and test them against each other. But documenting those pre-draft standard MPLS-TP test results became a challenge like creating a joint communiqu&eacute; for a climate conference.


What the article did not say was that the last IETF meeting helped to push forward some MPLS-TP IETF drafts.&nbsp; Quite a few vendors are interested in testing their new implementations for interoperability with us, and I hope that we will be able to showcase some progress at our MPLS &amp; Ethernet World Congress interoperability test in Paris in February 2011. The results will be publicly available as always.


MPLS-TP per se could become a great technology I believe.&nbsp; It has a window of opportunity tied to SDH/SONET network substitution and next-generation integrated packet-optical transport networks, though.&nbsp; I am worried too much time passes with vendors fighting over a single topic.&nbsp; There are a few more technical areas to be sorted out to make MPLS-TP a complete and consistent technology.


Carsten Rossenhoevel / EANTC


&nbsp;

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 4:18:04 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Is it not typically the case that these standards meetings are dominated by large equipment vendors?


Mark Lutkowitz, Telecom Pragmatics

Telco 12/5/2012 | 4:18:02 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

From what is presented, the Draft should have been delivered to committee prior to the face-to-face.&nbsp; Since the drafts is not realized well in advance for prior distribution, the committee should have accepted without presentation yet immediately recoginizing the importance of incorporating or even scheduling additional committee activity via the email list.&nbsp; All hindsight in the heat of discussion though.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;


To speak to the technology though, I have worked with several standards presentations where the client manufactured prior to adoption.&nbsp; The result, the customers (service providers) deployed the manufactured solution, not the standards in 1/3rd of the PON deployments.&nbsp; In the second instance two tier one and four tier two CATV providers deployed the tested and pre-ratified carosoul and STB players two years before DOCSIS 3 was ratified.&nbsp;


The point being defacto standard is sometimes more important than the standards ratification.&nbsp; The modifications SoC allows for significant changes in the future.&nbsp; The carriers realize this. So Alcatel and certainly Huawei are meeting the present needs of carrier who will come into compliance later one.&nbsp; Late entrant carriers will roll-out with a standards based technology.&nbsp; Nobody will be hurried or late, the manufacture must decide where they want to play.&nbsp; (by the way, where is spell check)

corwin0 12/5/2012 | 4:18:00 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Actually - there were a number of customers who were part of the "shouting down" crowd. &nbsp;In reality, there seems to be a small number of carriers, who may have rolled the dice on pre-standard technology with the promise of that technology becoming standardized. &nbsp;That is always a gamble. &nbsp;The fact that this has been standards-shopped to death, been the subject of multiple ITU-IETF agreements, and it still gets shopped around and brought back. &nbsp;The working group reached rough&nbsp;consensus&nbsp;on a set of protection mechanisms to meet the MPLS-TP requirements. &nbsp;A vocal minority doesn't like the choice, mainly because they gambled, and don't want to loose. &nbsp;


The option is that the IETF standardize two&nbsp;incompatible&nbsp;protection standards that can both be called MPLS-TP. &nbsp;Would that be helpful to the industry?


&nbsp;

Elton2010 12/5/2012 | 4:17:59 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down <div>


2008, ITU-T and IETF agree to work together on mpls-tp, itu-t experts join ietf meeting to contribute draft, one of is draft-bhh, it is supported by larger number of providers and venders. But IETF wg chair don't like it, he pushed another similar draft based on bfd to become wg doc though it is not consensus in ietf mpls group and din't give chance to discuss draft-bhh.


AD director stated in the meeting: only issue can be discussed in meeting after it is discussed in ietf mailist. That&rsquo;s not true, if you see agenda of mpls agenda for ietf79, most drafts discussed in meeting in agenda are not discussed in maillist!


The truth is:


MPLS-TP OAM based on Y.1731 is widely test and&nbsp;pass field trail, it is proven work well&nbsp;in packet&nbsp;transport&nbsp;network.


IETF is&nbsp;dominated by Cisco, others such NSN and Juniper followed Cisco, they don't like it, they want their router to occupy the transport market, that's the reason they block draft-bhh.

</div>
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:17:59 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Tera -- End users, yes, but it's also vendors who are pushing Y.1731, namely AlcaLu and Huawei.&nbsp; Huub was among the folks speaking out, as he's noted here.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:17:58 PM
re: Rumor: T-MPLS Group Gets Shouted Down

Carsten - thanks for the input and observations. I don't doubt that your group often gets caught in the middle of these things. Thanks also for pointing out the progress MPLS-TP made.&nbsp;Sounds like a lot of people are already looking ahead to the Paris tests.

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