Test & Measurement

Y.1564 Testing to Enable Multi-CoS Ethernet

Ethernet is still a fairly new network technology to many service providers, and these providers may not be using it to its fullest potential for transporting traffic with multiple classes of service (Multi-CoS) over the same pipe. However, that will soon change, as the applications for which they use Ethernet -- such as mobile backhaul, business services and more recently cloud services -- are set to become much more complex in the near future.

A recent move by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) reflected just how close that future is. After its most recent quarterly meeting, the MEF announced its Mobile Backhaul Initiative for 4G/LTE, which leverages the MEF 22.1 Mobile Backhaul implementation agreement, the MEF 23.1 Multi-CoS implementation agreement and a technical business paper urging service providers to move quickly to Multi-CoS support to aid in assuring a cost-effective and efficient 4G/LTE expansion.

To be sure their Ethernet links can handle Multi-CoS, not to mention the potential for bursty traffic events, service providers need a proofing mechanism that can be used at the time an Ethernet link is activated, so that they and their customers can feel confident that once in service, that Ethernet link can support any combination of traffic the 4G/LTE evolution can dish out.

It turns out that kind of pre-service validation test is already widely available: the ITU-T Y.1564 standard. Since the standard was approved about a year ago, Y.1564 test applications have been supported by virtually every test company in the Ethernet service assurance realm.

The latest Heavy Reading Insider, "Ethernet Service Activation Testing: The Y.1564 Factor," examines the benefits of this new test capability, including the value that it brings versus another traditional pre-service testing methodology based on the IETF's RFC-2544.

It's possible that Y.1564 has not been on the radar for many service providers yet, especially if they haven't done much with Multi-CoS traffic; but with several new LTE launches and expansions set to happen this year and the next, it might be time to take a closer look.

— Dan O'Shea, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Insider

Ethernet Service Activation Testing: The Y.1564 Factor, a 13-page report, is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Heavy Reading Insider, priced at $1,595. This report is available for $900. To subscribe, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/insider.

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