OIF tackles security issues for optical industry

August 12, 2002--Leaders of the optical networking industry met last week in Copenhagen at the latest quarterly meeting of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) to discuss plans for enhancing the security of the next generation of optical networks.

Leaders of the optical networking industry met last week in Copenhagen at the latest quarterly meeting of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) to discuss plans for enhancing the security of the next generation of optical networks.

Recognized network security experts from government and industry, in attendance during the July meeting, appealed to the OIF to begin a new project to develop specifications for auditing logging and providing security of management interfaces to optical network elements.

"The implementation agreements that we expect to develop from this project will assist customers in protection against denial of service, unauthorized access and/or modification of network elements and data," says Doug Zuckerman, chair of OIF's Operations Administration, Maintenance and Provisioning (OAM&P) Working Group. "While the OIF has included security in the UNI 1.0 and UNI 2.0 IAs and as part of existing OAM&P projects, this will mark the first time security is addressed in a standalone fashion."

An implementation agreement (OIF-CDR-01.0) outlining the Call Detail Records (CDR) for User-Network Interface (UNI) 1.0 billing has passed principal ballot providing both carriers and suppliers with an agreement on CDR procedures and formats. The CDR IA supplements the UNI 1.0 signaling IA, which enables dynamic establishment of optical connections. Traditionally, optical connections have been billed on a flat-rate basis without regard to usage. CDR-01.0 allows carriers to capture usage records on optical connections thus offering usage-based billing for optical services.

As part of the evolutionary process to reduce cost, size and power, the OIF Physical Link Layer (PLL) Working Group kicked off a study of high-speed electrical I/O technology for data transfer within the network element. It is anticipated that the study will focus on serial I/O technology in the 5 -12.5 Gbps range. Faster I/O will offer the possibility of implementing single lane OC-192 SERDES to Framer (SFI) interface and higher bandwidth back plane (TFI) connections. An interim PLL meeting is planned for October 2002 to define the objectives and requirements for this effort.

OIF board member Tom Afferton has been asked to present the progress of optical internetworking to the FCC Technological Advisory Council (TAC) in September. The TAC is a panel of industry and academic individual professionals whose role is to advise and educate the FCC on emerging and future technologies.

"The OIF continues to break new ground in many technical areas, and I am confident that the OIF's technical work, both completed and in progress, has far reaching significance for the industry," said Sid Chaudhuri, president of the OIF. "It does not surprise me that other groups in the industry are interesting in hearing about the OIF's progress and perspective on optical networking technology. The forum's significant progress with developing IAs for cost-effective and robust optical internetworking makes it one of the industry's most influential groups."

For more information on the OIF, contact their website at www.oifforum.com.

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