Multi-vendor GMPLS test demonstrates stability of IP-based optical network technology

21 January 2004 Durham, NH Lightwave -- The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has concluded a series of generalized multi-protocol label switching (GMPLS) tests, held Jan. 12-16. Participants included Japanese service provider Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) and optical equipment and Internet-Protocol (IP) routing companies Alcatel, Agilent Technologies, Juniper Networks, Navtel Communications, Movaz Networks, and Sycamore Networks.

21 January 2004 Durham, NH Lightwave -- The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has concluded a series of generalized multi-protocol label switching (GMPLS) tests, held Jan. 12-16. Participants included Japanese service provider Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) and optical equipment and Internet-Protocol (IP) routing companies Alcatel, Agilent Technologies, Juniper Networks, Navtel Communications, Movaz Networks, and Sycamore Networks.

The event tested several aspects that had never been assayed in a realistic multi-vendor network. Successful first-time testing included certain aspects of failure recovery and dynamic provisioning with Constrained Shortest Path First (CSPF) computation using the information advertised by GMPLS OSPF-TE. The original test items were prepared among participants to reflect the most up-to-date requirements of today's network and service scenarios, say UNH-IOL representatives. These included stability testing, control channel fault handling, and data channel failure recovery. The optical signaling, routing, and management (OSRM) test event showed that IP-based optical network technology is maturing for commercial use.

"The goal of our testing was to build a detailed interoperable solution driven by service providers' demands, but we pushed GMPLS testing into altogether new territory," reports Ben Schultz, manager of the UNH-IOL's OSRM test event. "Beyond interoperability and basic network behavior, the event indicated that the technology is further along and more stable than is generally believed."

The testing was intended to improve interoperability of products supporting the OSRM functions specified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) with future expansion of scope for Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and International Telecommunication Union Standardization Sector (ITU-T). It was tailored to give participants the opportunity to test their OSRM fuctionality in a neutral setting and receive valuable feedback that could help refine their products and solutions.

"Interoperability testing of the OSRM-related technology is extremely valuable as the new OSRM-related standards become more carrier-level grade, reflecting carrier's real-world requirements," adds Ichiro Inoue, a senior research engineer of NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories.

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