New round of GMPLS tests completed at UNH InterOperability Laboratory

September 27, 2004 Durham, NH--Barriers are falling to allow tier 1 Internet service providers to sell bandwidth to customers more efficiently and to offer other carriers large chunks of wholesale bandwidth on optical networks, testing at the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has suggested.

September 27, 2004 Durham, NH--Barriers are falling to allow tier 1 Internet service providers to sell bandwidth to customers more efficiently and to offer other carriers large chunks of wholesale bandwidth on optical networks, testing at the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has suggested.

The UNH-IOL this week concluded the second in an ongoing series of Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) tests designed to demonstrate some of the technology's newest features in a multi-vendor network. Participants included Japanese service provider Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) and optical equipment and IP routing companies Agilent Technologies, Juniper Networks, Lambda Optical Systems, Navtel Communications, Sycamore Networks, and Tellabs.

The testing, held September 20-26, focused on optical signaling, routing and management (OSRM), one of several new technologies devised to simplify how Internet providers manage and deliver bandwidth to their customers. The testing probed the functionality of various aspects of hierarchical label switched path (LSP) Setup and Teardown (graceful), Traffic Engineering capabilities in GMPLS such as OSPF-TE, Constrained Shortest Path First (CSPF), LSP re-optimization, Bandwidth on Demand and Multi-layer Cut Through. During several hours of the test event, the participants accessed the public Internet across a provisioned Layer 1 VPN using e-mail and Web browsing. To further essay the stability of GMPLS, this part of the testing involved both the current Internet protocol and IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol.

The tests demonstrated that Layer 1 VPNs can be provisioned dynamically, without laying new cable. Layer 1 VPNs allow for super-wide bandwidth and extremely high quality, easily customized services at a relatively low cost. OSRM essentially gives carriers a "multi-service backbone," allowing a single carrier to support multiple service networks over one transport network of existing lines. This allows service providers to easily provision new customers and reallocate bandwidth if a customer goes away. In addition to allowing carriers to sell or lease wholesale optical network bandwidth to other carriers, OSRM could also be a boost for customers who want to build their own optical networks but do not want to pay the large capital and operational expenditures associated with building new pipes.

"We've built our test suites for GMPLS around service providers' demands rather than simple conformance or interoperability scenarios," said Henry He, UNH-IOL MPLS Services Consortium engineer and technical lead for the test. "Much of what we've seen here is persuasive evidence that large carriers should soon have the option of deploying Layer 1 VPNs to expand their optical service offerings."

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 the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and International Telecommunication Union Standardization Sector (ITU-T). It was tailored to give participants the opportunity to test their OSRM equipment in a neutral setting and receive valuable feedback that could help refine their products and solutions.

"In addition to accelerating the deployment of OSRM-related technologies, interoperability test events are an extremely powerful way to bring vendor implementations to carrier-grade quality and to demonstrate their readiness for the market," said Takumi Ohba, a senior research engineer at NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories.

For more information, visit the OSRM Test event's Web page at: www.iol.unh.edu/consortiums/osrm.

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