OIF establishes 2002 agenda

Nov. 19, 2001-The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) completed its year-end meeting in Dallas, November 6-8 with four new technical projects approved by the membership. Most significant is the approval by members to develop an implementation agreement (IA) for Intra-Carrier Network-to-Network Interface (NNI). Other projects will address UNI 2.0, billing for UNI 1.0 and SFI-4, phase 2.

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) completed its year-end meeting in Dallas, November 6-8 with four new technical projects approved by the membership. Most significant is the approval by members to develop an implementation agreement (IA) for Intra-Carrier Network-to-Network Interface (NNI). Other projects will address UNI 2.0, billing for UNI 1.0 and SFI-4, phase 2.

OIF members also elected Cary Wright of Agilent as the Interoperability Working Group chairman and Mike Lerer of Avici as the Physical & Link Layer Working Group chairman. Additionally, the OIF has established a liaison with ITU-T Study Group 15, which develops transmission layer standards for optical and other networks and systems.

At the Dallas meeting, OIF members defined the scope for technical work on the NNI, addressing how optical equipment from different vendors can interoperate while under the common control of a single carrier. This intra-carrier NNI will enable optical networks to cooperate in establishing new connections while reacting to failures and identifying faults.

"The NNI project is important to carriers because it addresses the real problem of integrating control of equipment from multiple vendors" said Thomas Afferton, OIF treasurer and representative from AT&T. "The establishment of an NNI implementation agreement will enable carriers to offer advanced dynamic optical services over a wider scope, from access to metro to long haul networks."

As the recently completed UNI 1.0 standard moved through the final approval steps, members worked to identify additional features that should be packaged into follow-on work on UNI. The resulting project, UNI 2.0, addresses a number of areas including security, bandwidth modification, extension to physical layers such as Ethernet and the ability to establish multiple connections with a single call.

UNI 1.0 provides the technical foundation to provide new services that could be a significant profit center for carriers. The new project for call detail records for UNI 1.0 billing provides the basis for generating billing records based on connections initiated by UNI.

As for the fourth new standards effort, the SFI-4, Phase 1 IA defines a 16 bit wide interface between an optical transponder or serializer/deserializer component and the line side of a framer. SFI-4, Phase 2 defines a narrower 4-bit data path for the 10-Gbit/sec data interface enabling higher-density and lower-cost systems to enter the market.

Study Group 15 is the focal point in ITU-T for studies on optical and other transport networks, systems and equipment, encompassing the development of transmission layer related standards for the access, metropolitan and long haul sections of communication networks.

More information on the OIF can be found at www.oiforum.com.

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