The membership of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has approved a signaling specification for the OIF's User Network Interface (UNI) 1.0. The specification defines the signaling protocols implemented by client and transport network equipment from different vendors to invoke services, the mechanisms used to transport signaling messages, and the auto-discovery procedures that aid signaling.
The primary service offered by the transport network over the UNI is the ability to create and delete connections on-demand. Developed by OIF's Technical Committee, the new specification is the result of work by the Forum's Architecture; Carrier; Operations Administration, Maintenance & Provisioning (OAM&P); and Signaling Working Groups.
"The OIF's successful interoperability demonstration of the UNI 1.0 at SUPERCOMM 2001 signaled that the industry is ready to implement UNI 1.0," said Sid Chaudhuri, president of the OIF. "In developing UNI 1.0, the OIF has taken into consideration the work of other standards bodies and in particular has worked to develop a UNI protocol that is in alignment with the IETF's proposed standards."
The advent of the automatic switched transport network has necessitated the development of interoperable procedures for requesting and establishing dynamic connectivity between client layers like IP, ATM, SONET, and others, according to the OIF. The development of such procedures requires the definition of the physical interfaces between clients and the transport network, the connectivity services offered by the transport network, the signaling protocols used to invoke the services, the mechanisms used to transport signaling messages, and the auto-discovery procedures that aid signaling.
The UNI 1.0 is one way to address this requirement. As an alternative, the OIF is initiating efforts to develop signaling specifications for a network-to-network interface (NNI).