PBB-TE standard enters final phase of ratification

APRIL 21, 2009 -- Approval of IEEE P802.1Qay will deliver the industry's first connection-oriented technology for next-gen service provider networks.

APRIL 21, 2009 -- IEEE (search Lightwave for IEEE) has announced that IEEE P802.1Qay, the industry's first connection-oriented technology for next-generation service provider networks, has completed the IEEE sponsor ballot process and entered the final phase of ratification. The working group has achieved technical agreement on P802.1Qay, which adapts Ethernet technology to the role of providing carrier-class packet transport networks, and has handed it over to the IEEE Standards Board for a final review of the standardization process.

"As chair of the IEEE 802.1 Working Group, I'd like to congratulate and thank the 802.1 Interworking Task Group for two years of hard work and dedication," says Tony Jeffree. "Using IEEE's thorough standards-development process will result in our delivering a standard aimed at improving the ability of service providers to deliver the cost-effective, high-bandwidth multimedia services that today's business and consumer customers are demanding."

Created to bring connection-oriented characteristics and deterministic behavior to Ethernet, IEEE P802.1Qay, "IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks -- Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks -- Amendment: Provider Backbone Bridge Traffic Engineering," defines Provider Backbone Bridge Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), a technology that enables service providers to explicitly set up traffic engineered paths across a Carrier Ethernet network. The standard also furnishes the ability to organize the traffic engineered path into service provider-defined linear protection groups to provide 1:1 resiliency. PBB-TE is based on layered VLAN tags and MAC-in-MAC encapsulation as defined in IEEE 802.1ah, Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB). By turning off Ethernet's spanning tree and media-access-control address-flooding and learning characteristics, PBB-TE enables Ethernet to evolve into an Ethernet transport resource layer capable of replacing SONET/SDH as the data layer within next-generation transport architectures.

Key features of PBB-TE include:

  • traffic engineering and resiliency
  • secure, deterministic delivery
  • service scalability
  • operational simplicity
  • service and transport layer independence
  • Higher return on investment compared to alternative technologies, from leveraging the economies of scale inherent in Ethernet

"Every major service provider in the world is in some stage of planning or making moves toward an IP NGN packet network, for which a key ingredient to replace or displace SONET/SDH is connection-oriented Ethernet (COE). One of the principal COE options is PBB-TE, so reaching technical consensus on IEEE 802.1Qay is a major milestone for the industry," says Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research (search Lightwave for Infonetics). "802.1Qay is designed to give service providers the SONET/SDH-like resiliency and determinism they need for their IP packet networks, while staying within the less expensive domain of Ethernet transport."

IEEE P802.1Qay is sponsored by the IEEE 802 Local and Area Network Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society. For further information on IEEE 802 standards projects, visit www.ieee802.org.

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