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ABSTRACT Network Survivability: “ Protection in SONET/SDH”

Similar schemes are used in both SONET and SDH but their nomenclature is different. In this way, each protection scheme can be associated with a specific layer in the network. SONET layer includes a path layer (called channel layer in SDH) and a line layer (called multiplex section MS in SDH). We can find some different topologies, and depending of these topologies different protection mechanisms are used: 1. Point-to-Point Link: there are two fundamental types of protection mechanisms: 1+1 protection and 1:1 or more generally 1: N protection. Both operate in the line (SONET) or multiplex section (SDH) layer. a. 1+1 Protection: traffic is transmitted simultaneously on two separate fibers from the source to the destination. The destination simply selects one of the two fibers for reception. If that fiber is cut, the destination simply switches over the other fiber and continues to receive data. This form of protection is very fast and requires no signalling protocol between the two ends. ( see figure 1)

Figure 1. 1+1 protection mechanism b. 1:1 or more generally 1: N protection: there are still two fibers from the source to the destination. However, traffic is transmitted over only one fiber at a time, say, the working fiber. If that fiber is cut, the source and destination both switch over to the other protection fiber (see figure 2). APS protocol is required for signalling between the source and the destination. It is not as quick as 1+1 mechanism in restoring the traffic because of the added communication overhead involved. However, it offers two main advantages over 1+1 mechanism: the first is that under normal operation, the protection fiber is unused. Therefore, it can be used to transmit lower-priority traffic. Second advantage is that 1:1 protection can be extended so as to share a single protection fiber among many working fibers. In a more general 1: N protection scheme, N working fibers share a single protection fiber. This arrangement can handle the failure of any single working fiber. Note that APS protocol must ensure that only the traffic on one of the failure fibers is switched over the protection fiber.

Figure 2. 1:1 protection mechanism 1

2. Ring: Is the simplest topology that is 2-connected, that is, provides two separate paths between any pair of nodes that do not have any nodes or links in common except the source and destination nodes. SONET/SDH rings are called self-healing since they incorporate protection mechanisms that automatically detect failures and reroute traffic away from failed links and nodes onto other routes rapidly. The rings are implemented using SONET/SDH add/drop multiplexers (ADMs) that selectively drop and add traffic from/to the ring as well as protect the traffic against failures. The different types of ring architectures differ in two aspects: in the directionality of traffic and in the protection mechanism used. A unidirectional ring carries working traffic in only one direction of the ring (say, clockwise). A bidirectional ring carries working traffic in both directions. In SONET/SDH rings, service must be restored within 60 ms after a failure. Three ring architectures have been widely deployed: two-fiber unidirectional path-switched ring (UPSR) in SONET or subnetwork connection protection (SNCP) in SDH, four-fiber bidirectional line-switched rings (BLSR/4) in SONET or multiplex section shared protection ring/4 (MS-SPRing/4) in SDH and two-fiber bidirectional line-switched ring (BLSR/2) in SONET or multiplex section shared protection ring/2 (MS-SPRing/2) in SDH. a) UPSR (called SNCP in SDH): One fiber is used as the working fiber and the other as the protection fiber. Traffic from source node (A) to destination node (B) is sent simultaneously on the working fiber in the clockwise direction and on the protection fiber in the counterclockwise direction (see figure 3). The protection is performed at the path layer for each connection as follows. Destination node (B) continuously monitors both the working and protection fiber and selects the better signal between the two for each SONET connection. Under normal operation, suppose the destination node (B) receives traffic from the working fiber. If there is a link failure, say, of link AB, then B will switch over to the protection fiber and continue to receive data. It is simple to implement and requires no signalling protocol.

Figure 3. UPSR mechanism


The main drawback is that it does not spatially reuse the fiber capacity. This is because each (bidirectional) connection uses up capacity on every link in the ring and has dedicated protection bandwidth associate with it. Thus, there is no sharing of the protection bandwidth between connections. UPSRs are popular topologies in lower-speed local exchange and access networks, particularly where the traffic is primarily hubbed from the access node into a hub node in the carrier’ central office. There is no specified s limit on the number of nodes in a UPSR or on the ring length. b) BLSR (called MS-SPRing in SDH): they operate at the line layer (SONET) or multiplex section layer (SDH). BLSR can support up to 16 nodes and the maximum ring length is limited to 1200 km (6ms propagation delay).There are two different BLSRs: b1) four fibers BLSR (BLSR/4): two fibers are used as working fibers and two are used for protection (figure 4). Working traffic can be carried on both directions along the ring but usually traffic is routed on the shortest path; however, in certain cases traffic may be routed along the longer path to reduce network congestion and make better use of the available capacity. It employs two types of protection mechanism: span switching where if a transmitter or receiver on a working fiber fails, the traffic is routed onto the protection fiber between the two nodes on the same link (figure 5); ring switching where in case a fiber or cable is cut, service is rerouted around the ring by the nodes adjacent to the failure. Ring switching is also used to protect against a node failure (figure 6).

Figure 4.BLSR/4

Figure 5. Span switching in a BLSR/4

Figure 6. ring switching in a BLSR/4


b2) two fibers BLSR (BLSR/2): Both of the fibers are used to carry working traffic, but half the capacity on each fiber is reserved for protection purposes. Span switching is not possible here, but ring switching works in much the same way as in a BLSR/4. In the event a link failure, the traffic on the failed link is rerouted along the other part of the ring using the protection capacity available in the two fibers. One advantage of BLSRs is that the protection bandwidth can be used to carry low-priority traffic during normal operation. They also provide reuse capabilities by allowing protection bandwidth to be shared between spatially separated connections. BLSRs are more efficient than UPSRs in protecting distributed traffic patterns. They are deployed in long-haul and interoffice networks, where the traffic pattern is more distributed than in access networks. Most metro carriers have deployed BLSR/2s, while many long-haul carriers have deployed BLSR/4s. BLSR/4 can handle more failures than BLSR/2. BLSRs are significantly more complex to implement than UPSRs.

Figure 7.BLSR/2

Figure 8. Spatial reuse in a BLSR

Handling node Failure in BLSRs: the failure of a node is seen by all its adjacent nodes as failures of the link that connect them to the failed node. If each of these adjacent nodes performs restoration assuming that it is a single link failure, there can be undesirable consequences and erroneous connections. The only way to prevent such occurrences is to ensure that the node performing the restoration determine the type of failure before invoking their restoring mechanism. This would require exchanging messages between the nodes in the network. This restoration procedure can avoid these misconnections by not attempting to restore any traffic that originates or terminates at the failed node. This is called squelching. Thus each node in a BLSR maintains squelch tables that indicate which connections need to be squelched in the event of node failure. The price paid for this is a slower restoration time because of the coordination required between the nodes to determinate the appropriate restoration mechanism to be invoked.


Figure 9. An example is shown in figure 9 where if node 1 fails, node 6 and 2 assume it is a link failure and attempt to reroute the traffic around the ring( ring switching) to restore the service, so an erroneous connection exists between node 5 and 4. The solution could be first identifying the failed node and then not restoring any connections that originates or terminate at the failed node Low-Priority Traffic in BLSRs: BLSRs can use the protection bandwidth to carry low-priority or extra traffic, under normal operation. This extra traffic is lost in the event of a failure. However, this feature requires additional signalling between the node in the event of a failure to indicate to the other nodes that they should operate in protection mode and throw away the low-priority traffic.

3. Ring Interconnection: The simplest way for rings to interoperate is to connect the drop sides of two ADMs on different rings back to back (see figure 10). In many cases, a digital crossconnect is interspersed between the two rings to provide additional grooming and multiplexing capabilities.

Figure 10


The problem is that if one ADM fails, or there is a problem with the cabling between two ADMs, the interconnection is broken. The solution is called dual homing which makes use of two hub nodes to perform the interconnection (see figure 11). For traffic going between the ring, connections are set up between the originating node on one ring and both the hub nodes. Thus if one of the hub nodes fails, the other node can take over, and the end user does not see any disruption to traffic. Similarly, if there is a cable cut between the two hub nodes, alternate protection paths are now available to restore the traffic. Rather than set up two separate connections between the originating node and the two hub nodes, the architecture uses a multicasting or drop-andcontinue feature present in ADMs (see figure 11). In the clockwise direction the ADMs at hub 1 drops the traffic associated with the connection and also simultaneously allows this traffic to continue along the ring, where it is again dropped at hub 2. Likewise, along the counterclockwise direction, the ADM at hub 2 uses it drop-and-continue feature to drop traffic from this connection as well as pass it through to hub 1. Dual homing is being deployed in business access networks to interconnect access UPSRs with interoffice BLSRs as well to interconnect multiple BLSRs. In can also be applied to interconnections between two subnetworks, not necessarily two rings.

. Figure 11