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Carrier Ethernet Basics 1 Educational Series

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Carrier Ethernet Basics

Carrier Ethernet Basics

SYLVAIN CORNAY, Marketing Manager, EXFO HAMMADOUN DICKO, Product Specialist, EXFO THIERNO DIALLO, Product Specialist, EXFO SOPHIE LEGAULT, Product Line Manager, EXFO SUE JUDGE, Consultant EXFO Inc. March 2011

1.1 1.2 What Is Carrier Ethernet? Transport Media 1.2.1 Copper 1.2.2 Microwave 1.2.3 Fiber 1.3 Carrier Ethernet Network Services 1.3.1 1.3.2 1.4 Ethernet Line (E-Line) Ethernet LAN (E-LAN)

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Carrier Ethernet Applications: 1.4.1 1.4.2 1.4.3 Business Services Mobile Backhaul Services Key Performance Indicators MPLS


Key Technologies Overview 1.5.1 1.5.2 MPLS-TP 1.5.3 PBB-TE 1.5.4 PTN 1.5.5 PWE3 1.5.6 Circuit Emulation Services 1.5.7 Ethernet OAM 1.5.8 Synchronization

Also coming soon to the Carrier Ethernet Basic Educational Series, modules that will focus on the following aspects of Carrier Ethernet, including service turn-up, service monitoring and troubleshooting.

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and demonstrating performance availability. however. is the extension of Ethernet that enables service providers to provide premium Ethernet services. high-bandwidth data services such as voice and video.1 1. However. 1.2 Transport Media The diagram below outlines the different media used within a Carrier Ethernet network and indicates where they are commonly deployed: ETHERNET ACCESS 1– 4 . quality-assured manner. which are easily verified. No longer is an all-IP core sufficient—providers must now expand their IP convergence to the edge/metro network. scalable data-networking solution in LAN environments. Carrier Ethernet. service providers worldwide must evolve their transport infrastructures to support these bandwidth and quality-intensive services. with the majority documenting network availability and mean-time-torepair (MTTR) values. transmission delay.1 CARRIER ETHERNET BASICS As technologically sophisticated businesses and residential consumers continue to drive the demand for premium. What Is Carrier Ethernet? Ethernet has long been accepted as an inexpensive. in a cost-effective. link burstability and service integrity cannot be done precisely with only a single ping command. Customer service level agreement (SLAs) dictate certain performance criteria that must be met. Ethernet performance criteria are more difficult to prove. the stringent quality of service (QoS) expectations of today’s service offering require that service providers find solutions to tap into the cost-effectiveness of Ethernet without sacrificing the benefits of connection-oriented (albeit it costly) time-domain multiplexing (TDM) solutions such as SONET/SDH Comprehensive Ethernet testing immediately at service turn-up is now essential in order to ensure service quality and increase customer satisfaction. therefore.

Fiber cabling may have an initial higher cost.2. 1. 1. Ethernet’s inherent scalability gives carriers a highly flexible platform for delivering incremental services to smaller enterprises. Ethernet-enabled microwave is becoming an increasingly important component of a wireless infrastructure. branch offices. The growth of the wireless industry combined with the proliferation of the mobile backhaul will only contribute to increase the use of microwave radio as a transport medium. Microwave radio is a popular infrastructure choice for wireless operators. carrier Ethernet service providers typically use fiber to transport high-speed traffic (usually 1 Gbit/s or more) over long distances or within the network core. However. as they address markets with lower-rate traffic of up to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbit/s) and begin to carry higher-speed traffic (in some cases up to 10 Gbit/s). it is entirely resistant to both cross-talk and electromagnetic interference. therefore it can provide much more reliable data transmission. 1– 5 . insulated twisted copper wires) is still one of the most widely used media in Carrier Ethernet due to its existing vast deployment and its relatively low cost. As the demand for bandwidth and speed increases. even at the business site. is growing.1 Copper To this day. the problem is even worse. which can negatively affect the reliable transfer of digital data—and at high speeds. but even at the fastest speeds.e. dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) or optical transport networks (OTNs). service providers can avoid building out new and costly networks. The increasing interest in microwave is driven by the higher bandwidth demands at the base station sites and the requirement to provide a substantial reduction in operational costs of backhauling the data traffic. The medium used is actually microwave-over-the-air. It is almost everywhere as it was the media of choice to deliver plain old telephony service (POTS) to homes and businesses. Fiber is used with SONET/SDH. copper cabling (i. cellular towers and other sites.2 Microwave Ethernet is also used for mobile backhaul.2.3 Fiber Since fiber can carry much more information than copper. Leveraging this infrastructure. the main issue with fiber is the high cost of deployment and maintenance.2. the distance from a cell tower to a switching office or between switching offices.Carrier Ethernet Basics 1. copper is subject to both electromagnetic interference and cross-talk. the need to implement fiber on networks.. However.

3.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. and the customer will always have the contracted bandwidth rate available (also known as the committed information rate (CIR)). Like typical TDM private lines. The Ethernet private line is the simplest E-Line service to deploy. either virtually concatenated SONET/SDH channels or reserved packet bandwidth in a packet-switched network. In this regard. E-Line services are used to create Ethernet private line services. yet offers the benefit of a native Ethernet interface to the customer and to the network operator’s edge equipment. which acts as the demarcation between the customer’s network and the carrier’s SONET/SDH transport network. 1– 6 .3 Carrier Ethernet Network Services The two basic Ethernet service types defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) are: 1. E-LINE SERVICE TYPE Source: Metro Ethernet Forum E-LINE VARIANTS Ethernet Private Lines This service consists of a P2P connection that uses dedicated bandwidth. The customer’s Ethernet frames stay strictly separated from others’ at the Ethernet layer.1 Ethernet Line (E-Line) Delivering point-to-point connectivity. Service providers typically provide these services from a multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP). network services access or LAN-to-LAN interconnect—in which the customer owns one or both ends of the connection. Ethernet-based Internet access services and point-to-point (P2P) Ethernet VPNs. the Ethernet private line is much like legacy TDM-based private lines. the Ethernet private line can be deployed to support a number of different carrier services such as Ethernet Internet.

the rules are slightly different. Each site is connected to a multipoint-to-multipoint Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) and uses dedicated resources so that the different customers’ Ethernet frames are not multiplexed together. an EPLAN makes multiple LAN sites look like a single. MEF defines Ethernet virtual private line service as a P2P Ethernet virtual connection (EVC) between two subscribers. Multiple EVCs can be combined to provide hub-and-spoke architectures in which multiple remote offices all require access to a head office. This service is quite similar to frame relay and its model of creating networks using permanent virtual circuits (PVCs).Carrier Ethernet Basics Ethernet Virtual Private Line For the Ethernet virtual private line. As new sites are added. they are connected to the same multipoint EVC.2 Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) Delivering multipoint-to-multipoint (any-to-any) connectivity. From a subscriber standpoint. LAN.e. or multiple customers all require access to managed services from an operator’s point of presence (POP). i. E-LAN SERVICE TYPE Source: Metro Ethernet Forum E-LAN VARIANTS Ethernet Private LAN An Ethernet private LAN (EPLAN) service provides multipoint connectivity over dedicated bandwidth. The shared bandwidth can be a TDM channel in the transport network or the switched-fabric bandwidth of switches and routers in the packet network. the customer still gets point-to-point connectivity. E-LAN services are designed for multipoint Ethernet VPNs and native Ethernet transparent LAN services.3. Subscriber data sent from one customer site can be received at one or more of the other customer sites. 1. it can connect two or more subscribers. In this service. yet immense. The service can either be offered as best-effort or with SLAs specifying CIR and other critical network parameters. but over shared bandwidth instead of dedicated. 1– 7 . such as latency. thus simplifying provisioning and service activation..

Customer separation is accomplished via encapsulation using VLAN tags or other encapsulation technologies such as MPLS. because it is a multipoint service. server consolidations. internet access. The EVPLAN is a cost-effective service for the service provider. In essence. which is ideal for applications such as site-to-site access that by the nature can have unpredictable and varying bandwidth requirements. Carrier Ethernet services also provide a high level of flexibility.1 Business Services The deployment of carrier Ethernet services within businesses will continue to grow with the demand of higher and higher bandwidth. Regardless of how it is termed. in part because inherently. buffering. New applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency—which was previously not possible or prohibited due to high costs—can now be implemented. Another major benefit of Carrier Ethernet is performance. data centers. etc. It is also the most suited solution for voice. 1. congestion management. service orientated architecture. They also operate at higher bandwidths than other technologies. However. 1– 8 . from virtual private LAN service (VPLS) to transparent LAN service (TLS) to virtual private switched network (VPSN). Carrier Ethernet brings the benefits of the Ethernet cost model to metro and wide-area networks. The operator must implement protection. Global availability of standardized services reduces the cost of implementation. bandwidth profiles. That is. this is driven by the requirements of enterprises—not only for data services. One of the major benefits of Ethernet for business services is cost reduction. disaster recovery. software-as-a-service (SaaS) and converged networking are just a few applications that require high bandwidth and low latency.4. Ethernet networks require less processing to operate and manage. the EVPLAN is a network service providing layer 2 multipoint connectivity between Ethernet-edge devices.4 Carrier Ethernet Applications: Carrier Ethernet services are mainly used in two segments: 1. Site-to-site access.—these are much more complex to implement in EVPLANs when compared to P2P services. video and data because of its low latency and delay variation. The familiarity of IT departments with Ethernet makes the implementation of Carrier Ethernet services easier and cheaper. it can be complex to administer.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 Ethernet Virtual Private LAN The Ethernet virtual private LAN (EVPLAN) has gone by many names over the past two years. as it can leverage shared transmission bandwidth in the network. but also for voice and video services over their network.

is the difference in time from the moment a frame or packet leaves the origination port and the moment it arrives at the destination port.3 Key Performance Indicators Key performance indicators (KPIs) are specific traffic characteristics that indicate the minimum performance of a specific traffic profile. or latency. and in the years to come. operators now must constantly validate and measure key performance indicators on a per-service basis.4. cell handoffs. Testing the network with a simple ping is no longer an option.4. wireless backhaul will eventually become totally packet-based. Lost packets cause poor perception quality. This helps to ensure quality voice transmission.Carrier Ethernet Basics 1. This hybrid-network approach offers an economical solution for potential traffic bottlenecks with the increased traffic of non-real-time data. 1. signaling and reliable connectivity. Today. • Frame loss is a serious problem for all real-time services such as voice or live video. 1– 9 . As carrier Ethernet networks mature. reduce costs and provide the necessary scalability for expected growth with data-centric applications. such as voice or video. backhaul networks will be made of a mixture of both E1/T1 (for voice) and Ethernet/IP (for data services) technologies. In addition to assessing the network’s performance. Management services such as synchronization protocols. this will simplify network architecture. It has a direct impact on the quality of real-time data.2 Mobile Backhaul Services As the backhaul network infrastructure evolves to support packet-based transmission. mobile operators face numerous challenges. must have a very fast response time. as well as for synchronization and management of traffic control. and lost control packets increase latency and may cause connectivity failures—and even dropped calls. • Frame delay. The following KPIs directly influence the performance of backhaul networks. which communicate between the BSC and mobile devices. resulting from the shift from managing network performance to managing service performance.

while packets arriving at a slow rate will cause buffers to empty. Random prioritization may occur. where buffers can be overused or underused when there are large swings of jitter. As packets travel through a network. is an established transport method that transparently switches data (packets or frames) from multiple protocols (ATM. 1. which will enable IP/MPLS to support the advanced quality of service needed to extend the solution out to the metro edge.2 MPLS-TP With the movement toward packet-based services. Packets are therefore received at irregular intervals.5. Real-time applications are especially sensitive to packet jitter.5 Key Technologies Overview 1. leading to still images or sound. an IEEE standard. leading to packet loss. With full class-of-service (CoS) and virtual LAN (VLAN) support. 1. Buffers are designed to store a certain quantity of video or voice packets. or packet jitter. Ethernet.5.5. they are often queued and sent in bursts to the next hop. refers to the variability in arrival time between packet deliveries. It supports the capabilities and functionalities needed for packet-transport network services and operations through combining the packet experience of MPLS with the operational experience and practices of existing transport networks. • Frame delay variation. MPLS transport profile (MPSL-TP) is a derivative of MPLS designed for transport networks.3 PBB-TE Provider backbone bridge traffic engineering or PBB-TE (also referred to as PBT) is an alternative Ethernet-based implementation that enables carrier-grade provisioning and management of connection-oriented transport services across an 1– 10 . 1.) across an all-IP backbone. MPLS is an ideal solution for carriers wanting to extend the life of legacy TDM-based services in the core. frame relay. etc.1 MPLS IP/multi-protocol label switching (MPLS). which are then processed at regular intervals to provide a smooth and error-free transmission to the end user. This measurement is a ratio of the total amount of traffic forwarded during a measurement window of one second. Bandwidth can either be ‘committed’ or ‘excess’ with different performance guarantees. Too much jitter will affect the quality of experience (QoE)—where packets arriving at a fast rate will cause buffers to overfill.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 • Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be forwarded. resulting in packet transmission at random rates. transport networks have to encompass the provision of packet-aware capabilities while enabling carriers to leverage their installed transport infrastructure investments. MPLS-TP enables the deployment of packet-based transport networks that efficiently scales to support packet services in a simple and cost-effective way. Modifications are being made to the standard to increase traffic engineering capabilities (MPLS-TP). This jitter translates into stress on the receiving buffers of the end nodes.

flexibility. With this technology.6 Circuit Emulation Services Circuit emulation services (CES) is a technology used to carry T1/E1 services over asynchronous networks such as ATM. 1. service providers can now use TDM applications to leverage the advantages inherent in Ethernet such as: flexibility. Service providers can now leverage the inherent advantages of Ethernet and TDM technologies. such as cost effectiveness. its flexibility also allows service providers to deliver native Ethernet initially and MPLSbased services—i. 1– 11 .Carrier Ethernet Basics all-IP MAN and core network by disabling the flooding/broadcasting and spanning tree protocol features. It is an evolution of MAC-in-MAC by making it connectionoriented. PBB-TE separates the Ethernet service layer from the network layer. PTN networks overcome many of the challenges of carriers by providing the efficient data transport of packetized technologies with the fault detection and resiliency of TDM-based networks. TDM packets are encapsulated and forwarded as packets in the PTN cloud while native Ethernet/IP packets are encapsulated and forwarded in the same PTN cloud. many service providers are looking to consolidate the delivery of multiple service offerings and traffic types onto a single IP-optimized network. From the customer perspective.5 PWE3 Pseudo wire emulation edge-to-edge (PWE3) is a mechanism that emulates the essential attributes of a service such as ATM. multiservice applications as well as quality of service. 1. Service providers can now manage and provision TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) leased lines via CESoS and endpoints terminating in the PSTN (public switched telephone network) or between enterprise endpoints. PWE3 is a possible solution since it emulates Ethernet frame formats over IP networks. interworking and security of services emulated over PSNs.5. transport.4 PTN The packet transport network (PTN) is the next generation of networks designed around the best elements of traditional TDM technologies and the emergent packet technologies. This paper focuses specifically on CESoS (Circuit Emulation over Ethernet). 1.e. it is perceived as an unshared link or circuit of the chosen service. cost-effectiveness and simplicity. management. virtual private wire service (VPWS) or virtual private LAN service (VPLS)—if and when they are required. At the access layer. PW3 specifies the encapsulation.5.5.. PTN provides convergence of multiple services by converging TDM and packets into the PTN cloud. To maximize the return on their assets and minimize their operational costs. Ethernet. control. frame relay or Ethernet over a packet switched network (PSN). PWE3 only provides the minimum required functionality to emulate the wire. It is typically deployed at two layers.

1ag for connectivity fault management (CFM). frame delay variation (jitter) and frame loss. the information generated by OAM helps the operator troubleshoot the network to locate the fault. just as it is important to keep the customers’ services running. fault signaling and remote loopback for the access network. operators must be able to prove that is the case. a feature often used to troubleshoot networks where all inbound traffic is immediately reflected back on the link. 802. In the event of a fault. Intrinsic OAM functionality is therefore essential in any carrier-class technology and is a ‘must have’ capability in intelligent Ethernet network termination units.7 Ethernet OAM Ethernet OAM draws on and includes existing standards such as IEEE 802. 1– 12 . At the device level. administration features include collecting the accounting data for the purpose of billing and network usage data for capacityplanning exercises. OAM protocols generate messages that are used by operations staff to help identify problems in the network.5. OAM functionality allows network operators to measure QoS attributes. this is usually measured against an SLA. such as availability. Finally. frame delay. ITU-T Y. Ethernet OAM can also provide remote loopback. verify configuration and manage security. OAM standards are used to troubleshoot networks.1731 for performance monitoring.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. identify which services have been impacted and take the appropriate action. thereby facilitating reduction of maintenance costs. and the operator must have the performance measurements to manage customer SLAs. Effective end-to-end service control also enables carriers to avoid expensive truck rolls to locate and contain faults. Also.3ah or EFM (Ethernet in the first mile) for link monitoring. monitor performance.

SyncE also only focuses on frequency synchronization and does not guarantee phase synchronization—although the phase requirements can be somewhat assessed via SyncE. technologies like circuit-emulation services (CES) provide capabilities to map TDM traffic on Ethernet infrastructure and vice versa. Synchronous Ethernet solves these issues by ensuring frequency synchronization at the physical level.8 Synchronization As the network moves toward Ethernet as the transport technology of choice. frequency synchronization is key since the TDM technologies have frequency-offset tolerances that are much more restrictive than the asynchronous Ethernet technologies. Such requirements can increase the cost of deployments as hardware and software upgrades can dramatically increase the total cost of ownership. since SyncE is a synchronization technology based on layer 1.5. As Ethernet and TDM technologies continue to coexist. it requires that all ports on the synchronized path be enabled for SyncE. but wireless base stations today have the largest stake in frequency and time distribution.Carrier Ethernet Basics 1. The frequency stability of the air interface between the cell tower and the handset supports handing off a call between adjacent base stations without interruption. Ethernet relies on inexpensive holdover oscillators and can stop transmitting traffic or buffer data. Synchronization for base stations is therefore central to the QoS that an operator provides. Any node that is non SyncE-enabled on the path will automatically break the synchronization from this node. while TDM technologies rely on the continuous transmission and presence of synchronization reference. This is an issue for network providers that have a multitude of Ethernet ports between the primary synchronization unit and the edge device that needs synchronization as all the ports must be SyncEenabled to synchronize to the edge. enabling a smooth changeover for network operators transitioning to an all-packet network. However. 1– 13 . Many services need synchronization. To interconnect these two technologies. This diagram shows an example of Ethernet synchronization. synchronization remains a major issue.

The great advantages of PTP is that as a packed-based technology. This flexibility reduces the cost of ownership as the main upgrade to the networks are limited to synchronization equipment contrarily to the SyncE approach that requires both synchronization equipment and upgrade of all Ethernet ports on the link to SyncE specifications. This diagram shows an application of IEEE 1588v2 PTP in a mobile backhaul to establish synchronization. frequency and phase accuracy can be maintained at a sub-microsecond range.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 The next packet synchronization technology. is specifically designed to provide high clock accuracy through a packet network via a continuous exchange of packets with appropriate timestamps. In addition to frequency and phase synchronization. the Precise Time Protocol (PTP) also referred to as the “IEEE 1588v2”. By relying on the handover capability and the precision of the integrated clocks in combination with the continuous exchange of timestamps between PTP-enabled devices. based on coordinated universal time (UTC). a highly precise clock source. only boundary and slave clock needs to be aware of the nature of the packets and therefore synchronization packets are forwarded as any other data packets within the network. ToD synchronization can also ensure that all PTPenabled devices are synchronized with the proper time. thus ensuring that the boundary clocks and the slave clocks are precisely aligned to the grand-master clocks. thus ensuring synchronization within the network. referred to as the “grand-master clock” generates timestamp announcements and responds to timestamp requests from boundary clocks. 1– 14 . In this protocol.

Carrier Ethernet Basics 1 Educational Series 2 3 4 5 6 Carrier Ethernet Testing TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODOLOGIES .

EXFO THIERNO DIALLO. Product Specialist. Marketing Manager. Product Specialist.Carrier Ethernet Testing Technologies and Methodologies AUTHORS SYLVAIN CORNAY. EXFO SOPHIE LEGAULT. Consultant EXFO Inc. March 2011 . EXFO SUE JUDGE. EXFO HAMMADOUN DICKO. Product Line Manager.

including service turn-up. OPTIMIZING QUALITY OF SERVICE AND QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE 2.5.2. 2– 3 .2 2.2 Performance Monitoring Also coming soon to the Carrier Ethernet Basic Educational Series.5 2.1 Ethernet Synchronization Methods Synchronization Metrics PTP Metrics Fault Management 2– 4 2– 5 2– 7 2– 7 2– 7 2– 8 2– 10 2– 11 2– 12 2– 12 2– 13 2– 14 2– 16 2– 16 2– 17 2– 17 2– 18 Service Lifecycle Management service monitoring and troubleshooting. modules that will focus on the following aspects of Carrier Ethernet.2.2.1564 2.1 Service Definitions 2.6 Benefits 2.2.3 2.2.3 Burst (CBS and EBS) Tests 2.2 Test Rates 2.1 2.1 2.5 Metrics 2.4 BERT over Ethernet Synchronization 2.4.2 RFC-2544 ITU-T Y.3 Methodology 2.

etc. etc. operators must also evolve from only managing network performance to also managing service performance.g. two-thirds of all mobile data traffic will be video. along with the growth of social networking (e. has prompted operators to shift toward packetbased Ethernet/IP technologies across their access and core networks in order to costeffectively support the rapidly escalating bandwidth requirements. As Carrier Ethernet technology matures. While there is little doubt about the cost efficiencies and scalability of Ethernet. 2– 4 . according to the latest report from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast.) and multimedia applications (e. But as the network infrastructure evolves to support packet-based transmission. networks will eventually become entirely packetbased. the report foresees that by 2015. reduce costs and provide the necessary scalability for expected growth with data-centric applications.). Twitter. YouTube. Facebook. the time.. Additionally. This means that testing the network with a simple ping is no longer an option as operators must now constantly validate and measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) on a per-service basis. In fact. this will greatly simplify the network architecture. it is predicted that global mobile data traffic will grow by 26 times between 2010 and 2015. to 6. in addition to the growing popularity of new mobile video services.3 exabytes—one billion gigabytes—per month.2 OPTIMIZING QUALITY OF SERVICE AND QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE The increasing demand for data-centric services driven by smartphone technologies.and delay-sensitive nature of established voice services. cannot be ignored and necessitate an advanced approach to Ethernet networking and testing to maintain the customer expectations for quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE).g. underscoring the challenges operators face as they try to manage the tidal wave of mobile data set to flood their networks. gaming..

1 RFC-2544 The Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF’s) RFC 2544 is a benchmarking methodology for network interconnect devices. This measurement is a good indication of the buffering capacity of a DUT. such as broadcast storms. Latency variability can be a problem. such as hubs. • System reset: This test measures the speed at which a DUT recovers from a hardware or software reset. It is the time taken by a bit to go through the network and back. a variable or long latency can cause degradation in voice quality. • Back-to-back or burstability: This test measures the longest burst of frames at maximum throughput or minimum legal separation between frames that the device or network under test will handle without any loss of frames. RFC 2544 describes the following six subtests: • Throughput: This test measures the maximum rate at which none of the offered frames is dropped by the device/system under test (DUT/SUT). 2– 5 . This measurement translates into the available bandwidth of the Ethernet virtual connection. switches and routers.Carrier Ethernet Basics 2. The difference between delay at overloaded conditions and the delay and low-load conditions represent the recovery time. as it can be a useful indication of how a device would perform under pathological network conditions. RFC 2544 provides engineers and network technicians with a common language and results format. This request for comment (RFC) was created in 1999 as a methodology to benchmark network devices. • Frame loss: This test defines the percentage of frames that should have been forwarded by a network device under steady state (constant) loads that were not forwarded due to lack of resources. This measurement can be used for reporting the performance of a network device in an overloaded state. This subtest is performed by temporarily oversubscribing the device under test and then reducing the throughput at normal or low load while measuring frame delay in these two conditions. This subtest is performed by measuring the interruption of a continuous stream of frames during the reset process. • System recovery: This test measures the speed at which a DUT recovers from an overload or oversubscription condition. • Latency: This test measures the round-trip time of a test frame to travel through a network device or across the network and back to the test port. Latency is the time interval that begins when the last bit of the input frame reaches the input port and ends when the first bit of the output frame is seen on the output port. With protocols like voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). as well as to provide accurate and comparable values for comparison and benchmarking.

In today’s multiservice environments. it can also be accompanied by very high latency due to buffering. • With RFC 2544’s focus on identifying the maximum performance of a device or network under test. • Packet delay variation is a KPI for real-time services such as VoIP and Internet protocol television (IPTV) and is not measured by the RFC 2544 methodology. although throughput might be good. does have some drawbacks: • Service providers are shifting from only providing Ethernet pipes to enabling services.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 From a laboratory and benchmarking perspective. Networks must support multiple services from multiple customers. while each service has its own performance requirements that must be met even under full load conditions and with all services being processed simultaneously. RFC 2544 was designed as a performance tool with a focus on a single stream to measure maximum performance of a DUT or network under test and was never intended for multiservice testing. traffic is going to experience all KPIs at the same time. RFC 2544 measures each KPI individually through its subtest and therefore cannot immediately associate a very high latency with a good throughput. Network operators that performed service testing with RFC 2544 must typically execute external packet jitter testing outside of RFC 2544—as this KPI is not defined or measured by the RFC 2544. This is not an issue for lab testing or benchmarking. • Testing is performed sequentially on one KPI after another. From a service turn-up and troubleshooting perspective. which should be a cause for concern. Designed as a performance assessment tool. RFC 2544 test cycles can easily require a few hours of testing. but becomes a serious issue for network operators with short service maintenance windows. although acceptable and valid. RFC 2544. the overall test time is variable and depends heavily on the quality of the link and subtest settings. 2– 6 . the RFC 2544 methodology is an ideal tool for automated measurement and reporting.

• Overshoot rate defines a testing transmission rate above CIR or EIR and is used to ensure that the DUT or network under test does not forward more traffic than specified by the CIR or EIR of the service. such as 802. committed information rate (CIR) and excess information rate (EIR). 2. network devices and paths can support all the traffic as designed. 3. 2. 802.Carrier Ethernet Basics 2. • EIR defines the maximum transmission rate above the committed information rate considered as excess traffic. ITU-T Y. these objectives are typically defined and enforced via SLAs.1564 is designed around the three following key objectives: 1. 2– 7 .1564 methodology. These services are defined at the user-to-network interface (UNI) level with different frame and bandwidth profiles.2 ITU-T Y. To perform medium.and long-term service testing. which is aligned with the requirements of today’s Ethernet services. ensuring that a service meets its guaranteed performance settings in a controlled test time.1ad and class of service (CoS) profiles. such as the service’s maximum transmission unit (MTU) or frame size. 2.1564 defines three key test rates based on the MEF service attributes for Ethernet virtual circuit (EVC) and UNI bandwidth profiles.2 definitions.2.1q VLAN. to validate that network elements can properly carry all services while under stress during a soaking period. This excess traffic is forwarded as the capacity allows and is not subject to meeting any guaranteed performance objectives (best effort forwarding). ITU-T has introduced a new test standard: the ITU-T Y. EXFO is the first to implement EtherSAM—the Ethernet service testing methodology based on this new standard—into its Ethernet-testing products.2 Test Rates ITU Y. • CIR defines the maximum transmission rate for a service where it is guaranteed certain performance objectives. Services are traffic streams with specific attributes identified by different classifiers.1 Service Definitions ITU-T Y.1564 Next-Generation Carrier-Ethernet Testing To resolve issues with RFC 2544.1564 defines test streams with service attributes linked to the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 10. To ensure that all services carried by the network meet their SLA objectives at their maximum committed rate. To serve as a network service-level-agreement (SLA) validation tool. proving that under maximum load.2.

leading to potential service outages and network-wide issues such as congestion and link failures. If a service is not correctly configured on any one of these devices within the end-to-end path. where the service is generated at the overshoot rate and the expected forwarded rate is not greater than the committed information rate or excess rate (when configured) Service Performance Test As network devices come under load. the service-configuration test and the service-performance test. With only one traffic class. which are performed in order: Service Configuration Test Forwarding devices such as switches. and pass/fail assessment is performed on the KPI values for each service according to its SLA. they must prioritize one traffic flow over another to meet the KPIs set for each traffic class. Services are generated at the CIR. where performance is guaranteed. bridges and network interface units are the basis of any network as they interconnect segments.1564 is built around two key subtests. 2– 8 .2.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. prioritization is necessary and performance failures may occur. As the amount of the traffic flow increases. while maintaining SLA conformance for each service. there is no prioritization performed by the network devices since there is only one set of KPIs. routers. where performance metrics for the service are measured and compared to the SLA performance objectives • In the EIR phase.3 Methodology The ITU-T Y. where performance is not guaranteed and the services transfer rate is measured to ensure that CIR is the minimum bandwidth • In the discard phase. The service configuration test is designed to measure the ability of the DUT or the network under test to properly forward in three different states: • In the CIR phase. network performance can be greatly affected. The service performance test measures the ability of the DUT or network under test to forward multiple services.

This test uncovers more configuration errors than the EtherSAM test with one loopback device on the other end especially when testing multiple services with different EIRs and CIRs.Carrier Ethernet Basics Service performance assessment must also be maintained for a medium. This provides much more precise test results such as independent assessment per direction and the ability to quickly determine which direction of the link is experiencing failure. The service performance test is designed to soak the network under full committed load for all services and measure performance over medium and long test times. This allows service providers to test asymmetrical links. 2– 9 . are used to communicate and independently and run tests per direction. The same test can also be run in simultaneous bidirectional mode (dual test set). In this scenario. one designated as local and the other as longterm period as performance degradation will likely occur as the network is under stress for longer periods of time. In this case. from the test set to the loopback point and back to the test set. the results reflect the average of both test directions. two test sets. Bidirectional Test EtherSAM can perform round-trip measurements with a loopback device. The tests are performed simultaneously as well. the loopback functionality can be performed by another test instrument in Loopback mode or by a network interface device in Loopback mode. In this case.

testing CBS and EBS in a round-trip configuration (one end in loopback) has little to no value. Color mode testing consists in verifying that the traffic policers and shapers properly respects the Color mode. The token bucket is a control mechanism that dictates when traffic can be transmitted. Burst testing is mainly important for high bandwidth Ethernet user network interfaces that have a small fraction of the line capacity provisioned to carry customer traffic. It is the most common mode. As these mechanisms work independently for each service direction. In advanced business Ethernet services. The colors are a method allowing the end customer to tell the network that specific traffic has higher priority in case of congestion. Burst test methodologies assume a token bucket algorithm to police and shape the traffic. these types of SLA parameters are only offered for more complex/advanced Ethernet commercial services offerings. Today.2. On the other hand Non-Color Aware mode requires only one color per service. it is possible to have traffic that is tagged with different colors (green and yellow) within the same service. 2– 10 . based on the presence of tokens in the bucket–an abstract container that holds aggregate network traffic to be transmitted. It is essential that these parameters be tested independently for each service direction. Color Aware mode is also offered only in more complex/advanced Ethernet Services.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. The burst test is provided for non-color aware and color aware applications. The bandwidth profile contains attributes of CBS and EBS that some service providers may wish to test at the time of service activation to verify proper attribute configuration.4 Burst (CBS and EBS) Tests: Committed burst size (CBS) and excessive burst size (EBS) tests are still considered preliminary and experimental only. Testing Color mode is a complex test and will not be tested frequently in the field.

Packets are therefore received at irregular intervals.5 Metrics Y. 2– 11 . megabits/s. Typically this is a round-trip measurement. etc. There may be prioritization at random moments. Frame loss can be due to a number of issues such as network congestion or errors during transmissions.1564 focuses on the following KPIs for service quality: • Bandwidth: This is a bit rate measure of the available or consumed data communication resources expressed in bits/second or multiples of it (kilobits/s. also resulting in packets being sent at random rates.Carrier Ethernet Basics 2. • Frame delay variations: Also known as packet jitter. The direct consequence of this jitter is stress on the receiving buffers of the end nodes where buffers can be overused or underused when there are large swings of jitter. they are often queued and sent in bursts to the next hop. • Frame transfer delay (FTD): Also known as latency. • Frame loss: Typically expressed as a ratio. this is a measurement of the variations in the time delay between packet deliveries. meaning that the calculation measures both the near-end to far-end and far-end to near-end directions simultaneously. As packets travel through a network to their destination. this is a measurement of the number of packets lost over the total number of packets sent. this is a measurement of the time delay between the transmission and the reception of a frame.).2.

1564 service subtest can generate all configured services at the same time. the majority of Ethernet services deployed today include multiple classes of service within the same connection. providing the ability to stress network elements and data paths in worst-case conditions. In a BERT. Link quality issues are quickly identified without necessarily increasing test time because a pass/fail condition is based on the KPI assessment during the step. offering mobile backhaul. This ensures that any failure or inconsistency is quickly pinpointed and reported. Additionally. a data stream is sent through the communications medium and the resulting data stream is compared with the original. • More representative of real-life conditions: The worst-case scenario for a network is handling multiple traffic types during a congestion period. The service test provides powerful test results since all KPIs are measured simultaneously for all services with clear pass/fail indication. BERT is a concept taken from the SONET/SDH world. A major drawback of RFC 2544 is the fact that it can only test a single service at a time.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. 2– 12 . the completion of a subtest heavily relies on the quality of the link. • Measurement of all KPIs in a single test: While existing methodologies like RFC 2544 only provide the capability to measure the maximum performances of a link. EtherSAM uses a validation approach where KPIs are measured and compared to the expected values for each service. 2. therefore. Y.3 BERT over Ethernet Since transparent transport of Ethernet over physical media is now a common service.1564 on the other hand can test multiple services simultaneously. a growing need to certify Ethernet carriage on a bitper-bit basis. This can be done using bit error-rate testing (BERT). commercial and wholesale Ethernet services. In opposition. • Significantly faster: The RFC 2544 methodology uses a sequential approach where each subtest is executed one after the other until they have all been completed. making it a timeconsuming procedure. Ethernet is increasingly carried across a variety of media over longer distances. ITU-T Y. it cannot simulate worst-case scenarios. Since RFC 2544 only tests a single stream at a time. as well as identification of failed KPIs. This approach focuses on proving that KPIs are met while in guaranteed traffic conditions.6 Benefits: ITU-T Y. making it possible to go from a frame-based error measurement to a BER (bit error rate) measurement. BERT uses a pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS) encapsulated into an Ethernet frame. • Multiservice testing capabilities: As described earlier.1564 provides numerous benefits to service providers. There is.1564 uses a defined ramp-up approach where each step takes an exact amount of time. again contributing to an efficient and more meaningful test cycle. The ITU-T Y.2. Any changes are noted as data errors.

2– 13 . Telecom networks. one device will count faster than the other and in the network world. Frequency synchronization is typically a physical synchronization where the output clocks between devices is synchronized. When two devices are frequency synchronized. network throughput is deterministic and fixed for a specific transport rate. Ethernet on the other hand is an asynchronous technology where each Ethernet port has its own independent clock circuit and oscillator.4 Synchronization Synchronization can be defined as the coordinated and simultaneous relationship between time-keeping among multiple devices. telecom networks require two other types of synchronization in addition to time synchronization. When they are not frequency synchronized. the two devices will shift at exactly the same time from one clock pulse to the other.Carrier Ethernet Basics BERT still remains a very popular testing methodology because it is suited for applications that are transparent to the transport medium and also because it has been used for a long time and most telecom engineers and technicians are very comfortable with it. synchronization has a very precise and critical use. 2. This ensures that all of the ports that carry data do so at the same frequency or with very little offset. These lost frames are more difficult to translate into a BER value. meaning that all data signals are synchronized and clocked using virtually the same clock throughout. typically the universal time clock (UTC). when synchronized. When synchronized. To solve this issue. Because each port is clock independent. Therefore. A real-world example would be to compare two watches side-by-side. such as SONET and SDH networks. these variations are the equivalent of phase offset. two devices will have the proper time of day (ToD) in reference to the universal time reference. Phase synchronization refers to the simultaneous variation of clocks between devices. one device will generate more bits per second than the other. For people outside of the telecom world. frequency synchronization and phase synchronization. these two watches will increment at exactly the same time. This is because a network processing element will discard frames or packets if an error is found. frequency offsets between interconnected ports can be relatively high. which means that most errors will never reach the test equipment. that is. when unsynchronized. the BER approach is not the best one. are based on a synchronous architecture. which can cause overflow and eventually bit errors or traffic loss. regardless of their geographical location. When phase-synchronized. they basically generate the same number of bits over an integration period (typically 1 second). However for network engineers. synchronization typically refers to time synchronization where one or more devices have the same time as a reference clock. However if the network to be tested is switched-based and includes overhead processing and error verification. Ethernet devices typically implement buffers that can store traffic and then mitigate the effect of offsets between two ports. and therefore.

as all the ports must be SyncE-enabled to synchronize to the edge. Such requirements can increase the cost of deployments as hardware and software upgrades can dramatically raise the total cost of ownership. Any node that is non SyncE-enabled on the path will automatically break the synchronization from this node. which ensures that the Ethernet node with SyncE enabled always derives its timing from the most reliable source. this is an issue for network providers that have a multitude of Ethernet ports between the primary synchronization unit and the edge device that needs synchronization. Also. However. SyncE only focuses on frequency synchronization and does not guarantee phase synchronization—although the phase requirements can be somewhat assessed via SyncE. it requires that all ports on the synchronized path be enabled for SyncE. SyncE supports the exchange of synchronization status messages (SSM) and now includes a newly introduced Ethernet synchronization messaging channel (ESMC). since SyncE is a synchronization technology based on layer 1.1 Ethernet Synchronization Methods There are currently two techniques available: • SyncE Ethernet SyncE achieves frequency by timing the output bit clocks from a highly accurate stratum 1 traceable clock signal in a fashion similar to traditional TDM and SONET/SDH synchronization.4.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. 2– 14 .

only the boundary and slave clock need to be aware of the nature of the packets and therefore. Even with the best practice of applying high priority to synchronization flows. such as out-of-sequence and route flaps. In addition to frequency and phase synchronization. The advantage of PTP is that as a packed-based technology. (PTP) is specifically designed to provide high clock accuracy through a packet network via a continuous exchange of packets with appropriate timestamps. However.Carrier Ethernet Basics • Precise Time Protocol (PTP) The 1588v2 standard. In this protocol. such as frame delay (latency). 2– 15 . ToD synchronization can also ensure that all PTP-enabled devices are synchronized with the proper time. these synchronization packets still experience congestion and possible routing and forwarding issues. frequency and phase accuracy can be maintained at a sub-microsecond range. based on the coordinated universal time clock (UTC). the major weakness of PTP is due to its packet nature. referred to as the “grand-master clock” generates timestamp announcements and responds to timestamp requests from boundary clocks. frame-delay variation (packet jitter) and frame loss. As the synchronization packets used by PTP are forwarded in the network between grand master and hosts. a highly precise clock source. synchronization packets are forwarded as any other data packets within the network. thus ensuring that the boundary clocks and the slave clocks are precisely aligned to the grand-master clocks. This means that the host clock’s holdover circuit must be stable enough to maintain synchronization where the synchronization packets experienced network events. thus ensuring synchronization within the network. defined by the ITU and also known as Precise Time Protocol. they are subject to all the network events. By relying on the holdover capability and the precision of the integrated clocks in combination with the continuous exchange of timestamps between PTP-enabled devices. This flexibility reduces the cost of ownership as the main upgrade to the networks are limited to synchronization equipment. contrarily to the SyncE approach which requires both synchronization equipment and upgrade of all Ethernet ports on the link to SyncE specifications.

Moreover. requiring not only testing and monitoring of synchronization performance carried out at the physical layer. PTP testing involves not only the synchronization KPIs listed earlier but also new ones such as: • Frame delay (latency) • Frame delay variation • Frame loss The increasing demand on network operators to provide more services at competitive rates has resulted in a paradigm shift in the availability of physicallayer synchronization. based on the time difference between significant events. As MTIE is focused on the worst case. • TIE: Is a basic measurement of the phase difference between the reference clock and the clock under test. since packet synchronization is performed via an exchange of messages. This induces the concept of unidirectional performance as a direction can experience more network events than the other directions. messages are exchanged unidirectionally. performed over many hours or days of tests. frame-delay variation and frame loss.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. 2. by widening the observation window. network operators must now qualify new packet metrics based on the PTP architecture. this measurement is not ideal for the long-term but provides an assessment of the peak offsets of phase variations. Typically produced after processing the TIE data. the MTIE provides the worst-possible TIE change within different observation windows and can be used to predict the stability of the clock frequency over time. Asymmetrical behavior may cause synchronization packets to experience more delays. TDEV provides information about the short-term stability of the clock and the random noise in the clock accuracy.3 PTP Metrics With the introduction of PTP. Due to its instantaneous nature. provides immediate offsets between the clocks.2 Synchronization Metrics Measuring synchronization accuracy almost entirely rests on the offset between the significant events of the tested signal compared to the same significant event of the reference clock. 2– 16 . This basic measurement. while the other direction remains trouble-free. but the packet-layer performance has to be tested and monitored too. the synchronization flow is therefore sensitive to the presence or absence of messages due to frame delay. which typically lead to failures.4. TDEV on the other hand averages the worst peak variations and provides a good indication of the periodicities or TIE offsets. congestion and possible loss in one direction. • MTIE: Is a measurement based on the TIE data designed to provide the maximum deviation of the peak-to-peak value of the TIE within. In PTP. For such reasons. meaning that nodes will exchange and terminate the synchronization packets. any peak variation will limit the visibility of small variations. Synchronization metrics typically consist of three key measurements: time interval error (TIE).4. • TDEV: Is another measurement derived from the TIE data and provides the average phase variations of the clock by expressing the root mean square (RMS) of the variations of the MTIE for specific measurement windows. maximum time interval error (MTIE) and time deviation (TDEV).

• Fault notification: ITU-T Y. frame delay variation (jitter) and frame loss enable identification of problems before they escalate so that users are not impacted by network defects. frame delay.and performance-guaranteed service packages that are tailored to the specific needs of their customers.Carrier Ethernet Basics 2.1731 support fault isolation through linktrace messages (LTM) and linktrace reply (LTR). CCMs are sent from the source to the destination node at periodic intervals. • Fault verification: IEEE 802.1731 supports fault notification through alarm indication signal (AIS). it allows the operator to determine the path used by the service through the network. Intrinsic OAM functionality is therefore essential in any carrier-class technology and is a must have capability in intelligent Ethernet network termination units.5 Service Lifecycle Management Operation.1731 for performance monitoring. it allows the operator to isolate the fault location without making a site visit. Ethernet OAM draws on and includes existing standards such as IEEE 802. then a fault is detected against the service.1731 support fault verification through loopback messages (LBM) and loopback reply (LBR). this functionality alerts the operator to a fault in the network.1ag and ITU-T Y. OAM represents a significant challenge for next-generation technologies.1ag and ITU-T Y. However. 2– 17 . Under normal conditions. • Fault isolation: IEEE 802. • Fault detection: IEEE 802. There are two main areas of Ethernet OAM: 2. These allow endpoints to detect an interruption in service.1731 support fault detection through continuity check messages (CCM). Furthermore. if either end does not receive a CCM within a specified duration.1 Fault Management: Fault management ensures that when a defect occurs in the network. administration and maintenance (OAM) OAM functionality in traditional TDM networks is well-defined and is an important building block in ensuring that operators can deliver carrier-grade performance.5. these capabilities allow the operators to offer binding SLAs and generate new revenues from rate. such as Carrier Ethernet. Effective end-to-end service control also enables carriers to avoid expensive truck rolls to locate and contain faults thereby facilitating reduction of maintenance costs. it is reported to the network operator who can then take the appropriate action. before it is reported by customers.1ag for connectivity fault management (CFM) and ITU-T Y. Measurements such as availability.1ag and ITU-T Y. while under fault conditions.

Once the failure is detected.5. • Frame delay variation: This is also referred to as jitter. The following features are supported: • Frame loss ratio: This represents the percentage of the traffic that has been lost. 802. whereas two-way delay represents the duration from one end back to the same end.3ah.1731 provides powerful fault management and performance monitoring capabilities to Ethernet. The combination of IEEE 802.1731. The four major capabilities of 802. which is a complete standard for Ethernet in the first mile.3ah detects link failures in both bi-directional links and unidirectional links (link monitoring). it is impossible to provide the comprehensive network management tools that operators have today in their TDM networks.Carrier Ethernet Basics Educational Series 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. it represents the variation between different delay measurements. but it also contains a link level (as opposed to service level) OAM mechanism. Another standard used for OAM is 802. • Frame delay (latency): Two types of delays are measured: one-way delay represents how long it takes traffic to go from one of the network to another. Without this capability.2 Performance Monitoring: Carrier Ethernet networks require advanced performance monitoring to enforce customer SLAs and this functionality is introduced by ITU-T Y. it is the percentage ratio of the traffic not received versus the traffic that was sent.3ah are: • Discovery: Detects the endpoints of a link and their OAM capabilities • Remote fault detection: Allows one endpoint to inform the other after it has detected a fault • Remote loopback: Can be used to put the remote port in loopback mode. it can set a device in Loopback mode that will check when it recovers.1ag and ITU-T Y. useful for data-path testing • Remote monitoring: Allows near-end and far-end statistics similar to those found in SONET/SDH The emergence of carrier-grade Ethernet has driven the need for improved Ethernet OAM functionality. Ethernet OAM allows the exchange of management information from the network elements to the management layer. 2– 18 .