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Ethernet OAM Overview

Operations, Administration & Maintenance Standards

Ethernet Operations, Admin & Maintenance


standards developed to make Ethernet carrier grade


developed to enable operationally efficient carrier Ethernet services over multi-vendor, multi-operator networks




network and service monitoring Rapid fault detection & isolation Performance / Service Level Agreement (SLA) parameters measurement: on-demand or continuously Service usage measurement for billing & capacity management

Deployed End-to-End


becomes carrier grade, capable of carrying real-time, critical services with high availability and QoS

Ethernet OAM Standards Overview

Demarcation Point

10/100/GbE Base TX / FX / LX / SX

Customer Network

Transport Network

Customer Network

Standards MEF & ITU-T Y.1731 802.1ag, Y.1731, MEF IEEE 802.3ah




OAM Layer

Service Connectivity Link

OAM Layer

Function / Focus
end-to-end service (customer) view, reflected in SLAs

Connectivity Link

Network & service connectivity & performance monitoring, topology-aware, multi-domain focused on single-hop links, 1st mile transport

802.3ah Link Layer OAM

Designed for 1st mile / single-hop links Typically Provider Edge (PE) to Customer Edge (CE)

Does not propagate beyond the link

OAMPDUs: - Loopback - Continuity


% frame errors # coding symbol errors Unrecoverable error

(e.g. power: dying gasp)

Providers Network
1st Mile


LOS (directional) Critical events



Discovery: demarcation point device discovery & loopback capability Remote failure indication: dying gasp, link fault & critical events Fault isolation: customer or provider network, unidirectional failures Port-level loopback: remote or locally activated, layer 1 only, disruptive Performance & Status Monitoring with threshold alarms

Connectivity & Service OAM Multi-Domain Network Model

Provider Domain
Operator A Bridges Operator B Bridges
Maintenance Intermediate Point (MIP) Maintenance Endpoint (MEP)



Customer OAM Level

Layer 2 Data Path

Provider OAM Level

Operator OAM Level

Link OAM

End-to-End Ethernet Service OAM

Access Links, 802.3ah

IEEE 802.1ag, ITU-T Y.1731 and MEF OAM standards are based on a common multi-domain network model Model reflects services delivered by multiple providers at different levels Goal is to ensure OAM is contained within pre-defined maintenance levels
Customer Site 1

(fail-over link in grey)

Service Demarc

Customer Site 2

Operator 1

Operator 2

Operator 3

OAM Management Entities & Components

Service Provider (S) Operator A Operator B






Operator A MEG

Operator A ME


Acronym MEP MIP ME

Description Maintenance Endpoint Maintenance Intermediate Point Management Entity (relationship between 2 MEPs)

Maintenance Intermediate Point (MIP)

Maintenance Endpoint (MEP)

Logical Group of MEs

at same level on same S-VLAN


Maintenance Assc (802.1ag) / Entity Group (Y.1731)

Pt-to-Pt or Multipoint EVC

802.1ag / Y.1731 Connectivity Fault Management (CFM)

Fault Detection using Continuity Check Messages
CCM Timeout Alarms

Fault Verification Using Loopback Messages (Ping)

Can also be used to loopback a test traffic stream (e.g. throughput measurement)


EVC Failure CCM Alarm

802.1ag Unicast only

Y.1731 Unicast & multicast


Fault Isolation Using Linktrace Messages

Fault Notification, Alarm Indication Signal (Y.1731 only)

Per Service Alarms

EVC Broken Link LTM LTR

EVC Broken Link AIS

Y.1731 Performance Monitoring (PM)

Frame Loss Ratio Using CCM (dual-ended) Frame Delay (FD) / Delay Variation (FDV) Measurements, 1-Way
Synchronized Clocks 1DM time-stamped packets

EVC Broken Link CCM Tx / Rx Counters

Frame Delay (FD) / Delay Variation (FDV) Measurements, Round-Trip

DMM time-stamped packet sent to far-end

Far-end device responds with DMR carrying original timestamp Originating device compares timestamp to current time to calculate delay No clock-sync required between endpoints



Connectivity & Services OAM Summary

OAM Function Fault Detection



Method CCM LBM / LBR (Ping) LTM / LTR LTM / LTR & Multicast LBM* AIS / RDI CCM, LTM / LTR DM (1 way), DMM / DMR DM (1 way), DMM / DMR

Fault Verification / Loopback CFM

Fault Isolation Discovery Fault Notification Frame Loss PM Frame Delay Delay Variation

Accedian Networks has also developed in-service throughput testing based on Y.1731 LBM / LBR frames (patent pending)

* Y.1731 only

Incorporating 802.1ag/Y.1731 into Service Endpoints

802.3ah or no OAM Providers Network CPE 802.1ag / Y.1731 OAM

802.3ah or no OAM


Demarcation Point

Demarcation Point

Providers Network CPE 802.1ag / Y.1731 OAM CPE

802.3ah (link OAM) not interoperable with 802.1ag / Y.1731 (Connectivity OAM) some vendor-specific methods & emerging MEF 17 standard 802.3ah lacks: performance monitoring, fault propagation beyond 1st mile (link faults not sent end-to-end), link trace & loopback response for fault verification & isolation, L2/3 & per-flow traffic loopback. NIDs enable 802.1ag / Y.1731 OAM functionality end-to-end

Ethernet OAM is a good start but not sufficient

Challenging OAM PERFORMANCE of

High speed/high capacity pipes with 100s of service flows handed-off at MSCs.

Over 100 remote base stations homing into the MSC

Ethernet OAM/PMs is often only supported on a per-port or low-count VLAN basis and only in a round-trip fashion.
Aggregation Network Elements having a hard time computing high-accuracy/high granularity one-way OAM/PMs for several 100s of flows on a single high speed port. NE-based Ethernet OAM/PM currently unusable for throughput verification, a key SLA component Providers Network
Single 1G or 10G pipe with hundreds of service flows.

Forklift upgrades often required

Service Assurance vendors supporting advanced, standards-based Ethernet OAM/PM often brought-in to the rescue


Deploying 802.1ag/Y.1731 using NIDs vs. NEs

OAM Function
Implementation Delay / Delay Variance Measurement One-Way Delay Measurements Multi-Flow Monitoring

Software based implementation (network processor)

~1 ms resolution, variable accuracy not sufficient to monitor real-time services and SLAs Typically only provides round-trip measurements. SLAs commonly specify one-way delay requirements. NEs can monitor A Few Flows varies by network element & traffic load Limited OAM loopback packet processing capacity; delay added to loopback traffic. No throughput testing. Standards provide synthetic frame loss based only on OAM frames Interoperability, OAM version and feature support uneven. Many access platforms do not support advanced rate limiting, filtering and shaping to optimize QoS. OAM in access platforms limits visibility of the problematic last mile, leaving this segment unmanaged.

Dedicated silicon packet processing, hardware-based, real-time

1 s delay / jitter measurement resolution with < 20 s accuracy

Provides both one-way and round-trip measurements in multi-flow, multi-site, multi-service and multicast configurations. Up to 100 Concurrent Flows / SLAs with no performance hit Hardware-based architecture enables advanced, in-service throughput testing of CIR, EIR up to full wire-speed In-line, hardware-based packet processing provides Real Frame Loss (RFL) - orders of magnitude more precise than Synthetic measurements. RFL is required to validate high-performance SLAs. Enables an overlay of the latest , full OAM functionality and advanced complementary testing end-to-end without network element upgrades OAM should be established at the service endpoints to provide valid results. NIDs provide service mapping, OAM and conditioning at the service demarc for complete end-to-end coverage.

Loopback Testing

Frame Loss Measurement OAM Uniformity over Multi-Vendor / Carrier / Technology Networks Service creation, traffic conditioning & OAM alignment

802.1ag / Y.1731 Reach

OAM enabled in NIDs at the demarc point provide connectivity and service OAM visibility directly to the customer site

Ethernet OAM, Conclusions

Establishing end-to-end OAM is a key part of delivering high-performance, carrier-grade Ethernet services.
OAM CFM provides operational efficiency, rapid perservice fault identification, verification and isolation for high availability services over multi-operator networks. OAM Performance Monitoring provides means to monitor and report key SLA and service usage metrics. Standards are evolving: multi-vendor interoperability issues and varying levels of feature support is common. Establishing OAM using NIDs provides uniform, end-toend service management over any network topology.

Hardware-based NIDs also enable highly scalable service creation and assurance functionality directly at the service endpoints.