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OAM mechanisms in MPLS layer 2 transport networks

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1 Author(s)
Aggarwal, R. ; Juniper Networks, Paris, France

This article describes OAM in MPLS layer 2 transport networks. MPLS networks used to transport layer 2 traffic are referred to as MPLS layer 2 transport networks. They may be used to connect legacy layer 2 networks and/or provide layer 2 service to a user over a MPLS network. As legacy layer 2 networks migrate to use MPLS for transport, the role of MPLS OAM mechanisms is becoming increasingly important. This is because the converged network must offer the same OAM functionality as existing layer 2 networks. This article emphasizes the importance of end-to-end OAM, while emulating existing layer 2 services using MPLS transport. End-to-end fault detection is described in the context of various layer 2 over MPLS transport network models. The article focuses on state-of-the-art MPLS label switched path and pseudo wire OAM mechanisms being developed by the IETF. This includes fault detection and isolation mechanisms such as LSP-Ping, bidirectional forwarding detection, and virtual circuit connectivity verification. The applicability of each of these mechanisms is given. In some cases it may be possible to carry layer 2 OAM cells end-to-end, while in other cases this may not be possible. The relationship between segment-based OAM mechanisms and end-to-end OAM is described for each of these cases.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 10 )