Skip to Main Content
Enterprises are increasingly using Ethernet as the foundation for transforming their networks to Internet Protocol. Simultaneously, service providers are deploying Ethernet to exploit the demand for wide-area Ethernet services and as the infrastructure for new residential services such as IPTV. This is due to Ethernet's low cost per bit and ubiquity in local area networks. Recent years have seen the widespread deployment of IP/MPLS networks to address this opportunity. IP/MPLS enables enhanced flexibility over the same converged network for IP and legacy services, avoiding the need to build separate per-service networks. It also adds carrier- grade capabilities such as quality of service, traffic engineering, and resiliency, thereby enabling new multipoint services such as virtual private LAN service. However, using Ethernet for ";always-on"; and other mission-critical services has resulted in new resiliency requirements, in both the access and the network core. Two novel developments address these high expectations by enabling significant improvements in service availability. These are pseudowire redundancy and Ethernet multi-chassis link aggregation. This article reviews the current redundancy mechanisms typically deployed in Ethernet and MPLS networks. We show how additional enhancements are required in both the network core and the access to the Ethernet service. We describe new pseudowire redundancy and MC- LAG mechanisms, showing how they work together to enable end-to-end protection for Ethernet virtual private wire services and VPLS.