Wednesday, October 4, 2006

MFA Forum Approves Ethernet-over-MPLS Specification

The MFA Forum announced the approval of five technical specifications, including two that address multi-service interworking. Additional specifications cover high-speed connections, ATM and Frame Relay-to-MPLS control plane interworking, and virtual trunks for ATM/MPLS control plane interworking.



The Multi-Service Interworking -- Ethernet over MPLS (MFA Forum 12.0.0) specification is aimed at the delivery of Ethernet services utilizing an MPLS core network. The term "multi-service interworking" means that Ethernet frames are transported across the MPLS core in a pseudo wire (PW), and that the two attachment circuits (ACs) associated with the PW employ different Layer 2 technologies (e.g. ATM on one AC and Ethernet on the other). The specification enables carriers and service providers to introduce new Ethernet services, while preserving existing infrastructure and ATM and Frame Relay service end-points.



The Fault Management for Multi-Service Interworking over MPLS Version 1.0 (MFA Forum 13.0.0) specification allows service providers to detect and isolate faults, and propagate alarms so that action can be taken to minimize or avoid service outages, and thus meet customer service expectations. This continues to be important as traditional ATM and Frame Relay, as well as emerging Ethernet and IP services are migrated to MPLS networks.



The High Speed Connections (MFA Forum 11.0.0) specification defines a maximum rate of approximately 1.8 Terabits per second for data transfer between storage servers, maximizing optical links when ATM is part of the network solution.



The ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS Control Plane Interworking: Client-Server (MFA Forum 10.0.0) specification defines the control plane and protocol interworking procedures for ATM and Frame Relay connections across an IP/MPLS network using pseudo wires, simplifying migration from ATM to next-generation multi-service packet networks. The specification is designed to protect carrier investment in current services and revenue streams while enabling emerging IP applications and services.



The Virtual Trunks for ATM/MPLS Control Plane Interworking (MFA Forum 9.0.0) specification is a distributed interworking approach to the ATM and MPLS control planes, enabling separation of the MPLS network routing domains and the ATM routing domains.



All of the specs are available on the MFA website.

http://www.mfaforum.org

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