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Cloud Computing Standards Update: ITU-T

Whilst the industry is in the midst of deploying cloud computing service enabling capabilities; standardization continues to progress.  Whether DMTF, MEF, SNA, IEEE, the cloud computing standardization activities have been picking up.

At the ITU-T, the emphasis has been identifying areas for cloud interoperability standardization.

ITU-T’s Study Group 13 (SG 13) has created a new Working Party (WP) on cloud computing, tasked with progressing the Technical Reports that were the output of a previous Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud) towards formalization as ITU-T Recommendations. Read More »

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Multi-vendor MPLS-TP Interoperability Demonstrated for Packet Transport Networks

Widely deployed from the core to the edge, IP/MPLS has achieved huge success as a mature, standards-based technology now deployed by virtually every service provider worldwide.  As a result, the industry has chosen to extend IP/MPLS and develop a transport profile called MPLS-TP (MPLS Transport Profile). MPLS-TP is the packet transport technology of choice being developed by the IETF to allow service providers to cost effectively migrate existing transport networks to packet based solutions.

Recently EANTC conducted an MPLS-TP Interoperability Event which focused on testing and demonstrating interoperability of key IP/MPLS and Carrier Ethernet features between multiple vendor platforms. This represented a critical technology demonstration for service providers as they begin their migration to packet transport networks.

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There is No Split Standard in MPLS OAM

There has been a lot of buzz recently about a second OAM (Operations, Administration, and Maintenance) solution for MPLS-TP that will cause interoperability problems between MPLS-TP and MPLS. It is accurate that there is an alternative OAM based on ITU-T Y.1731 (Ethernet OAM) proposed by a number of vendors and countries and indeed, it will cause interoperability issues. As a strong believer in standards, I certainly hope that a second approach does not occur because vendors and customers do not need the additional cost burden that a lack of interoperability causes.  The fact is that only the draft recommendation for MPLS-TP OAM based on Y.1731 has begun the first step in a very long approval ITU process -- but nothing more – and in my estimates will take well over a year and could easily take up to two years to standardize. IETF MPLS OAM is widely deployed in MPLS networks today and will simply be extended as MPLS-TP is deployed as a next generation transport solution. In fact, recent interoperability testing of MPLS-TP took place at the MPLS World Congress earlier this month in Paris.

I believe that after careful consideration most operators will see the benefit of having a single end-to-end methodology to operate and manage converged packet optical transport networks, which MPLS-TP using MPLS OAM provides. Operators who select another method that is perceived to meet their short term needs now my ultimately learn that it fails to  provide everything they had expected, and that having multiple OAM methods (one for Ethernet and another for MPLS) is not cost effective. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward. At the very least, operators should make an informed decision on which approach is right for them.

To summarize:

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From Internet of Things to Web of Things

Since my last blog posted this past December specifically on the ITU-T Focus Group Cloud Computing activities; the ITU-T Focus Group has had its Fourth Meeting held in Nanjing, PRC Jan 10-13 2011.

Moving to another subject, the Internet of Things (IoT) , has been emerging quite prominently as a pivotal topic in the industry and within several SDOs and Forums.  Recall, that the ITU produced a report on the Internet of Things in 2005 and highlighted so called “always on “technologies”:

The following diagram depicts nicely the IoT eco-system that maps into the appropriate industry sector:

Beecham Research Iinternet of Things

Interestingly, within the ITU-T specifically SG-13 there is quite a bit of discussion on so called Web of Things or WoT.

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Cloud Computing: Update ITU-T Focus Group and OMG-Hosted Telecom Cloud Conference

The first part of December has been very busy for me in terms of engagements focused on Cloud Standards specifically the ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing, where I am a Vice Chair; and as a presenter at the OMG-hosted Telecom Cloud Conference representing the ITU-T.

Well let’s start with the ITU-T Focus Group Cloud Computing meeting. My colleagues and I were greeted by quite a bit of snow at the third ITU Focus Group Cloud Computing Meeting held on November 30-December 3 and hosted by France Telecom-Orange:

We received 42 contributions with focus in orchestration; cloud management; cloud security; cloud broker functionality and cloud benefits. These contributions were towards the five output documents produced in the second meeting.

  1. Introduction to the cloud ecosystem: definitions, taxonomies, use cases, high level requirements and capabilities. The scope of this deliverable is to provide an introduction to the Cloud ecosystems, focusing on integration and support of Cloud Computing model and technologies in telecommunication ecosystems. The major changes include the addition of the value proposition, requirements and capabilities clauses.
  2. Functional requirements and reference architecture. The scope of this deliverable is to define the functional requirement and reference architecture of cloud computing, which includes the functional architecture, functional entities and reference points.
  3. Overview of SDOs involved in cloud computing. The scope of this document is to provide an overview of SDOs; to map the FG cloud working group and output documents to these SDOs ; and , to be as a base to produce a gap analysis that will result in a unique areas that can be under the ITU-T purview, specifically from telecom perspective.
  4. Cloud security, threat & requirements: Security Cloud has started to be discussed from reviews of other SDOs which are related Cloud Security activities in CSA, DMTF, CloudAudit, NIST, GICTF, etc. After the observation of the existing activities, the FG Cloud tentatively identify security threats from view points of Cloud user and Cloud service provider. Considering the identified security threats, the FG Cloud also studied security requirements to be considered for Cloud Computing Technology.
  5. Infrastructure and network enabled cloud. Position existing network infrastructure capability is a unique opportunity for service providers to provide bundled offers combining Network and IT resources. In addition, service providers can leverage their network asset to address network availability and performance for secure end to end cloud services. Another opportunity for service providers is to evolve network resource allocation and control to more dynamic in order to meet the needs to provision on-demand cloud services.

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