Carrier Class: How Real?

December 16, 2008 - 3 Comments

Monique MorrowThere is quite a bit to talk about since my last posting in November, as I have been meeting and speaking with customers in Asia-Pacific and in Japan.In spite of the macroeconomic dynamics and the financial news internationally, I do sense optimism with our customers in various discussions.There are top of mind topics such as qualifying so called”Carrier Class” and assessing impact to business. Additionally, there is a requirement to focus more on service creation and development from a process or IT perspective and monetizing these services. So the discussion turns rapidly from technology architecture to business architecture and ultimately a balance between the two.So what about”Carrier Class?” Wikipedia defines Carrier Class as follows:

“œIn telecommunications, a “carrier grade” or “carrier class” refers to a system, or a hardware or software component that is extremely reliable, well tested and proven in its capabilities. Carrier grade systems are tested and engineered to meet or exceed “five nines” high availability standards, and provide very fast fault recovery through redundancy (normally less than 50 milliseconds).”

See also: Carrier Class and articulating its attributes has been a topic in various standards organizations and forums such as the IETF, MEF, the ITU-T Study Group 12 has been progressing quite a bit of work in this area specifically by linking carrier class transport and networking to end-to-end quality of service path, and most pivotally to the customer experience, expressed as”Quality of Experience” or QoE.Recommendations consented in the ITU-T Study Group 12 over the past one year include:

  • G.1080, Quality of experience requirements for IPTV services
  • G.1081, Performance monitoring points for IPTV
  • P.564, Conformance testing for voice over IP transmission quality assessment models
  • Y.1222, Traffic control and congestion control in Ethernet-based networks
  • Y.1223, Interworking guidelines for transporting assured IP flows
  • Y.1530, Call processing performance for voice service in hybrid IP networks
  • Y.1531, SIP-based call processing performance
  • Y.1543, Measurements in IP networks for inter-domain performance assessment
  • Y.1544, Multicast IP performance parameters
  • Y.1562, Framework for higher-layer protocol performance parameters and their measurement
  • Y.1563, Ethernet frame transfer and availability performance

Several points to note, is that there is not an industry wide agreement as to which mechanisms to deploy; nor is there an industry wide agreement as to proactively obviate problems in order to assure non-disruptive service and predictive behavior.Business impact?Well, customers often detect and report problems before Service Providers see and respond to them.Service Level Agreements or SLAs consist of contractual obligations in the event of an outage that result in penalties being paid to the customer.Service Providers in turn, are requesting telecommunications vendors to develop proactive service monitoring tools in addition to platforms, architectures that mitigate service disruption.So in the end, it is all about the customer experience to a service!Carrier Class work continues in the industry as a whole.For more information on the ITU-T Study Group 12 effort:

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  1. Hi Shivlu-Many thanks!In fact there is similar work for Ethernet being carried our by the Metro Ethernet Forum I will certainly providing an update in this space.Best. Monqiue

  2. Thanks Shivlu – good feedback !Will look at carrier class ethernet contribution – much of the content is in the Metro Ethernet Forum space.Stay tuned!Best always,Monique

  3. Nice Posting. It will be wonderful if post more on carrier class ethernet.regardsshivlu jain