IEEE 802.1Qay (PBB-TE) standard enters final phase of ratification

The IEEE announced that IEEE P802.1Qay, the industry’s first connection-oriented technology for next-generation service provider networks, has completed the IEEE sponsor ballot process and entered the final phase of ratification.

This means that the Working Group has achieved technical agreement on P802.1Qay, which adapts Ethernet technology to the role of providing carrier-class packet transport networks, and has handed it over to the IEEE Standards Board for a final review of the standardization process.

Service Provider IP network transformation programs recognize the need to incorporate determinism and resiliency to support today’s high-bandwidth, real-time multimedia services. Created to bring connection-oriented characteristics and deterministic behavior to Ethernet, IEEE P802.1Qay, “IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks – Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks – Amendment: Provider Backbone Bridge Traffic Engineering”, defines Provider Backbone Bridge Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), a technology that enables Service Providers to explicitly set up traffic engineered paths across a Carrier Ethernet Network.

The standard also furnishes the ability to organize the traffic engineered path into Service Provider-defined linear protection groups to provide 1:1 resiliency. PBB-TE is based on layered VLAN tags and MAC-in-MAC encapsulation as defined in IEEE 802.1ah, Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB).

By turning off Ethernet’s Spanning Tree and media-access-control address-flooding and learning characteristics, PBB-TE enables Ethernet to evolve into an Ethernet Transport Resource Layer capable of replacing SONET/SDH as the Data Layer within Next Generation Transport Architectures.

Key features of PBB-TE include:

  • Traffic engineering and resiliency
  • Secure, deterministic delivery
  • Service scalability
  • Operational simplicity
  • Service and transport layer independence



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