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Ethernet OAM Standards
A RAD-sponsored guide to Ethernet OAM standards, including IEEE 802.3-2005 (previously 802.3ah, Clause 57), IEEE 802.1ag and ITU-T Y.1731OAM is a set of functions designed to monitor network operation in order to detect network faults and measure its performance. As Ethernet evolves from enterprise-level LANs to carrier-class networks and services, it requires automated end-to-end management and monitoring by service providers. As a result, Ethernet is the most recent communications protocol to adopt OAM capabilities such as connectivity verification, fault detection, performance monitoring, and alarm indication. OAM functionality allows network operators to measure quality of service attributes such as Availability, Frame Delay, Frame Delay Variation (“Jitter”) and Frame Loss. Such measurements enable identification of problems before they escalate so that users are not impacted by network defects. Furthermore, these capabilities allow the operators to offer binding SLAs and generate new revenues from rate- and performance-guaranteed service packages that are tailored to the specific needs of their customers.
Effective end-to-end service control also enables carriers to avoid expensive truck rolls to locate and contain faults thereby facilitating reduction of maintenance costs. Intrinsic OAM functionality is therefore essential in any carrier class technology and is a ‘must have’ capability in intelligent Ethernet network termination units.