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Performance management for IP quality of service (QoS), using MPLS - at a new level
20 November 2002, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

Spirent Communications, BTexact Technologies and Eurescom, have completed a test confirming the feasibility of performance management for IP QoS using MPLS (multiprotocol label switching).

Spirent Communications is represented in South Africa by the Communication Test Division of Spescom, who says that as a result of this test service providers will be able to employ a simplified methodology for identifying the location of performance problems across multiple operator networks, and for verifying their capability to capture performance information at various classes of service.

This project - facilitated by Eurescom, the leading European organisation for collaborative research and development in telecommunications - arose from the increasing need within the service provider community for improved network-performance visibility across the entire service delivery chain. For many applications, a subscriber's traffic may traverse the networks of several providers in order to reach its destination. Because traditional performance management tools can only monitor single networks, it used to be nearly impossible to determine which provider's network is causing a problem when the subscriber experiences performance issues. However, the solutions defined and implemented within the test offer providers a model for collecting and correlating performance information not only within a given domain, but between domains as well. This 'end-to-end' visibility enables providers for the first time to positively isolate performance problems with carrier-class speed, accuracy and efficiency.

The test network consisted of two MPLS-based network domains, each running multiple service classes. Metrics used to measure QoS performance included one-way transfer delay, one-way delay variation, loss ratio, error ratio, and packet discard. These measurements were taken from test probes and network elements provided by the participants; featured Spirent Communications products included their SmartBits traffic generator, qScope 4000 test probe, IPWave impairment generation tool, the Perform OSS for performance and SLA management, while BTexact provided label edge and switching routers. Under this testing, Perform's role was to identify incidences when policing and discard was occurring due to traffic exceeding a threshold, as well as performance for each network domain and service class. This role took advantage of Perform's ability to capture and report on a variety of metrics at different points in the end-to-end flow of subscriber traffic - an essential step in isolating performance issues in a multicarrier, multivendor environment.

For more information contact Spescom MeasureGraph, 011 266 1500.


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