||Author: Sam Halabi|
List Price: $40.00
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: Cisco Press (19 September, 2003)
Sales Rank: 40,318
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
Authoritative guide to metro Ethernet services/technology
Sam Halabi's book is described on the cover as "the definitive guide to enterprise and carrier metro Ethernet applications". As you would expect from the author of the justly-celebrated "Internet Routing Architectures", Halabi does a superb job.
Chapter 1 reviews traditional TDM ways of getting to the customer. With traditional SDH/SONET-based transmission, carriers pay a high price in operational complexity, cost and provisioning delay. Ethernet's advantages include fast provisioning, fine-grained bandwidth granularity (inherent in packet technologies) and a scalability from kbps to Gbps. The customer also expects a lower cost service, although carrier pricing remains volatile, partially from fear of cannibalising their existing connectivity revenues.
Chapter 2 looks at metro Ethernet technologies. Carriers with already deployed SONET/SDH networks naturally consider how to use them efficiently to carry Ethernet. The problem of mapping continuously-scalable packet flows into the lumpy SONET/SDH bandwidth hierarchy is well-described. Generic Framing Procedure (GFP) is becoming an increasingly popular adaptation layer between Ethernet (and other packet protocols such as PPP, Fiber Channel, FICON/ESCON) and SDH/SONET, implemented via the evolution of SONET/SDH devices into Multi-Service Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs). The bandwidth mismatches are addressed via Virtual Concatenation (VCAT) and Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme (LCAS).
Ethernet-over-SONET/SDH as just described is a pure transport mechanism. To create an Ethernet analogue of add-drop multiplexing and to support traffic aggregation, L2 switching functionality needs to be added to the basic SDH/SONET box. (This is a well-worn path for transmission vendors - the same model was proposed for ATM). Different customers' Ethernet streams need to be identifiable, and carrier VLAN tagging is a possibility, although MPLS provides a more scalable solution, discussed later.
In L2 switching in ring topologies, bandwidth fairness and efficient protection switching is difficult to achieve. The new "Resilient Packet Ring" (RPR) MAC protocol was developed to address these issues, and RPR can be run over GFP, and therefore supported in SONET/SDH devices which understand the RPR protocol. Of course, one can dispense with SONET/SDH equipment altogether (especially if you are a new operator and never installed it). Halabi briefly touches on the deployment and management of Gigabit Ethernet switches with direct interconnect.
Chapter 3 is devoted to metro Ethernet services. After a brisk tutorial on L2 switching, MAC learning, flooding, broadcast/multicast, VLANs and spanning tree protocol, Halabi gets down to the services. The Metro Ethernet Forum has defined two Ethernet service types: Ethernet Line Service (ELS) and Ethernet LAN service (E-LAN). Point-to-point vs. multipoint-to-multipoint, or transport vs. transport-and-switching if you prefer. ELS issues include traffic and performance management, class-of-service, VLAN support. Additional issues for E-LAN services focus on mechanisms for customer-separation, address-management and scalability.
Halabi identifies a number of issues along the way: with the VLAN tag length restricting operators to 4,096 customer-id values, operational services cannot scale; Ethernet does not have the kind of embedded OA&M facilities which allow carrier services such as SONET/SDH to be monitored and provisioned; the spanning tree protocol for loop-prevention does not scale and is inefficient; VPN configuration is hard to scale.
Chapter 4: "hybrid L2 and L3 IP/MPLS networks" unveils the solution. In a nutshell it is to adapt Ethernet to MPLS at the network edge, and use the power of BGP/MPLS VPN technology to scale the service. Halabi starts by reviewing standard L3 VPNs, both IP tunnels (GRE, not IPsec) and BGP/MPLS rfc 2547.
He then notes that Ethernet can be carried over MPLS via the IETF Pseudowire standard - this is fine for Ethernet Line Services. An E-LAN service such as Virtual Private LAN Service requires more work from the CE/PE devices, however. Specifically, the CEs think they are talking to an Ethernet switch on their link to the PE. The PE needs the additional functionality of a VLAN switch, and maps a specific MPLS label to each VLAN on a per-customer basis. This "broadcast domain" identification inner label is then augmented by an outer traffic-engineering label to forward traffic to the correct destination PE across the Service Provider network. Halabi describes in detail the mechanisms, which are similar to rfc 2547 VPNs at L3.
In practice there are still scaling issues, and the concept of "Decoupled Transparent LAN Service" is introduced. This creates an additional customer-premises PE which specialises in L2 MAC address management and customer segmentation, while the network POP PE can specialise in L3 MPLS tunnel and connectivity management. Given the detailed technical treatment, this is one of the harder chapters in the book. However, this is the last chapter actually devoted to Ethernet.
With Chapter 5, we enter part II of the book, which is more focused on traffic engineering and GMPLS. This chapter is a fast review of MPLS for traffic engineering of IP networks. Chapter 6 extends this discussion to cover the details of RSVP-TE for LSP establishment, specifically for fast-reroute. In Chapter 7 and the final Chapter 8, we see how MPLS (specifically GMPLS) can be used as a generalised control plane for virtual circuit management in the SONET/SDH and the optical layers.
The Internet is awash with white papers on all aspects of metro Ethernet. This book was published, by Cisco Press, in September 2003 so it's hot off the press. But sections still appear to be slightly dated in what is an incredibly fast-moving area.
Why buy it? Because Halabi knows what he's talking about, and gets down into the detail of how everything works with great intellectual clarity. Although it can be hard to see the wood from the trees in this book, it is the ideal "in one place" reference for both services and technologies for carrier Ethernet. I consider chapters 5-8 as an MPLS bonus, as they actually have nothing specifically to do with carrier Ethernet.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Smoke and mirrors removed
I recently read the book titled "Metro Ethernet", authored by the legendary Sam Halabi. ISBN: 158705096X. Let me be the first to say that this title lives up to Mr. Halabi's high standards for delivering top quality information. Sam Halabi does an excellent job of taking away the smoke and mirrors of the often misunderstood world of Metro Ethernet. This book explains, in superb detail, every way to skin the Metro Ethernet cat. The author does it in a way that helps to give the reader a complete understanding of a particular application of Metro Ethernet without dropping the reader off the deep-end of this hybrid technology. The book is organized very well. The author has taken a crawl, walk, run approach to the layout of this book. The introduction alone gives the reader a great road map of the book, so the reader can pinpoint a given topic, rather quickly. In the past I've had to rely heavily on the Index to provide pointers to a given topic, but the Introduction of this book is a great reference.
Along with the Authors previous book, "Internet Routing", the author waste little ink. Each topic is clear, concise and to the point. He's taken a lot of information from several sources and compiled the information in an easy to understand text. The illustrations help out a lot with capturing the complexity of the many different Metro Ethernet Architectures. One thing I liked about the book is that the Author gives the reader insight or background as to why a certain application of Metro Ethernet was designed and where it is likely to be applied.
This book is best suited for Telco carrier personnel or Enterprise personnel at any level. Companies that are looking for different strategies for their Metro Area Networking requirements will find this title very useful. For Enterprise Customers, this book is a great place to start prior to calling in a consultant or discussing services offered by a service provider. Consultants will likely find this title very valuable to understand the complexities and furthermore gain the ability to transform the complex lingo into something palatable for a non-technical audience/customer. Telco support personnel would benefit a great deal by understanding what their existing offers are or perhaps alternatives to their current offerings. The book is well rounded for a large target audience. A general understanding of the technologies discussed in this book is not really necessary, because the characteristics of the technologies discussed in the book are not implemented in the traditional sense. It does help to have an understanding of the technologies to be able to contrast the difference in the applications of Metro Ethernet. There is a great deal of information that covers the use of MPLS in conjunction with Metro Ethernet. The sections covering MPLS get a little more technical and may lose some individuals that are not technically savvy, however the concepts are clearly stated.
There is another title that covers information about Metro Ethernet technology offered by Cisco Press titled "Cisco Self-Study: Building Cisco Metro Optical Networks (METRO)" by Dave Warren, Dennis Hartmann. Since Metro Ethernet is one of many technologies covered in this title, it doesn't have as much to offer on the subject of Metro Ethernet as the title "Metro Ethernet" by Sam Halabi. The chapters in the title "Cisco Self-Study: Building Cisco Metro Optical Networks (METRO)" covering Metro Ethernet, focuses more on implementation details and the configuration of Metro Ethernet in Cisco equipment. If your looking for detailed information about Metro Ethernet, I would recommend the book "Metro Ethernet" by Sam Halabi.
This is one reader that is thankful Sam Halabi chose to write another book.
· DWDM Network Designs and Engineering Solutions
· Advanced BGP Design and Implementation
· MPLS and VPN Architectures, Vol. 2
· Cisco Self-Study: Building Cisco Metro Optical Networks (METRO)
· MPLS and VPN Architectures, Vol. 1