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Pseudo-wires over MPLS network - Dawn of a new era?

Have you ever thought of the reason why Pseudo-wire configurations over MPLS cloud are getting popular?

Pseudo-wires are common in wireless network services especially in Long Term Evolution (LTE) to transport traffic from eNodeB to EPC (Evolved Packet Core). Over and above this, pseudo-wires are being used for international point to point connections. Pseudo-wires are even used as a replacement to international SDH/SONETcircuits. By using pseudo-wires, you get the same quality of service and operational specifications similar to transparent transmission circuits which are created by combining multiple Vc4's in Vc41v configuration.

Latin American suppliers, in particular, have been using pseudo-wires as an upcoming trend for their customer's point-to-point connectivity requirements. This is achieved over their MPLS cloud with major destinations.

So what are the parameters a customer should anticipate from a service provider who provides a point-to-point connectivity over their MPLS cloud in the form of pseudo-wire?  

·         VLAN ID transparency: The circuit must support IEEE 802.1q VLAN trunking and be VLAN transparent. It must not be necessary to inform the supplier of the VLAN IDs in use or the bandwidth required by each VLAN ID. The supplier must comply with this requirement.

·         Quality of Service: Service providers mostly use the highest QoS level which can be premium.

·         Security: As an internet carrier on the same L3 platform especially in the global routing table is considered as an unacceptable security risk. But the service provider is transporting the point-to-point circuit directly over MPLS. So there is no layer 3 or internet element involved.

·        Maximum Transmission unit or MTU: It can provide MTU at 1722+ (Ethernet MTU)

·         Latency: In most of the cases the latency will be little higher compared to the SONET/SDH implementation. This should be taken care during the planning stage.

·         Availability: The availability can be as high as 99.999%.

Why do service providers prefer to use Pseudo-wires? What is in it for them?

The main advantage is all about cost savings - savings by not installing any cross connects, fibers, DACS or fibers or DWDM systems specific to create SDH/SONET network as well as associated sync network. All traffic will pass through the MPLS cloud and the slices of bandwidth will be configured in MPLS network according to the requirements from clients.

As I said if there is no sync network, then how is sync chieved?  Although packet timing and synchronization has not met universal adoption yet, it is no longer a barrier to rolling out packet backhaul, with widespread acceptance of IEEE  1588v2 products, and SyncE coming along as an added option.

With these advantages, there is little wonder that pseudo-wire configurations over MPLS cloud have become one of the hottest trends in the Networking space.


Good to start on moving to Pseduo wires - covered key features well and can expand on CB analysis etc.,

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