Fears that a set of next-generation network transport
specifications developed by ITU-T could cause interoperability problems have
The IETF and ITU will work together to extend IETF MPLS
functionality to address the needs of the transport network. The work will move
forward recognizing that the sole design authority for MPLS resides in the IETF, and the domain of expertise for Transport
Network Infrastructure resides in ITU-T SG15.
ITU-T has been developing extensions to Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF) MPLS to address the requirements of the transport network
(T-MPLS). However, concerns were raised by the IETF that the approach taken by
the ITU-T was incompatible with widely deployed - MPLS - technology. These
concerns have been allayed with the agreement that the IETF and ITU-T will work
jointly on the development of a transport profile for MPLS technology which
will now be referred to as “MPLS-TP”.
The Joint Working Team (see previous
newslog entry) consisting of experts from the IETF and ITU-T has
recommended that IETF MPLS technology should be extended to meet the
requirements of the transport network. The proposal is based on technical
analysis that showed that the IETF MPLS architecture can be extended to provide
the functionality required by the transport network as defined by ITU-T's Study
Group 15. The ITU-T has accepted this proposal and the IETF will develop a
transport profile for MPLS (MPLS-TP) with input from ITU-T to ensure that the
requirements of the transport network are fully addressed. Details of the
proposal and the technical consideration are available here.
Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication
Standardization Bureau said, "Given the complexity of today’s networks it
is inevitable that we will, from time-to-time, see divergent approaches. What
is important is that we quickly agree on a way forward. The experts in the
joint group have worked hard to find a cooperative solution rather than going
our separate ways. This is an excellent result and bodes well for the future
collaboration between ITU and IETF".”
Russ Housley Chair of the IETF, "I am very optimistic
about the outcome, and I see this as a significant milestone in the cooperation
between the ITU-T and the IETF."