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OAM: The backbone of present-day ethernet services

Multiservice networks are getting more and more complex, with new technologies constantly emerging as networks evolve. Due to the increasing sophistication of these networks, effective management capabilities are becoming more and more critical to detecting service performance degradation and ensuring network reliability. And although the concept of Ethernet operation, administration and maintenance (OAM) is not new, ongoing developments and advancements have made it essential to guaranteeing customer service-level agreements (SLAs), especially in the advent of carrier-grade Ethernet, and most notably Carrier Ethernet 2.0.

Ethernet OAM gives service providers greater visibility into their networks, enabling them to measure service assurance parameters such as frame loss, frame delay and frame delay variation (jitter), and quickly restore their network in the case of failure. This is especially important in light of the intense competition and increasingly high customer expectations that service providers are currently facing. By enabling them to efficiently monitor and maintain carrier-grade Ethernet services over multivendor and multicarrier networks, Ethernet OAM plays a vital role in accelerating revenue and lowering network maintenance costs while enhancing customer experience.

Given the importance that OAM plays in networks, proper network configuration is essential to supporting all of its inherent features, which in turn calls for proper testing of all essential parameters. However, because OAM technology is quite complex and constantly evolving, the most efficient testing approach involves use of test instruments equipped with all of the latest OAM features and metrics.

Want to learn the ins and outs of Ethernet OAM technology, from definitions and standards to testing fundamentals? Download our white paper, aptly entitled Understanding Ethernet OAM.