Metro Ethernet services: Switching and service attributes

Ethernet Layer 2 switching and the different metro Ethernet service concepts as introduced by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) are explained in this chapter excerpt. Taken from the tried and true Metro Ethernet by Sam Halabi, the chapter covers switching basics, service attributes and parameters, and scalability and reliability challenges.

Ethernet Layer 2 switching and the different metro Ethernet service concepts as introduced by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) are explained in this chapter excerpt. Taken from the tried-and-true Metro Ethernet by Sam Halabi, the chapter covers the following topics:

  • L2 switching basics: The two fundamental elements in Ethernet L2 switching are the MAC address and the virtual LAN (VLAN). Learn about these concepts, as well as MAC learning, flooding, using broadcast and multicast, using trunks, VLAN tagging and Spanning Tree Protocol.
  • Metro Ethernet services concepts: For Ethernet services, the MEF defines a set of attributes and parameters that describe the service and SLA that are set between the metro carrier and its customer. These attributes and parameters are outlined.
  • Example of an L2 metro Ethernet service: An example shows a metro carrier offering an L2 MP2MP VPN service to a customer A and a packet leased-line service (comparable to a traditional T1 leased line) to an ISP.
  • Challenges with all-Ethernet metro networks: Scalability and reliability challenges are discussed, including restrictions on the number of customers, service monitoring, scaling the L2 backbone, service provisioning, and interworking with legacy deployments.

Read the rest of Metro Ethernet services in this PDF.


Excerpted from Metro Ethernet by Sam Halabi (ISBN: 158705096). Copyright 2003, Cisco Press. All rights reserved.

This was first published in July 2007

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