Network Working Group                                       L. Andersson
Internet-Draft                                                  Ericsson
Intended status: Informational                                  M. Betts
Expires: July 19, 2010                                   ZTE Corporation                           H. van Helvoort
Expires: July 23, 2010                               Huawei Technologies
                                                               R. Bonica
                                                        Juniper Networks
                                                            D. Romascanu
                                                        January 15, 19, 2010

                         "The OAM Acronym Soup"


   At first glance the acronym "OAM" seems to be well known and well
   understood.  Looking at it a bit more closely reveals a set of
   recurring problems that are revisited time and again.  This document
   has one primary and one secondary goal.  The primary goal is to find
   an understanding of OAM that is useful for the MPLS Transport Profile
   (MPLS-TP) effort.  The secondary goal is to make this understanding
   applicable in a wider scope.

   This document is a product of a joint Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF) / International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication
   Standardization Sector (ITU-T) effort to include an MPLS Transport
   Profile within the IETF MPLS and PWE3 architectures to support the
   capabilities and functionalities of a packet transport network.

   This Informational Internet-Draft is aimed at achieving IETF
   Consensus before publication as an RFC and will be subject to an IETF
   Last Call.

   [RFC Editor, please remove this note before publication as an RFC and
   insert the correct Streams Boilerplate to indicate that the published
   RFC has IETF Consensus.]

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  OAM and O, A and M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.1.  OAM as a functional unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.2.  The acronym broken up  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.2.1.  O in OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.2.2.  A in OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.2.3.  M in OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   3.  Use of the OAM acronym MPLS-TP effort  . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   4.  Acronyms for the MPLS-TP effort  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   5.  IANA considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   6.  Security considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   8.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     8.1.  Normative references . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     8.2.  Informative references . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

1.  Introduction

   The state of this work is very much "work in progress" and the
   discussion is ongoing.  The reason to publish the draft at this stage
   is that some of the relevant MPLS-TP drafts are getting close to
   working group last call and some of the definitions in this document
   are needed for consistency within that group of drafts.

   The acronym OAM is frequently used in the data and telecommunication
   industry.  One would assume that something that is so widely used is
   very clearly defined.  However a closer look reveals some points that
   need to be clarified.

   The examples below come mainly from the first set of MPLS-TP IDs.  In
   the IDs there were a number of examples of how the OAM acronym could
   be used and there were a number of ways to expand and understand the
   acronym e.g.:

   o  OAM = Operations, Administration, Maintenance

   o  OAM = Operations, Administration, Management

   o  OAM = Operations and Maintenance

   o  OAM = Operations and Management

   o  O&M = Operations and Maintenance

   o  O&M = Operations and Management

   The examples above were taken from drafts that later were corrected
   and aligned with what is proposed in this document.

   Sometimes there is a fourth letter added to the acronym:

   o  OAM and P = Operations, Administration, Maintenance and

   If such an important piece of our technology is so poorly defined, or
   if there are dialects of the technology with different understandings
   of such a key concept, this will eventually cause problems.

   Trying to understand the use of an acronym that is as "content-rich"
   as OAM reveals two levels of complexity.  First, each letter in the
   acronym represents an integrated piece of functionality; secondly the
   acronym as such represents something that is more than just the sum
   of its parts.

   There is also the issue of how each piece of the acronym is defined.
   This document provides an analysis of how each piece of the acronym
   is defined and provides possible interpretations of the acronym.
   Finally the interpretation of the OAM acronym to use for the MPLS-TP
   effort based on the agreement reached in the JWT report [1] is

   The immediate target is to document the use of the OAM acronym such
   that it is useful for MPLS-TP.  However, broader applicability of the
   definitions in this document may also come to light.

   This document is a product of a joint Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF) / International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication
   Standardization Sector (ITU-T) effort to include an MPLS Transport
   Profile within the IETF MPLS and PWE3 architectures to support the
   capabilities and functionalities of a packet transport network.

2.  OAM and O, A and M

2.1.  OAM as a functional unit

   Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM): A group of network
   management functions that provide network fault indication,
   performance information, and data and diagnosis functions.  Examples
   are ATM OAM ITU-T I.610 [3] and Clause 57 of IEEE 802.3-2008 [2].

   Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM): A group of network
   management functions that provide network fault indication, fault
   localization, performance information, and data and diagnosis

   The ITU-T M.3010 [6] recommendation defines operations systems
   function as a function block that processes information related to
   the telecommunications management for the purpose of monitoring/
   coordinating and/or controlling telecommunication functions including
   management functions (i.e. the TMN itself).

   The Metro Ethernet Forum refers to OAM as the tools and utilities to
   install, monitor and troubleshoot a network, helping carriers run
   their networks more efficiently.

   Note: the paragraphs above are so far just placeholders.

2.2.  The acronym broken up

2.2.1.  O in OAM

   The O in the OAM acronym invariably stands for "Operations".

   However there is some ambivalence in the definition and scope of the
   term "Operation".

   Note: Examples to be provided.

2.2.2.  A in OAM

   The A in the OAM acronym mostly stands for "Administration", though
   in a few cases it seems like "Accounting" is also used.  For the
   purpose of this document it is assumed that "Administration" is the
   correct expansion of "A".

   Note: Examples to be provided.

   Administration is used to support maintenance functions, e.g. by
   collecting failure and performance information, continuous or on-

2.2.3.  M in OAM

   In the list above the M in the OAM acronym stands for "Maintenance"
   or "Management".

   Since Maintenance and Management are defined as two different
   activities it does not seem to be a good idea to use them

   Note: Examples to be provided.

   The recommendation ITU-T M.20 [4] defines maintenance as the whole of
   operations required for setting up and maintaining, within prescribed
   limits, any element involved in the setting up of a connection (see
   the ITU-T M.60 [5] recommendation).  The purpose is to properly plan
   and program the maintenance operations required to establish and
   maintain a network.

   A major aim of the concept of maintenance is to minimize both the
   occurrence and the impact of failures and to ensure that in case of a
   failure the correct actions are taken.  The ITU-T document also
   clearly defines a maintenance philosophy.

3.  Use of the OAM acronym MPLS-TP effort

   In Section 4 the acronyms as they will be used in the MPLS-TP effort
   are listed.  This section gives some background on the definitions

   "Mgt" will be used if an abbreviation for "Management" is needed.
   This draft does not define Management.  It is noted, however, that an
   important part of management functionality relates to tools to report
   the state of the network.

   In MPLS-TP drafts, the OAM acronym is to be used for "Operations,
   Administration and Maintenance", i.e. excluding provisioning.

   OAM tools and protocols and the "Management space" are complementary
   in nature.  Management focuses on FCAPS functionality and on manager
   (or NOC) to device (or network) interaction.

   From an architecture point of view OAM protocols and tools tend to be
   "horizontal" i.e. network element to network element while the
   management protocols tend to be "vertical".

   Where each part of the acronym and provisioning is defined as

   o  Operations - Operation activities are undertaken to keep the
      network (and the services that the network provides) up and
      running.  It includes monitoring the network and finding problems.
      Ideally these problems should be found before users are affected."

   o  Administration - Administration activities involve keeping track
      of resources in the network and how they are used.  It includes
      all the bookkeeping that is necessary to track networking
      resources and the network under control.

   o  Maintenance - Maintenance activities are focused on facilitating
      repairs and upgrades - for example, when equipment must be
      replaced, when a router needs a patch for an operating system
      image, or when a new switch is added to a network.  Maintenance
      also involves corrective and preventive measures to make the
      managed network run more efficiently, e.g. adjusting device
      configuration and parameters.

   o  Even though "Provisioning" is not included in this document, the
      following definition is provided for completeness.

      Provisioning - Provisioning activities involve configuring
      resources in the network to support the offered services.  This
      might include setting up the network so that a new customer can
      receive an Internet access service.

   o  Sometimes it is necessary to talk about the combination of
      functions and tools supplied by OAM and Management, it is
      preferred that this is spelled out as "OAM and Management".  In
      cases where an acronym is needed O&M should be used.

4.  Acronyms for the MPLS-TP effort

   OAM - Operations, Administration and Maintenance

   O&M - Operations, Administration, Maintenance and Management

   "Mgt" - Management

5.  IANA considerations

   There are no requests for IANA allocation of code points in this

6.  Security considerations

   Security is a significant requirement of MPLS-TP.  However, this
   informational document is intended only to provide guidance on the
   use of the OAM acronym, and the security concerns are, therefore, out
   of scope.

7.  Acknowledgments


   Malcolm Betts from M. C. Betts Consulting Ltd. significantly
   contributed to this document.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative references

8.2.  Informative references

   [1]  Bryant, S. and L. Andersson, "Joint Working Team (JWT) Report on
        MPLS Architectural Considerations for a Transport Profile",
        RFC 5317, February 2009.

   [2]  IEEE, "Information technology - Telecommunications and
        information exchange between systems - Local and metropolitan
        area networks - Specific requirements - Part 3: Carrier sense
        multiple access with collision detection (CSMA/CD) access method
        and physical layer specifications"", IEEE Standard 802.3,
        December 2008.

   [3]  International Telecommunication Union, "B-ISDN operation and
        maintenance principles and functions", ITU-T Recommendation
        I.610, February 1999.

   [4]  International Telecommunication Union, "Maintenance philosophy
        for telecommunication networks", ITU-T Recommendation M.20,
        October 1992.

   [5]  International Telecommunication Union, "Maintenance terminology
        and definitions", ITU-T Recommendation M.60, March 1993.

   [6]  International Telecommunication Union, "Principles for a
        telecommunications management network", ITU-T Recommendation
        M.3010, February 2000.

Authors' Addresses

   Loa Andersson


   Malcolm Betts
   ZTE Corporation


   Huub van Helvoort
   Huawei Technologies


   Ron Bonica
   Juniper Networks


   Dan Romascanu