Network Working Group                                       L. Andersson
Internet-Draft                                                  Ericsson
Intended status: BCP                                     H. van Helvoort
Expires: March 31, September 30, 2011                          Huawei Technologies
                                                               R. Bonica
                                                        Juniper Networks
                                                            D. Romascanu
                                                            S. Mansfield
                                                      September 27, 2010
                                                          March 29, 2011

        "Guidelines for the use of the OAM acronym in the IETF"


   At first glance the acronym "OAM" seems to be well known and well
   understood.  Looking at the acronym a bit more closely reveals a set
   of recurring problems that are revisited time and again.

   This document provides a definition of the acronym OAM (Operations,
   Administration, and Maintenance) for use in all future IETF documents
   that refer to OAM.  There are other definitions and acronyms that
   will be discussed while exploring the definition of the constituent
   parts of the OAM term.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 31, September 30, 2011.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  OAM and O, A and M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.1.  OAM as a Functional Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  The Acronym Broken Up  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       2.2.1.  O in OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       2.2.2.  A in OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       2.2.3.  M in OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   3.  Recommendations on the use of the OAM Acronym  . . . . . . . .  7
   4.  Recommended Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   7.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   8.  Informative references . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

1.  Introduction

   The main purpose of this document is to provide a definition of the
   OAM acronym such that it is useful for the IETF.

   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 show a number of different ways that the OAM
   acronym has been expanded in previous documents.

   o  OAM = Operation, Administration, Maintenance

   o  OAM = Operations, Administration, Maintenance

   o  OAM = Operations, Administration, and 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

   o  O&M = OAM and Management

   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 a recommendation for the interpretation of the OAM acronym is

   Another useful document to make the OAM term understandable in a
   wider scope is found in An Overview of Operations, Administration,
   and Maintenance (OAM) Mechanisms [I-D.ietf-opsawg-oam-overview].

2.  OAM and O, A and M

2.1.  OAM as a Functional Unit

   Operations And Maintenance (OAM): A group of network management
   functions that provide network fault indication, performance
   information, and data and diagnosis functions.  ATM OAM ITU-T I.610
   [ITU-T I.610]
   [ITU-T-I.610] is an example specification that uses this expansion of
   the OAM acronym.

   Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM): A group of network
   management functions that provide network fault indication, fault
   localization, performance information, and data and diagnosis
   functions.  Examples where this acronym is used are Clause 57 of IEEE
   802.3-2008 [IEEE.802.3-2008] and ITU-T Y.1731 [ITU-T Y.1731]. [ITU-T-Y.1731].

   The ITU-T M.3010 [ITU-T M.3010] [ITU-T-M.3010] 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
   (Telecommunications Management Network) 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 effectively MEF 17 [MEF 17]. [MEF-17].

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".

   Examples of tools related to "operations" are performance monitoring
   tools used for service level agreement (SLA) measurement, fault
   management tools used to monitor the health of nodes and links in the
   network, and network provisioning tools.

2.2.2.  A in OAM

   The A in the OAM acronym stands for "Administration".

   Examples of "administration" tools are network discovery and planning

2.2.3.  M in OAM

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

   Maintenance and Management may have different interpretations.
   Maintenance is defined further in Section 3, while Management is a
   broader term applicable to many functions applied to the network as
   described in Section 3.

   Since these terms have different interpretations, it is not a good
   idea to use them interchangeably.  This document defines the "M" in
   the OAM acronym to mean Maintenance.

   Examples of "maintenance" tools are implementations of connectivity
   check, loopback, link trace, and other tools that can be used to
   monitor and diagnose failures in a network or network element.

   The Recommendation ITU-T M.20 [ITU-T M.20] [ITU-T-M.20] 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 [ITU-T M.60] [ITU-T-M.60] 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.

3.  Recommendations on the use of the OAM Acronym

   In Section 4 the recommended acronyms are listed.  This section gives
   some background on the definitions provided.

   "Mgmt" 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.

   The OAM acronym is to be used for "Operations, Administration, and
   Maintenance", excluding provisioning.

   OAM tools and protocols, and the "Management space" are complementary
   in nature.  Management focuses on FCAPS (Fault, Configuration,
   Accounting, Performance, and Security) functionality and on manager
   (or NOC (Network Operations Center)) to device (or network)

   From an architecture point of view OAM protocols and tools deployed
   in the data plane tend to be "horizontal", i.e., network element to
   network element.  The management protocols tend to be "vertical",
   i.e., between management stations and network elements.

   The components of the OAM acronym (and provisioning) are 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 effectively, e.g., adjusting device
      configuration and parameters.

   "Provisioning" is outside the scope of this document, but the
   following definition is provided for completeness.

   o  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.

   In general, Provisioning is used to configure the network to provide
   new services, whereas OAM is used to keep the network in a state that
   it can support already existing services.

   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.  Recommended Acronyms

   OAM - Operations, Administration, and Maintenance

   O&M - OAM and Management

   "Mgmt" - Management

5.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

6.  Security Considerations

   This document provides guidance for the use of the OAM acronym in
   other documents.  This document does not have direct security

   Misunderstanding of an acronym may lead to incorrect specification or
   implementation which may, in turn, open up security concerns with
   protocols or deployed networks.  Clarifying the meaning of OAM is,
   therefore, a benefit for future stability of specifications.

7.  Acknowledgments

   The following individuals significantly contributed to this document.

   o  Malcolm Betts from M. C. Betts Consulting Ltd.

   o  Kam Lam from Alcatel Lucent

   o  Dieter Beller from Alcatel Lucent

   o  David Harrington from Huawei Technologies

   Thanks to the experts of ITU-T SG 15 for their review and comments.

8.  Informative references

              Mizrahi, T., Sprecher, N., Bellagamba, E., and Y.
              Weingarten, "An Overview of Operations, Administration,
              and Maintenance (OAM) Mechanisms",
              draft-ietf-opsawg-oam-overview-03 (work in progress),
              July 2010.
              January 2011.

              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.

   [ITU-T I.610]

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

   [ITU-T M.20]

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

   [ITU-T M.3010]

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

   [ITU-T M.60]

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

   [ITU-T Y.1731]

              International Telecommunication Union, "OAM functions and
              mechanisms for Ethernet based networks", ITU-
              T Recommendation Y.1731, February 2008.

   [MEF 17]

   [MEF-17]   Metro Ethernet Forum, "Service OAM Requirements &
              Framework - Phase 1", MEF Technical Specification MEF 17,
              April 2007.

Authors' Addresses

   Loa Andersson


   Huub van Helvoort
   Huawei Technologies


   Ron Bonica
   Juniper Networks


   Dan Romascanu


   Scott Mansfield