Patent Number: 7,821,949

Title: Forwarding plane data communications channel for ethernet transport networks

Abstract: Described is a process and system for providing an extensible forwarding plane data communications channel adapted to selectively support operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) activity within one or more different domains of an Ethernet transport network. The data communication channel is established using Ethernet protocol data units forwarded within the forwarding plane, between network elements. The Ethernet protocol data units can be Ethernet OAM frames modified to include an OpCode indicative of a maintenance communication channel. The OAM frames are generated at a selected one of the network elements (source), forwarded along the same network path as the Ethernet frames, and terminate at another network element (destination) associated with a maintenance level identified within the OAM frame. The source and destination network elements can reside on a domain boundary using the Ethernet OAM frames flowing therebetween to relay maintenance communications channel messages.

Inventors: Mohan; Dinesh (Kanata, CA), Allan; David (Ottawa, CA)

Assignee: Nortel Networks Limited

International Classification: G06F 11/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2018-10-26 0:00:00