Studies started in year:
 Projects and Studies


Opportunities offered by Carrier Grade Multipoint Services
For further information please contact:

Uwe Herzog
Programme Manager
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

A multipoint technology allows a user to reach multiple destinations through a single physical or logical connection. The definition of a multipoint network service is one that allows each customer edge (CE) end point or node to communicate directly and independently to all other CE nodes.
Multipoint Services (e.g. Transparent LAN Services or Virtual Private LAN Services) provide a functionality, which is virtually identical to a corporate LAN. With Multipoint Services a customer domain can be extended across an operator backbone, and corporate users are able to benefit from the simplicity and familiarity of a LAN regardless of the physical location of their sites.

Currently many providers are offering L3 Multipoint Services (L3 VPN) which are used by a large number of customers. This solution has some limitations (e.g. scalable support for IP-Multicast transport, control of customer routing) which has to be addressed and solved in the future to provide even more attractive services.
A Multipoint Service is attractive because fewer physical connections are required to achieve full connectivity between multiple points. An equivalent level of connectivity based on a point-to-point technology requires a much larger number of connections or the use of non-optimal packet forwarding.
With IP multicast support over layer 2/3 Multipoint Services an operator can provide the customer with support for running IP multicast services inside the VPN network in an efficient and scalable manner. This requires scalable mechanisms for set-up of multicast replication trees inside the core network.

The study will analyse Multipoint Services from the operator’s perspective. It will assess existing solutions and new technologies. The study focuses on IP-Multicast as one service on top of different Multipoint solutions and will analyse the pros and cons. It will also propose a roadmap for the deployment of Multipoint Services.

What are the main objectives of this Project?

  • Describe characteristics of Multipoint Services which are important to customers and summarise what changes they bring to the traditional data services model.
  • Compare new emerging approaches for realising Multipoint services (e.g. Virtual Private LAN Services) with existing solutions (e.g. layer 3 multipoint solutions that are already implemented) and take the approaches of the different standardisation bodies (IEEE, ITU, IETF, MEF) into account.
  • Identify the main obstacles to provide Multipoint Services in a scalable and reliable way and how to avoid or overcome existing problems, whenever possible. Characterise the available technical solutions (802.1ad, MACinMAC, VPLS, etc.) and compare the respective strengths and shortcomings.
  • Evaluate IP-Multicast as one service example on top of different Multipoint solutions. Compare the pros and cons regarding to the underlying Multipoint technologies and take new approaches as e.g. RSVP-TE extensions for P2MP LSP into account.
  • Suggest a roadmap for the deployment of these services and recommend directions to operators in this area.
  • Give input to the corresponding IETF working groups (l3vpn, l2vpn) to provide an ISPs/carriers point of view. This should help the IETF to come up with solution fulfilling the service requirements of an ISP or carrier.

What relationship exists to other organisations or bodies?

The study will take into account specifications and ongoing work on Multipoint Services of these standardisation bodies: IEEE, ITU, IETF, MEF.
In addition, active contributions will be made to the IETF workgroups l3vpn and/or l2vpn.

Project Results