Right on schedule, the Resilient Packet Ring Alliance completed a single baseline draft for the RPR standard IEEE 802.17, it says. The organization had set January 2002 for a draft completion.
The group met last week in Orlando and narrowed their work down to a single baseline document for the RPR standard, says spokeswoman Jennifer Guinan.
More than 75 percent of the meeting’s attendees supported the draft; the Alliance says more than 400 people have participated in the standard development.
As recently as November, the RPR Alliance’s Working Group had reached “major areas of agreement” on the draft. At that time, the group took presentations, and from those, accepted tests specifying two areas: the physical layer interface mechanisms and management, and the MAC reference model serving as a basis for developing the MAC protocol, it said then. The organization says in a report that the problem of effectively managing a shared resource is most efficiently solved at the MAC layer of the protocol stack.
“RPR (802.17) will be a new MAC protocol designed for metro fiber ring networks,” it says. “By finding a MAC protocol for ring networks, RPR attempts to find a fundamental solution to the metro bottleneck problem.”
RPR provides the resiliency of Sonet at the price of Ethernet, and could be ready to act as an alternative layer-2 technology “that will quickly and cost-effectively provision new services for existing fiber networks,” it says in a statement.
The year-old alliance advocates development of RPR technology standards, and will promote adoption of an RPR standard for LANs, MANs and WANS via industry-wide education.
Key members include Alcatel, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Luminous Networks, Mindspeed Technologies, Riverstone Networks, Nortel Networks, and as of today, Xilinx.
Stay tuned for next month’s meeting, where the Alliance says the working group will further develop the standards. According to its timeline, last additions to the draft are due in March and standards should be complete by March of 2003.