The scope of the REFORM project is to specify, design and develop a system providing the necessary means and functions for ensuring network performance and availability within acceptable levels under normal and fault situations. Specifically, the objectives of the REFORM project are:
1. To study, specify and develop
in the control plane
OAM mechanisms for fault detection, focusing on faults caused in or escalated in the ATM network layer;
fast and reliable ATM network layer self-healing mechanisms and related OAM protocols;
efficient routing and spare resource control algorithms;
in the management plane
adaptive load balancing algorithms with inherent self-healing capabilities and suitable fail-safe protocols for routing information exchange;
intelligent dynamic distributed and centralised routing algorithms and service migration algorithms, coping with fault conditions;
cost-effective spare resource allocation and management schemes;
with the overall goal to ensure:
cost-effective network performance and availability in normal conditions, and
cost-effective, reliable and robust network recovery in fault conditions, ensuring the performance of existing connections and in network availability for new connections.
2. To design and implement REFORM system prototypes by
adopting a CORBA-based TINA framework for realising the management system
by interworking with appropriate TMN components
by adopting appropriate means for implementing the REFORM control system components so that the time critical requirements are met.
3. To assess the validity and effectiveness of the developed OAM protocols, self-healing mechanisms, routing load balancing and resource management algorithms as well as the design of the REFORM system as a whole, in the context of field trials on NH platforms
The project, through its partners, intends to have strong links with the TINA-C.
survivability structure for ATM networks, considering both control and management planes, covering the complete failure management cycle (prior, post, normalisation) and taking into account
Main contributions to the programme objectives:
System for making ATM networks resilient to changing mixes of traffic, topologies and services with different QoS requirements. The system was based on ITU-T, ATM Forum, OMG, TINA and ISO standards.
Contribution to the programme
The REFORM system has shown that different technologies, even different cultures, can indeed coexist and interoperate, to the benefit of both network design and operation.
The project will follow an incremental approach, evolving through two main phases, each of which delivers and demonstrates a REFORM system prototype on the NH infrastructure. The first phase will deliver an initial REFORM system prototype after the first 17 months, the second phase leads to the final REFORM system prototype after 29 months from project start. Evaluation work through experimentation will follow each prototype development phase. The experimentation results of the first phase will provide an important feedback for the design and implementation of the final prototype, especially for the algorithms incorporated in the REFORM system. Experimentation with the first phase system will lead to the identification of improvements and to fine-tuning of the specified algorithms. The final REFORM system prototype will incorporate enhanced functionality, taking into account the experimentation results of the first phase. The evaluation results of the final REFORM system prototype will constitute a significant part of the project results.
The REFORM system covers both the control and management planes of network operation, with emphasis on performance, configuration and fault management areas. In particular, REFORM is concerned with restoration mechanisms in the ATM network layer and their integration with the control and management layers functionality, aiming at providing an integral and network-wide treatment to the problem of fault restoration. Specifically, the REFORM system will incorporate rapid and reliable ATM network layer self-healing mechanisms, in the control plane, intelligent load balancing, dynamic routing and resource management functions, spread across the control and management planes, all interworking together with the overall goal to ensure cost-effective network performance and availability under normal and fault situations.
The REFORM system comprises two distinct parts: the REFORM control part (embedded in the NEs) hosts the fast responding restoration capabilities of the system; and the REFORM management part, hosts the required management functionality. Routing and resource management functionality is spread across these two parts through a hierarchical model, operating in different levels of time-scale and abstraction. The control part of the REFORM system will be realised with appropriate means to guarantee the time-critical requirements of its desired operation, while the realisation of the management part will be based on the emerging TINA management framework and by using a CORBA-based distributed processing environment.
The validity and effectiveness of the system will be assessed and demonstrated through field trials based on the NH infrastructures of Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway and Greece.
Summary of Trials
The project will be trial-oriented, giving the opportunity to validate the REFORM system functions and algorithms in realistic network environments. The theoretical work regarding self-healing mechanisms and related protocols, alternatives for fail-safe resource and routing management, will be superseded by practical implementation and experimentation phases, providing a stimulating inter-play between theory and practice. For this reason, the NH infrastructure will be used as experimental testbed and a practical off-the-shelf application will be used.
The project will make use of the EXPERT testbeds involving the Swiss and Dutch NHs, and the testbeds of the Norwegian and the Greek National Hosts. The EXPERT testbeds comprise the primary experimental infrastructure of the REFORM project. These testbeds are the foremost ATM sites in Europe and they offer the necessary hardware and software sub-systems required for the REFORM experiments. The Norwegian and the Greek NHs will be interconnected to these testbeds for experiments in the second phase of the project.
network performance and availability under normal and fault conditions in multi-service ATM-based IBC networks
role of performance and configuration management functions during the failure restoration process
integration of OAM and other control plane mechanisms and functions with higher level routing and resource management functions
fast ATM layer restoration mechanisms and protocols, intelligent load balancing, cost-effective dynamic routing and spare resource management algorithms, taking explicitly into account the diversity in bandwidth and performance requirements of the supported network service classes
definition of a suitable survivability architecture, encompassing the above functionality
TINA framework validation from the perspective of network management
migration from TMN systems to TINA-based systems
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
WC1E 7HX London