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IEEE APPROVES NEW IEEE 802.1aq™ SHORTEST PATH BRIDGING STANDARD

IEEE 802® standard designed to help reduce complexity and human error, enabling more dynamic, easier-to-use deployments

Shuang Yu, Marketing Manager
+1 732 981 3424; shuang.yu@ieee.org

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 8 May 2012 — IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, today announced that it has approved the IEEE 802.1aq™-2012 Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Bridges and Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks. Also known as Shortest Path Bridging (SPB), the standard will help dramatically reduce the complexity of Ethernet networks while increasing their scale. Part of the IEEE 802® family of standards for local and metropolitan area networks, IEEE 802.1aq encompasses all functionalities of existing technologies, such as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and Multiple MAC Registration Protocol (MMRP) into a single, easy-to-use link state protocol.

The new IEEE 802.1aq SPB standard is expected to significantly streamline the creation and management of enterprise, carrier, and cloud networks, and is designed to virtually eliminate human error during network configuration. IEEE 802.1aq preserves the plug-and-play nature that established Ethernet as the de facto protocol at Layer 2. It leverages a proven carrier-grade link state protocol for automatic and instantaneous building of the most logical, optimized topology between access points. This simplifies endpoint provisioning, decreases configuration burdens, and reduces errors. It also helps enable more dynamic deployments that are easier to use and maintain than other technologies.

“Ethernet is a uniquely enabling technology that has indelibly changed the face of the networking and communications landscape; yet, for all of the benefits it brings – improved interoperability and enhanced functionality, for example – it is still subject to challenges like increased complexity in network architectures and simple human error,” said Tony Jeffree, chair, IEEE 802.1™ Working Group. “IEEE 802.1aq will help minimize these issues by providing a robust control plane that delivers greater scale, resiliency, and efficiency in Ethernet networking, simplifying operations and minimizing human error.”

Based on a proven link state routing protocol, SPB combines Intermediate System To Intermediate System (IS-IS) and Ethernet to deliver more power and scalability than its predecessors. Using the IEEE’s next-generation VLAN, called a Service Interface Identifier (I-SID), it is capable of supporting 16 million unique services compared to the VLAN limit of four thousand. Once the I-SID is provisioned at the edge, the network core automatically interconnects like I-SID endpoints to create a contiguous fabric leveraging all links and equal cost connections using an enhanced shortest path algorithm.

Already being deployed by users around the world, IEEE 802.1aq consolidates multiple existing functionalities, including STP, Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP), Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), and MMRP into in a one link state protocol.

For additional details about IEEE 802.1aq or to purchase a copy of the standard, please visit the IEEE-SA website.

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About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit the IEEE-SA website.

About IEEE
IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more at the IEEE website. external link