Sure, pseudowire is a big word. And it covers a lot of ground – pseudowire over MPLS, pseudowire switching, you can even have a pseudowire martini with my good friend Al in Ohio. But today we’re going to talk about the most common application of pseudowire in access networking – the venerable T1 and how to take care of it.
Moving T1 packets from point A to point B through an Ethernet network is pretty straightforward and, properly configured and synchronized, your customer will neither know nor care what transport gadget you used to get them there. But when things go wrong, it’s the robustness of your network that will either save the day or entangle you in a thicket of escalations and frustration. For turning up or troubleshooting a T1, nothing flies like a T-Berd. The old fashioned” T-Berd in a briefcase” gets the job done, but what if the only one in your area is in Billy’s truck and he’s reelin’ ‘em in at a fishing tournament? Well, here’s some good news for you, your T1 equipment probably already supports integrated BERT functionality. So you can test out repeaters under full load, check for format errors, and even start the soak test remotely before Billy starts his high speed run for the weigh-in. And with integrated support for ANSI T1.231 and GR-820-CORE Issue 2 performance monitoring, you can set thresholds on a circuit by circuit basis so your network will alert you to problems before your customer does.
But what happens when you start taking errors? For end to end remote troubleshooting you can’t beat a loopback. You need as many loopback points as possible to isolate and troubleshoot network segments when you’re tracking down elusive bit errors. But with your boss in a penny pinching mood, you’ll want to be on the look-out for integrated options (ie: provision-able in-band loopback support on T1 line cards and smartjack functionality on your ONTs) that not only cut capital costs but reduce installation time, making you more productive and under budget.
And that’s a good combination.
Next week: Disaster strikes, what’s your plan B? Real protection options for pseudowires.