Cisco® ME 3400E Series Ethernet Access Switches are next-generation Layer 2 and Layer 3
customer-located devices for service providers. Their design is based on the widely deployed Cisco ME 3400 Series Ethernet Access Switches. The Cisco ME 3400E Series helps service providers deliver four key attributes that are essential to next-generation Carrier Ethernet service: availability, flexibility, manageability, and security.
With service-provider-friendly features, the Cisco ME 3400E Series is the second-generation Cisco
access switch optimized for Ethernet-to-the-Business (ETTB) VPN services. It provides both high availability and service flexibility for Carrier Ethernet business access deployments. The Cisco ME 3400E Series comes by default with advanced Layer 2 VPN service features and the option to upgrade to Layer 3 VPN services, giving service providers an out-of-the-box business VPN solution that can be scaled to meet future needs.
The Cisco ME 3400E Series offers two different Cisco IOS® Software feature images. The
METROACCESS image offers advanced quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, robust multicast control, and comprehensive security features. In addition, the METROACCESS image includes a rich set of Carrier Ethernet access features including 802.1Q Tunneling, Layer 2 Protocol Tunneling (L2PT), and Flexlink. The METROIPACCESS image adds advanced Layer 3 features such as support for advanced IP routing protocols, Multi-VPN Routing and Forwarding Customer Edge (Multi-VRF CE), and Policy Based Routing (PBR).
The SFP-based Gigabit Ethernet ports accommodate a wide range of 100BASE, 1000BASE, coarse wavelength-division multiplexing (CWDM), and dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) SFP transceivers. These ports also support the Cisco Catalyst® 3560 SFP Interconnect Cable for establishing a low-cost Gigabit Ethernet point-to-point connection.
Because Carrier Ethernet access switches are typically deployed in small spaces in office buildings or apartments, the Cisco ME 3400E Series offers a compact form factor and flexible mounting options. In addition, the Cisco ME 3400E Series has all front-accessed connectors to simplify field installation and troubleshooting. To help ensure compliance with industry standards, the Cisco ME 3400E Series has obtained both Network Equipment Building Standards Level 3 (NEBS3) and ETSI certifications.
Carrier Ethernet is a huge growth area for emerging connectivity services. It is a comparatively simple, cost-effective, and familiar technology whose migration to the WAN will lead to more flexible network connectivity while reducing overall IT costs. The Cisco ME 3400E Series is certified to Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 9 and 14 to support industry-standard Layer 2 services and QoS features.
With more and more applications demanding higher bandwidth, both enterprise and residential customers want access speeds greater than 100 Mbps. To address this requirement, the Cisco ME 3400E Series offers wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet with all the Carrier Ethernet functions. At speeds of 1000 Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet provides the bandwidth to meet new and evolving network demands, alleviate bottlenecks, and boost performance while protecting the investment in existing infrastructure.
Carrier Ethernet-Specific Software
The Cisco ME 3400E Series software is designed specifically for the Carrier Ethernet market. Numerous new features make the Cisco ME 3400E Series the optimal access switch for service providers. Many default behaviors of the Cisco ME 3400E Series are different from those of traditional Ethernet switches, making the Cisco ME 3400E Series easier to configure, manage, secure, and troubleshoot.
The Cisco ME 3400E Series software introduces the concept of User-Network Interface/Enhanced Network Interface/Network-Node Interface (UNI/ENI/NNI) for Ethernet access switches. Because the software can identify the application of each port, it can provide many powerful default behaviors.
Flexible Deployment Options for Software Features
The Cisco ME 3400E Series offers two different Cisco IOS Software feature images, METROACCESS and METROIPACCESS, providing cost-effective, "pay-as-you-grow" upgrade options for service providers deploying multiple services. The service providers do not have to pay for the features they do not need today and still have the option in the future to receive those features with a simple software upgrade.
Support for multiple software feature images allows service providers to standardize on the Cisco ME 3400E Series, save on the operating expense of stocking multiple products, simplify training of support technicians, and alleviate the complication of supporting different products for different services.
Solutions for Next-Generation Business Access Services
The Cisco ME 3400E Series is designed to help service providers provide service availability, service flexbility, service manageability, and service security for advanced Carrier Ethernet business access.
Increased service availability is a critical requirement for service provider networks because most enterprise customers expect the same level of availability from Carrier Ethernet as they have from leased-line networks. The Cisco ME 3400E Series supports redundant field-replacable integrated power supply and fan modules. To quickly activate and troubleshoot services, the Cisco ME 3400E Series offers traffic loopback capabilities so service providers can remotely verify and monitor services. Four external alarm inputs allow service providers to respond quickly to changes in the switch's environmental condtions before failure occurs.
To further increase service availability on a networkwide level, Cisco ME 3400E offers Flexlink for sub-50-ms failover, Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP), Link-State Tracking, IEEE 802.1w Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), per-VLAN Rapid Spanning Tree Plus (PVRST+), and the Cisco Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP). These capabilities help to create redundant, failsafe topologies. Strong, built-in security in three tiers - network, switch, and subscriber - helps prevent the device and the network from succumbing to malicious attacks, thereby enhancing network uptime.
Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP) is a Cisco proprietary protocol that provides an alternative to Spanning Tree Protocol to control network loops, handle link failures, and improve convergence time. REP enables fast and predicable reconvergence for Layer 2 networks. In addition, REP supports VLAN load balancing to enable efficient utilization of redundant links.
As more enterprises adopt Carrier Ethernet technology, the demand on service providers' abilities to offer new services increases. The Cisco ME 3400E Series offers 1:1 VLAN translation which allows end customers the flexibility of choosing their own internal VLANs without affecting the core service provider's network. In some instances, service providers need to provide multiple EPL (Ethernet Private Line) services on a single UNI (User Network Interface). With the Selective QinQ feature, the Cisco ME 3400E Series helps service providers to offer multiple Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) services on a single UNI. To support the need for next-generation enterprise services, customers are lookings for more QoS functionalities to support differenty types of applicatoins. To meet the need for ever stringent QoS requirements from customers, the Cisco ME 3400E Series offers 2-rate 3-color policer with byte-level statistics at ingress ports and inner-to-outer CoS mapping to help service providers offer differentiated services with high profit margins.
With today's sophiscated networks, service providers are always looking for ways to reduce operational expenses (OpEx) and increase profit margins. The Cisco ME 3400E Series provides the following tools to help service providers simplify the management of their Ethernet services.
Traffic loopback capabilities to help service providers activate and troubleshoot new and existing services without expensive truck rolls. The "dying gasp" alert for loss of power and four external alarm inputs to detect changes in remote sites further help service providers to manage the health of their equipment. And an Ethernet management port provides dedicated access for service providers to monitor and provision the switch.
In addtion, the Cisco ME 3400E Series includes Generic Online Diagnostics (GOLD) and Onboard Failure Logging (OBFL) to help service providers avoid potential problems before they occur and troubleshoot and diagnose issues once they happened. With features such as Embedded Event Manager (EEM), Ethernet Operations, Administration, and Management (OAM), and Time-Domain Reflectometer (TDR), the Cisco ME 3400E Series provides a comprehensive set of tools to help service providers to manage Ethernet services.
As Carrier Ethernet networks expand, it is a challenge to provide the same level of security as other access technologies. Cisco ME 3400E Series switches provide a comprehensive security solution for Ethernet access networks by providing service security in three areas: subscriber, switch, and network.
Subscriber security helps create protection among customers. A major concern in using a shared device for multiple customers is how to prevent customers from affecting each other. The Cisco ME 3400E Series addresses this concern with several different features. The UNI/NNI feature creates a circuit-like behavior to separate customers' traffic from each other. DHCP Snooping, Dynamic ARP Inspection, and IP Source Guard help service providers identify each customer based on MAC, IP address, and port information to help prevent malicious users from spoofing fake addresses and launching man-in-the-middle attacks.
Switch security is about protecting the switch itself from attacks. The Cisco ME 3400 Series offers features to protect CPU and configuration files from attacks. CPU is a critical component of an Ethernet switch that is responsible for process-control protocols and routing updates; under DoS attack, the CPU could drop those control packets, resulting in network outage. Other features such as Configurable Control Plane Security and Storm Control protect the CPU against malicious attacks. The Port Security feature allows service providers to control the number of MAC addresses each subscriber is allowed, offering protection against overwhelming the switch memory.
Network security features filter all incoming traffic to help ensure that only valid traffic is allowed through the switch. Cisco ME 3400E Series switches have features such as access control lists (ACLs) and IEEE 802.1x authentication to identify the users and packets that are allowed to transmit traffic through the switch.
Switch Management Options
The Cisco ME 3400E Series offers a superior command-line interface (CLI) for detailed configuration. In addition, the switches support CiscoWorks and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) for networkwide management. Service providers can integrate the Cisco ME 3400 Series transparently into their operations support systems (OSSs) and enable improved flow-through provisioning.
Service providers can also manage the Cisco ME 3400E Series using SNMP Versions 2 and 3. A comprehensive set of MIBs is provided for service providers to collect traffic information in the Cisco ME 3400E Series.
Ethernet Operations, Administration, Maintenance, and Provisioning
The advent of Ethernet as a metropolitan and wide-area networking technology has accelerated the need for a new set of operations, administration, maintenance, and provisioning (OAM&P) protocols. Service provider networks are large and complex with a wide user base, and they often involve different operators that must work together to provide end-to-end services to enterprise customers. To answer enterprise customer demands, service providers must reduce the mean time to repair (MTTR) and increase service availability. Ethernet OAM&P features address these challenges and enable service providers to offer carrier-grade services.
The Cisco ME 3400E Series supports industry-standard OAM&P tools including IEEE 802.1ag Connectivity Fault Management, IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet First Mile, and Ethernet Local Management Interface (E-LMI) protocol. IEEE 802.1ag tools to monitor and troubleshoot end-to-end Ethernet networks allow service providers to check connectivity, isolate network issues, and identify customers affected by network issues. E-LMI protocol, developed by the MEF, enables service providers to communicate service configuration and status information to the customer-edge device. In addition, the Cisco ME 3400E Series supports the IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile standard for monitoring, remote failure indication, loopback, and OAM discovery on the link between the customer equipment and the service provider network.
Furthermore, the Cisco ME 3400E Series supports the ITU-T standard Y.1731, which provides fault management and complements the IEEE 802.1ag functionality.
Cisco ME 3400E Series switches help service providers offer a portfolio of profitable, differentiated services, including Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN services for the ETTB market.
Intelligent Ethernet Demarcation
As Ethernet circuits replace TDM circuits inside of enterprise wiring closets, a replacement for the demarcation device is also needed. Service providers have traditionally relied on this type of device to separate the management responsibility. A demarcation device allows service providers to monitor and troubleshoot circuits all the way into the customer's wiring closet. The Cisco ME 3400EG-2CS Switch offers the same function for an Ethernet-based network. With support for industry-standard Ethernet OAM&P features and traffic loopback, the Cisco ME 3400EG-2CS allows service providers to monitor and troubleshoot Ethernet circuits remotely. These features greatly reduce operating expense for service providers by reducing the numbers of site visits needed to troubleshoot network problems. In addition, the Cisco ME 3400EG-2CS provides the same intelligent features such as QoS, Ethernet security, and Multicast as other switches in the Cisco ME 3400E Series.
Layer 2 VPN Service
Layer 2 VPN services allow customers to connect remote offices together through a service provider network without requiring private connections. The Cisco ME 3400E Series is suited for Carrier Ethernet access deployments because it offers features such as 802.1Q Tunneling and L2PT. The Cisco ME 3400E Series helps service providers offer Layer 2 VPN services to their enterprise or commercial customers (Figure 2). Typically, these switches are installed in a office building basement serving multiple customers as customer located equipment (CLE).
Layer 3 VPN Service
Layer 3 VPN is another popular offering from service providers. Its benefits include a single control plane over different transport technologies, advanced QoS, and high security. With the Multi-VPN Routing and Forwarding Customer Edge (Multi-VRF CE) feature, the Cisco ME 3400E Series provides a separate routing-table function for each customer to help ensure separation of customers' routing information.
Mobile Backhaul Service
With the explosion of mobile data traffic, service providers need more bandwidth in their mobile networks. Ethernet, with attributes such as simplicity, scalability, and low cost, has become the mobile backhaul solution that many service providers have turned to in order to provide the required capacity for data traffic. The Cisco ME 3400E Series provides features such as +24V DC, redundant power supplies, and an extended temperature range (up to 65ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ°C depending on the model and configuration - see Table 9 for more details), which are critical for mobile backhaul deployments. In addition, the Cisco ME 3400E Series includes Ethernet OAM and traffic loopback, which help service providers to remotely monitor and troubleshoot traffic at distant cell stations. The Cisco ME 3400E Series also helps service providers to deliver flexible Layer 2 SLAs with advanced QoS features.