Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Network Functional Planes

Communication networks are usually modeled the following way:

User Plane
This plane supports the transport function i.e. the forwarding of traffic-units to end-point(s). The User-plane provides transport for the Control and Management planes.

Control Plane
This plane supports the control of the User-Plane with regards to the following aspects:

  • Topology  ( virtual )
  • Resources ( access etc.)
Of course the control-plane manages the virtual topology of networks unless one includes also "commands to humans to go dig-up streets and change patch-cords" i.e. humans are the only ones who control the fundamental physical topology (e.g. where cables are laid etc.).

Management Plane
This plane supports the management of the User and Control planes. The management functionality includes (see also FCAPS):
  • Fault
  • Configuration
  • Accounting
  • Provisioning
  • Security

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