<p><a href="http://www.osa-jon.org/features/OE_2005.html">Feature Issue on Optical Ethernet (OE)</a></p> We propose what we believe to be a new optical resilient Ethernet ring (RER) architecture to allow the operation of Ethernet in ring topologies for efficient data transport in metropolitan area networks (MANs). Developed on the basis of standard Ethernet data-link switching technology, the proposed RER is simple and data efficient. Basic RER system design issues such as architecture, frame structure, frame forwarding mechanism, and self-learning process are described in detail. The ring topology simplifies the decision-making process for frame forwarding and also enables the network to recover from link or node failure rapidly, as in the case of synchronous optical networking (SONET)∕synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) rings. Three different protection schemes are presented, and their performance differences are studied through simulations. The proposed RER is scalable to a large network size by interconnecting multiple rings with a modified transparent bridging technique. We present the first steps toward extending Gigabit Ethernets to MANs and focus on the medium access control (MAC) layer for such a system.
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