General Switch Management Protocol (gsmp)

Last Modified: 2003-06-13


Avri Doria <>
Kenneth Sundell <>

Sub-IP Area Director(s):

Bert Wijnen <>
Alex Zinin <>

Sub-IP Area Advisor:

Bert Wijnen <>

Technical Advisor(s):

Allison Mankin <>

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Description of Working Group:

The base General Switch Management Protocol (GSMPv3) protocol has been
submitted to the IESG with the request that it become a proposed
standard. Currently the GSMP protocol provides switch configuration
control and reporting, port management, connection control, QoS and
traffic engineering control and the reporting of statistics and
asynchronous events for MPLS label switch devices, all either from or
to a third party controller.

The working group is responsible for completing the standardization
of the GSMP protocol by responding to protocol issues that arise
during implementation of the current specifications.

Additionally, the working group is responsible for augmenting the
protocol as follows:

- Support for Optical and Other Extensions and CCAMP Features

The architecture of some optical, TDM, spatial and other switch types
makes the ability to remotely control the connection state of a switch
important.  GSMP has been designed especially for such remote control
operations.  GSMP is, however,  currently lacking in the specific
semantics necessary for switches with some new technologies,
especially in the optical space. The WG will collect requirements and
define solutions to support optical and other new switching
technologies, compatibly with the common control and measurement
protocols WG (CCAMP) work. This work will be done in cooperation with
the other Sub IP Working groups involved in this area.

The extensions will include definition of new instances of "labels"
(for instance lambda identifiers) as needed, to support the usage
in the new technologies.  They will also include definitions of port
types, of service definitions and of traffic parameters. 

- Switch Partitioning

The current version of GSMP is designed to work with a static switch
partition. Recently, some regulatory environments (on multiple
continents) have mandated multi-provider access to the same physical
infrastructure. The working group will develop extensions to GSMP to
support dynamic switch portioning. This work would be to adapt GSMP to
work with multiple partitions in which resource allocation is dynamic
and variable between the switch partitions. This work would allow
network operators to dynamically open their forwarders (optical, TDM,
and other switch types) to multiple administrative domains of control.
The working group will also see what is achieved by using available
management tools, e.g. MIBs to monitor and control dynamic switch

- Relationship to Forwarding and Control Element Separation

The WG will conduct a brief (one-meeting) analysis of the potential use
of GSMP in mechanisms that allow third party network processors in
switch architectures.  The output will be an agreement of the likely
scope for a distinct WG that might be using GSMP for this purpose.

Goals and Milestones:

Done    Define an IP encapsulation for GSMP messages
Done    Extend GSMP message types to allow support of non-ATM Label Switch devices
Done    Refine the support for QoS models in GSMP
Done    Define an approved GSMP MIB
Done    Define approved mechanisms for security and authentication in GSMP
Done    Produce a version of the GSMP which has the consensus required for entry onto the standards track.
Done    Analyze role of GSMP for control element separation and make recommendation as to a separate WG for extending GSMP for this
Done    Document requirements for control of switches supporting optical, TDM and other CCAMP features
Done    Document requirements for switch partitioning and determine whetherto recharter to extend GSMP capabilities to meet these
Dec 02    Submit GSMPv3 extensions to include control of switches supporting optical, TDM and other CCAMP features and any updates of the base spec for Proposed Standard
Jun 03    Submit GSMPv3, its extensions and MIBs for Draft Standard
Jun 03    Conclude Working Group


General Switch Management Protocol (GSMP) v3 for Optical Support (64824 bytes)
GSMPv3 Base Specification (263363 bytes)
GSMPv3 Packet Capable Switch Support (119437 bytes)

Request For Comments:

General Switch Management Potocol(GSMP) V3 (RFC 3292) (318983 bytes)
GSMP Packet Encapsulations for ATM, Ethernet and TCP (RFC 3293) (18206 bytes)
General Switch Management Protocol Applicability (RFC 3294) (18294 bytes)
Definitions of Managed Objects for the General Switch Management Protocol (GSMP) (RFC 3295) (95516 bytes)
Requirements for the Dynamic Partitioning of Switching Elements (RFC 3532) (25119 bytes)
Requirements For Adding Optical Support To GSMPv3 (RFC 3604) (30805 bytes)