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SDH Q&A:helpful to crack SDH based interviews................

Q. What is SDH ?

SDH stands for Synchronous Digital Hierarchy & is an international Standard for a high capacity optical telecommunications network.It is a synchronous digital transport system aimed at providing a more simple,economical,& flexible teleccommunication infrastructure.

Q. What is the difference between SONET and SDH?
A. To begin with there is no STS-1. The first level in the SDH hierarchy is STM-1 (Synchronous Transport Mode 1) is has a line rate of 155.52 Mb/s. This is equivalent to SONET's STS-3c. Then would come STM-4 at 622.08 Mb/s and STM-16 at 2488.32 Mb/s. The other difference is in the overhead bytes which are defined slightly differently for SDH. A common misconception is that STM-Ns are formed by multiplexing STM-1s. STM-1s, STM-4s and STM-16s that terminate on a network node are broken down to recover the VCs which they contain. The outbound STM-Ns are then reconstructed with new overheads.

Q. What are the advantages of SDH over PDH ?

The increased configuration flexibility and bandwidth availability of SDH provides significant advantages over the older telecommunications system.
These advantages include:
A reduction in the amount of equipment and an increase in network reliability.
The provision of overhead and payload bytes - the overhead bytes permitting management of the payload bytes on an individual basis and facilitating centralized Fault sectionalisation.-nearly 5% of signal structure allocated for this purpose.
The definition of a synchronous multiplexing format for carrying lower-level digital signals (such as 2 Mbit/s, 34 Mbit/s, 140 Mbit/s) which greatly simplifies the interface to digital switches, digital cross-connects, and add-drop multiplexers.
The availability of a set of generic standards, which enable multi-vendor interoperability.
The definition of a flexible architecture capable of accommodating future applications, with a variety of transmission rates.Existing & future signals can be accomodated.

Q. What are the main limitations of PDH ?

The main limitations of PDH are:
Inability to identify individual channels in a higher-order bit stream.
Insufficient capacity for network management
Most PDH network management is proprietary
There's no standardised definition of PDH bit rates greater than 140 Mbit/s
There are different hierarchies in use around the world. Specialized interface equipment is required to interwork the two hierarchies

Q. What are some timing/sync defining rules of thumb?
1. A node can only receive the synchronization referencesignal from another node that contains a clock ofequivalent or superior quality (Stratum level).
2. The facilities with the greatest availability (absence of outages) should be selected forsynchronization facilities.
3. Where possible, all primary and secondary synchronization facilities should be diverse, and synchronization facilities within the same cable should be minimized.
4. The total number of nodes in series from the stratum 1 source should be minimized. For example, the primary synchronization network would ideally look like a star configuration with the stratum 1 source at the center. The nodes connected to the star would branch out in decreasing stratum level from the center
5. No timing loops may be formed in any combination of primary

Q. What is meant by "Plesiochronous" ?

If two digital signals are Plesiochronous, their transitions occur at "almost" the same rate, with any variation being constrained within tight limits. These limits are set down in ITU-T recommendation G.811. For example, if two networks need to interwork, their clocks may be derived from two different PRCs. Although these clocks are extremely accurate, there's a small frequency difference between one clock and the other. This is known as a plesiochronous difference.

Q. What is meant by "Synchronous" ?

In a set of Synchronous signals, the digital transitions in the signals occur at exactly the same rate. There may however be a phase difference between the transitions of the two signals, and this would lie within specified limits. These phase differences may be due to propagation time delays, or low-frequency wander introduced in the transmission network. In a synchronous network, all the clocks are traceable to one Stratum 1 Primary Reference Clock (PRC).

Q. What is meant by "Asynchronous" ?

In the case of Asynchronous signals, the transitions of the signals don't necessarily occur at the same nominal rate. Asynchronous, in this case, means that the difference between two clocks is much greater than a plesiochronous difference. For example, if two clocks are derived from free-running quartz oscillators, they could be described as asynchronous.

Q. What are the various steps in multiplexing ?

The multiplexing principles of SDH follow, using these terms and definitions:

Mapping: A process used when tributaries are adapted into Virtual Containers (VCs) by adding justification bits and Path Overhead (POH) information.

Aligning: This process takes place when a pointer is included in a Tributary Unit (TU) or an Administrative Unit (AU), to allow the first byte of the Virtual Container to be located.

Multiplexing: This process is used when multiple lower-order path layer signals are adapted into a higher-order path signal, or when the higher-order path signals are adapted into a Multiplex Section.

Stuffing: As the tributary signals are multiplexed and aligned, some spare capacity has been designed into the SDH frame to provide enough space for all the various tributary rates. Therefore, at certain points in the multiplexing hierarchy, this space capacity is filled with "fixed stuffing" bits that carry no information, but are required to fill up the particular frame.

Explain 1+1 protection. In 1+1 protection switching, there is a protection facility (backup line) for each working facility At the near end the optical signal is bridged permanently (split into two signals) and sent over both the working and the protection facilities simultaneously, producing a working signal and a protection signal that are identical.At the Far End of the section, both signalsare monitored independently for failures. The receiving equipment selects either the working or the protection signal. This selection is based on the switch initiation criteria which are either a signal fail (hard failure such as the loss of frame (LOF) within an optical signal), or a signal degrade (soft failure caused by the error rate exceeding some pre-defined value).

Explain 1:N protection. In 1:N protection switching, there is one protection facility for several working facilities (the range is from 1 to 14). In 1:N protection architecture, all communication from the Near End to the Far End is carried out over the APS channel, using the K1 and K2 bytes. All switching is revertive; that is, the traffic reverts to the working facility as soon as the failure has been corrected.

In 1:N protection switching, optical signals are normally sent only over the working facilities, with the protection facility being kept free until a working facility fails.

Q. If voice traffic is still intelligible to the listener in a relatively poor communication channel, why isn't it easy to pass it across a network optimized for data?

A. Data communication requires very low Bit-error Ratio (BER) for high throughput but does not require constrained propagation, processing, or storage delay. Voice calls, on the other hand, are insensitive to relatively high BER, but very sensitive to delay over a threshold of a few tens of milliseconds. This insensitivity to BER is a function of the human brain's ability to interpolate the message content, while sensitivity to delay stems from the interactive nature (full-duplex) of voice calls. Data networks are optimized for bit integrity, but end-to-end delay and delay variation are not directly controlled. Delay variation can vary widely for a given connection, since the dynamic path routing schemes typical of some data networks may involve varying numbers of nodes (for example, routers). In addition, the echo-cancellers deployed to handle known excess delay on a long voice path are automatically disabled when the path is used for data. These factors tend to disqualify data networks for voice transport if traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) quality is desired.

Q. How does synchronization differ from timing?

A. These terms are commonly used interchangeably to refer to the process of providing suitable accurate clocking frequencies to the components of the synchronous network. The terms are sometimes used differently. In cellular wireless systems, for example, "timing" is often applied to ensure close alignment (in real time) of control pulses from different transmitters; "synchronization" refers to the control of clocking frequencies.

Q. If I adopt sync status messages in my sync distribution plan, do I have to worry about timing loops?

A. Yes. Source Specific Multicasts (SSMs) are certainly a very useful tool for minimizing the occurrence of timing loops, but in some complex connectivities they are not able to absolutely preclude timing loop conditions. In a site with multiple Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) rings, for example, there are not enough capabilities for communicating all the necessary SSM information between the SONET network elements and the Timing Signal Generator (TSG) to cover the potential timing paths under all fault conditions. Thus, a comprehensive fault analysis is still required when SSMs are deployed to ensure that a timing loop does not develop.

Q. If ATM is asynchronous by definition, why is synchronization even mentioned in the same sentence?

A. The term Asynchronous Transfer Mode applies to layer 2 of the OSI 7-layer model (the data link layer), whereas the term synchronous network applies to layer 1 (the physical layer). Layers 2, 3, and so on, always require a physical layer which, for ATM, is typically SONET or Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH); thus the "asynchronous" ATM system is often associated with a "synchronous" layer 1. In addition, if the ATM network offers circuit emulation service (CES), also referred to as constant bit-rate (CBR), then synchronous operation (that is, traceability to a primary reference source) is required to support the preferred timing transport mechanism, Synchronous Residual Time Stamp (SRTS).

Q. Most network elements have internal stratum 3 clocks with 4.6ppm accuracy, so why does the network master clock need to be as accurate as one part in 10^11?

A. Although the requirements for a stratum 3 clock specify a free-run accuracy (also pull-in range) of 4.6ppm, a network element (NE) operating in a synchronous environment is never in free-run mode. Under normal conditions, the NE internal clock tracks (and is described as being a traceable to) a Primary Reference Source that meets stratum 1 long-term accuracy of one part in 10^11.
This accuracy was originally chosen because it was available as a national primary reference source from a cesium-beam oscillator, and it ensured adequately low slip-rate at international gateways.
Note: If primary reference source (PRS) traceability is lost by the NE, it enters holdover mode. In this mode, the NE clock's tracking phase lock loop (PLL) does not revert to its free-run state, it freezes its control point at the last valid tracking value. The clock accuracy then drifts elegantly away from the desired traceable value, until the fault is repaired and traceability is restored.

Q. What are the acceptable limits for slip and/or pointer adjustment rates when designing a sync network?

A. When designing a network's synchronization distribution sub-system, the targets for sync performance are zero slips and zero pointer adjustments during normal conditions. In a real-world network, there are enough uncontrolled variables that these targets will not be met over any reasonable time, but it is not acceptable practice to design for a given level of degradation (with the exception of multiple timing island operation, when a worst-case slip-rate of no more than one slip in 72 days between islands is considered negligible). The zero-tolerance design for normal conditions is supported by choosing distribution architectures and clocking components that limit slip-rates and pointer adjustment rates to acceptable levels of degradation during failure (usually double-failure) conditions.

Q. Why is it necessary to spend time and effort on synchronization in telecom networks when the basic requirement is simple, and when computer LANs have never bothered with it?

A. The requirement for PRS traceability of all signals in a synchronous network at all times is certainly simple, but it is deceptively simple. The details of how to provide traceability in a geographically distributed matrix of different types of equipment at different signal levels, under normal and multiple-failure conditions, in a dynamically evolving network, are the concerns of every sync coordinator. Given the number of permutations and combinations of all these factors, the behavior of timing signals in a real-world environment must be described and analyzed statistically. Thus, sync distribution network design is based on minimizing the probability of losing traceability while accepting the reality that this probability can never be zero.

Q. How many stratum 2 and/or stratum 3E TSGs can be chained either in parallel or series from a PRS?

A. There are no defined figures in industry standards. The sync network designer must choose sync distribution architecture and the number of PRSs and then the number and quality of TSGs based on cost-performance trade-offs for the particular network and its services.

Q. Is synchronization required for non-traditional services such as voice-over-IP?

A. The answer to this topical question depends on the performance required (or promised) for the service. Usually, Voice-over-IP is accepted to have a low quality reflecting its low cost (both relative to traditional PSTN voice service). If a high slip-rate and interruptions can be accepted, then the voice terminal clocks could well be free-running. If, however, a high voice quality is the objective (especially if voice-band modems including Fax are to be accommodated) then you must control slip occurrence to a low probability by synchronization to industry standards. You must analyze any new service or delivery method for acceptable performance relative to the expectations of the end-user before you can determine the need for synchronization.

Q. Why is a timing loop so bad, and why is it so difficult to fix?

A. Timing loops are inherently unacceptable because they preclude having the affected NEs synchronized to the PRS. The clock frequencies are traceable to an unpredictable unknown quantity; that is, the hold-in frequency limit of one of the affected NE clocks. By design, this is bound to be well outside the expected accuracy of the clock after several days in holdover, so performance is guaranteed to become severely degraded.
The difficulty in isolating the instigator of a timing loop condition is a function of two factors: first, the cause is unintentional (a lack of diligence in analyzing all fault conditions, or an error in provisioning, for example) so no obvious evidence exists in the network's documentation. Secondly, there are no sync-specific alarms, since each affected NE accepts the situation as normal. Consequently, you must carry out trouble isolation without the usual maintenance tools, relying on a knowledge of the sync distribution topology and on an analysis of data on slip counts and pointer counts that is not usually automatically correlated.

Q.How do you get value of an E1 as 2.048Mbps?

A.As we know that voice signal is of frequency 3.3 Khz,and as per the Nyquist Rate or PCM quantization rate for transmission we required signal of >=2f(here ‘f’ is GIF [3.3]=4).and each sample of data is a byte. DS0: provides one 64kbps channel.E1: 32 DS0 or 32 channels with 64kbps

Also we know that voice signal frame consisits of 32 bytes .Hence value of an E1 will be



PCM multiplexing is carried out with the sampling process, sampling the analog sources sequentially. These
sources may be the nominal 4-kHz voice channels or other information sources that have a 4-kHz bandwidth, such as data or freeze-frame video. The final result of the sampling and subsequent quantization and coding is a series of electrical pulses, a serial bit stream of 1s and 0s that requires some identification or indication of the beginning of a sampling sequence. This identification is necessary so that the far-end receiver knows exactly when the sampling sequence starts. Once the receiver receives the “indication,” it knows a priori (in the case of DS1) that 24 eight-bit slots follow. It synchronizes the receiver. Such identification is carried out by a framing bit, and one full sequence or cycle of samples is called a frame in PCM terminology.
Consider the framing structure of E1
PCM system using 8-level coding (e.g., 2^8= 256 quantizing steps or distinct PCM code words). Actually 256 samples of a signal will be sufficient to regenerate the original signal and each signal is made up of 1 or 0.

The E1 European PCM system is a 32-channel system. Of the 32 channels, 30 transmit speech (or data) derived from incoming telephone trunks and the remaining 2 channels transmit synchronization-alignment and signaling information. Each channel is allotted an 8-bit time slot (TS), and we tabulate TS 0 through 31 as follows:
0 Synchronizing (framing)
1–15 Speech
16 Signaling
17–31 Speech
In TS 0 a synchronizing code or word is transmitted every second frame, occupying digits 2 through 8 as 0011011. In those frames without the synchronizing word, the second bit of TS 0 is frozen at a 1 so that in these frames the synchronizing word cannot be imitated. The remaining bits of TS 0 can be used for the transmission of supervisory information signals .Again, E1 in its primary rate format transmits 32 channels of 8-bit time slots. An E1 frame therefore has 8*32 =256 bits. There is no framing bit. Framing alignment is
carried out in TS 0.

The E1 bit rate to the line is:256 *8000 = 2, 048, 000 bps or 2.048 Mbps

Question for you Electrical E1 is ac or dc in nature????

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