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2006 © SWITCH 1 TNC'06 Panel Presentation Myths about costs of circuit vs. packet switching Simon Leinen
2006 © SWITCH 2 Common Wisdom About Backbone Costs “Bandwidth is almost free” – thanks to DWDM “Routing is very expensive” – in particular, high-capacity (>= 10 Gb/s) interfaces/line cards The only way to build cost-effective high-speed backbones: – build DWDM network – use one lambda for “legacy” packet (IP) network – use circuit switching to provide “end-to-end” connections to sites
2006 © SWITCH 3 Free Bandwidth on DWDM Networks? The incremental cost for additional bandwidth can be low – Just add another wavelength The up-front investment in a DWDM network can be quite high – Fibers (IRU/construction) – Amplifiers, dispersion compensation etc. – Little things like synchronization (for SDH/SONET) The overall operational expenditure (OpEx) can also be high – Fiber lease/maintenance – Device maintenance – Housing
2006 © SWITCH 4 Free Bandwidth on DWDM Networks Howto: “Creative Accounting”: – Blame the up-front and overall costs on the “legacy IP” service: “The first wavelength is quite expensive. We use it for the IP backbone.” – Additional wavelengths (for point-to-point connections) are now very cheap.
2006 © SWITCH 5 Costs of router OC-192/STM-64 POS – Old carrier-class router: 135k (½ 2-port linecard) – 375k (LR) – Newer carrier-class router: 83k (¼ 4-port linecard) – 188k (LR) – Glorified L3 switch: 215k+XFP – 350k (LR)
2006 © SWITCH 6 Costs of router OC-192/STM-64 POS – Old carrier-class router: 135k (½ 2-port linecard) – 375k (LR) – Newer carrier-class router: 83k (¼ 4-port linecard) – 188k (LR) – Glorified L3 switch: 215k+XFP – 350k (LR) 10GE – Old carrier-class router: 85k – 165k (1-port linecard) – Newer carrier-class router: 14k+XENPAK (1/8 8-port linecard) – Glorified L3 switch: 5k+XENPAK (¼ 4-port linecard) XENPAK cost: 600 (CX4) – (DWDM, replaces transponder!) All of these platforms support IPv4/IPv6 unicast/multicast, MPLS. Compare with transponders for WDM/TDM switch platforms: 45k-70k for 10Gb/s (but with tunable transponders available)
2006 © SWITCH 7 Chassis/switching fabric costs Old carrier-class router – 38k (4-slot 80Gb/s) – 355k (16-slot 1.28 Tb/s) Newer carrier-class router – 225k (8-slot 640? Gb/s) – 450k (16-slot 1.28? Tb/s) Glorified L3 switch – 16k (4-slot 32 Gb/s) – 34k (4-slot 720 Gb/s) – 97k (9-slot 720 Gb/s large/red.)
2006 © SWITCH 8 Can a glorified L3 switch be a router? “If it walks like a duck...” – Switch/router terminology is largely a marketing device – L3 switches forward on L3 addresses, thus I consider them routers – They must participate in routing protocols (OSPF, BGP-4 etc.) Many L3 switches don't implement IS-IS, some lack MPLS features etc. – With a L3 switch, you are mostly stuck with what the hardware supports, but With forwarding based on TCAMs, many forwarding modes can be supported Replacing the switching logic is cheap! (especially with centralized forwarding)
2006 © SWITCH 9 Costs per...? Aggregate bps – circuit-switched wins – but seamless upgrades are more difficult Number of endpoints – ? Number of connections sustained by the network – packet-switched wins: no connection state in the network – limitations of today's WDM and WDM/TDM networks (5-low 100s of channels) Connection setup rate – packet-switched wins: connection creation between endpoints – Note that setup delay may be low for CO network; but throughput will be limited Resilience – packet-switched wins: no connection state in the network (fate sharing)
2006 © SWITCH 10 Building Cost-Effective IP Backbones Cost drivers for IP networks: – Carrier-class equipment Redundancy within the device Excessive device scalability (e.g. hundreds of interfaces per box) High development costs (ASIC) over low sales volumes o e.g. CRS-1: USD 500M dev. project, sold 100 units in first 18 months – Complex feature sets (integration bugs) – Bleeding-edge performance – Large buffers – Large routing tables small routing tables are OK (TCAM vs. CAMs in Ethernet/MPLS switches)
2006 © SWITCH 11 Building Cost-Effective IP Backbones How to avoid these cost drivers: – Use high-volume (but high-performance) equipment e.g. glorified campus switches 10 GbE will get cheaper still (replacement of SAN and cluster interconnects) Provide redundancy through multiple chassis – Avoid complex features, especially in the core This will help lots for OpEx and availability A minimum feature set could include o IPv4/IPv6 unicast/multicast w/BGP+IGP (IS-IS/OSPF) o diffserv support, ACLs and control-plane protection o basic management features (SNMP, decent CLI) o tunneling for basic VPNs (EoL2TPv3 or EoMPLS)
2006 © SWITCH 12
2006 © SWITCH 13
2006 © SWITCH 14 Even more cost-effective packet networks Learn to stop worrying and love small router buffers – Recent studies show some conditions under which this works well Develop (end/edge) mechanisms to fix those cases that don't work well Humble suggestion for the network layer after IP(v6): – Move path selection to the endpoints (hosts) Makes the network more useful (path-agile applications, controlled multipath etc.) If done right (strict source routes), this eliminates routing tables from routers
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