North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Optical Crossconnects and IP

  • From: Bora Akyol
  • Date: Thu May 11 13:42:10 2000

I am pleased to see that we managed to diverge from questions on OXCs to
benefits/disadvantages of TE and circuit switching.

Let me put in a few comments while we are at it:

1) I believe that all of the problems that are claimed to be solved by TE can also
be solved by a well-designed network architecture and a good routing protocol.
Unfortunately for the Internet, the development and research on IP routing
protocols that are load-sensitive has come to a halt. I know that there are people
working on these including some of us at Pluris, but in general, there is strong
pushback on anyone that even suggests that a load-sensitive routing protocol is a
better solution than TE.

2) In terms of a management perspective, I think that it is clearly advantageous to
manage a single network with no overlay topology. ATM was not even close to this
and MPLS although closer still does not meet the goal of the unified network. I am
still trying to figure out what exactly is wrong with a combination of
fast/dense/scalable routers and optical equipment without an overlay architecture.
As an aside, I don't think managing on the order of 5000-10000 LSPs in a core
backbone is easy at all.

Overall, I think a well-engineered and legacy-free IP network will be competitive
in terms of efficiency with an overlay network;however, there are some networks out
there with ATM equipment and for those networks MPLS may make sense.

Vadim, unfortunately, thinks are rarely all black or all white and one does need to
accommodate different demands when building a real, sellable product.

Bora Akyol
Apparently forgetful architect at Pluris ;-)

Tony Li wrote:

> |  > A key observation here is that the point of an optical cross connect is to
> |  > provide a real circuit, not a virtual one.
> |
> |  Tony - the way i see it, a "real" circuit is something which requires a
> |  technican to go on site to connect or disconnect it.
> Then I guess you haven't made a phone call since the days when we had
> ladies on rollerskates.  ;-)
> Tony