North American Network Operators Group

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RE: MPLS VPNs or not?

  • From: Kavi, Prabhu
  • Date: Wed Aug 08 11:08:56 2001

I did not work *for* UUNET either.  However, I did work for Cascade *at*
UUNET as on on-site consultant sometime in 1995.  I worked with their 
network engineers in analyzing traffic patterns, performing network 
design, and looking at network costs.  In addition, I followed their 
network design closely from 1994-1998.

I can definitely state that UUNET had its own separate Frame Relay and
(later) ATM backbone network that they did not share with Worldcom's
Frame Relay/ATM network.  UUNET's L2 switches were directly connected
to T3 TDM and later OC-12 TDM links.  


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Craig Partridge [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2001 9:19 AM
> To: Kavi, Prabhu
> Cc: [email protected]
> Subject: Re: MPLS VPNs or not? 
> In message 
> <[email protected]>, "Kavi,
>  Prabhu" writes:
> >I don't think UUNET considered it a waste. UUNET could not have grown
> >as quickly as it did during the mid to late 90s without L2 (Frame and
> >ATM) technologies.  Fortunately for them, they did not have 
> any pure IP
> >only zealots that prevented the pragmatic use of other technologies
> >in their networks.  Otherwise they probably would not have been able
> >to outrun the other ISPs.
> I know the history here pretty well (though since I was never employed
> by UUNET, I'll probably get some of it wrong).  It doesn't quite match
> this description.
> UUNET was an excellently run ISP well before it starting doing the ATM
> activity.  It came (I suspect) from Rick Adams' days as a 
> struggling ISP,
> competing against Govt subsidized regional networks, in the 
> 1980s.  If you
> look at their various SEC filings in their first few years, they're a
> tightly run company.
> Once UUNET was acquired by Worldcom, UUNET had access to Worldcom's
> network infrastructure, which was heavily ATM, and which UUNET had to
> share with the Worldcom's (very lucractive) voice traffic.  In that
> context, there was a real cost to using bandwidth and UUNET had to use
> account for its usage.
> Some other ISPs were/are in a different business model -- 
> they owned their
> fiber runs, outright, and the question for them was whether to put run
> ATM over that fiber, and subdivide the bandwidth of a single waveband,
> or light two wavebands (one voice/one IP).  I've seen the 
> marginal cost
> analysis for that kind of decision, and it often favors two wavebands.
> Craig