North American Network Operators Group

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Qwest desires mesh to reduce unused standby capacity

  • From: Frank Bulk - iNAME
  • Date: Wed Feb 27 21:44:15 2008

I found this section of a Telephony Online article interesting:

	Though networking trends point toward an evolution 
	to mesh networks, nationwide carrier networks 
	currently lack the physical diversity that would 
	help carriers realize the benefits of true mesh 
	networking, Poll said. Qwest, for example, has 
	about three or four cross-country arteries that 
	correspond to railway rights of way. Replacing 
	that with a more mesh-like architecture would 
	increase the complexity of operating the network. 
	For one thing, it would require more uniformity 
	in the capacities of various network routes.

	"You'd have to have units of 10 Gb/s traffic 
	between all points on the network before this 
	becomes economically viable," Poll said. "When 
	you place IP capacity, you have to place a lot 
	of standby capacity to carry traffic along 
	different paths. If we could get greater 
	physical diversity in place, we could greatly 
	diminish the amount of standby capacity we 
	have to take."

	In order to realize the benefits of mesh 
	networking, Poll said, carriers will need to 
	cooperate with each other more than they 
	currently do, using fiber swaps to increase 
	the geographic diversity of network paths.

To keep this OT as much as possible, my question is if a mesh-configuration
of backup routes (where one link could provide 'protection' for many) would
be considered a sufficient replacement for SONET rings, or if the Qwest CTO
is really trying to get out of providing sub 50-msec protected loops and
encouraging L3 and above protection schemes, so that they can even further
over-subscribe their network.