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Re: latency (was: RE: cooling door)

  • From: Frank Coluccio
  • Date: Sun Mar 30 17:54:54 2008

Mikael, I see your points more clearly now in respect to the number of turns
affecting latency. In analyzing this further, however, it becomes apparent that
the collapsed backbone regimen may, in many scenarios offer far fewer
opportunities for turns, and more occasions for others. 

To the former class of winning applications, because it eliminates local
access/distribution/aggregation switches and then an entire lineage of
hierarchical in-building routing elements. 

To the latter class of loser applications, no doubt, if a collapsed backbone
design were to be dropped-shipped in place on a Friday Evening, as is, the there
would surely be some losers that would require re-designing, or maybe simply some
re-tuning, or they may need to be treated as one-offs entirely. 

BTW, in case there is any confusion concerning my earlier allusion to "SMB", it
had nothing to do with the size of message blocks, protocols, or anything else
affecting a transaction profile's latency numbers. Instead, I was referring to
the "_s_mall-to-_m_edium-sized _b_usiness" class of customers that the cable
operator Bright House Networks was targeting with its passive optical network
business-grade offering, fwiw.

Mikael, All, I truly appreciate the comments and criticisms you've offered on
this subject up until now in connection with the upstream hypothesis that began
with a post by Michael Dillon. However, I shall not impose this topic on the
larger audience any further. I would, however, welcome a continuation _offlist _
with anyone so inclined. If anything worthwhile results I'd be pleased to post it
here at a later date. TIA.

Frank A. Coluccio
DTI Consulting Inc.
212-587-8150 Office
347-526-6788 Mobile

On Sun Mar 30  3:17 , Mikael Abrahamsson  sent:

>On Sat, 29 Mar 2008, Frank Coluccio wrote:
>> Understandably, some applications fall into a class that requires very-short
>> distances for the reasons you cite, although I'm still not comfortable with the
>> setup you've outlined. Why, for example, are you showing two Ethernet switches
>> for the fiber option (which would naturally double the switch-induced latency),
>> but only a single switch for the UTP option?
>Yes, I am showing a case where you have switches in each rack so each rack 
>is uplinked with a fiber to a central aggregation switch, as opposed to 
>having a lot of UTP from the rack directly into the aggregation switch.
>> Now, I'm comfortable in ceding this point. I should have made allowances for this
>> type of exception in my introductory post, but didn't, as I also omitted mention
>> of other considerations for the sake of brevity. For what it's worth, propagation
>> over copper is faster propagation over fiber, as copper has a higher nominal
>> velocity of propagation (NVP) rating than does fiber, but not significantly
>> greater to cause the difference you've cited.
>The 2/3 speed of light in fiber as opposed to propagation speed in copper 
>was not in my mind.
>> As an aside, the manner in which o-e-o and e-o-e conversions take place when
>> transitioning from electronic to optical states, and back, affects latency
>> differently across differing link assembly approaches used. In cases where 10Gbps
>My opinion is that the major factors of added end-to-end latency in my 
>example is that the packet has to be serialisted three times as opposed to 
>once and there are three lookups instead of one. Lookups take time, 
>putting the packet on the wire take time.
>Back in the 10 megabit/s days, there were switches that did cut-through, 
>ie if the output port was not being used the instant the packet came in, 
>it could start to send out the packet on the outgoing port before it was 
>completely taken in on the incoming port (when the header was received, 
>the forwarding decision was taken and the equipment would start to send 
>the packet out before it was completely received from the input port).
>> By chance, is the "deserialization" you cited earlier, perhaps related to this
>> inverse muxing process? If so, then that would explain the disconnect, and if it
>> is so, then one shouldn't despair, because there is a direct path to avoiding
>No, it's the store-and-forward architecture used in all modern equipment 
>(that I know of). A packet has to be completely taken in over the wire 
>into a buffer, a lookup has to be done as to where this packet should be 
>put out, it needs to be sent over a bus or fabric, and then it has to be 
>clocked out on the outgoing port from another buffer. This adds latency in 
>each switch hop on the way.
>As Adrian Chadd mentioned in the email sent after yours, this can of 
>course be handled by modifying or creating new protocols that handle this 
>fact. It's just that with what is available today, this is a problem. Each 
>directory listing or file access takes a bit longer over NFS with added 
>latency, and this reduces performance in current protocols.
>Programmers who do client/server applications are starting to notice this 
>and I know of companies that put latency-inducing applications in the 
>development servers so that the programmer is exposed to the same 
>conditions in the development environment as in the real world. This means 
>for some that they have to write more advanced SQL queries to get 
>everything done in a single query instead of asking multiple and changing 
>the queries depending on what the first query result was.
>Also, protocols such as SMB and NFS that use message blocks over TCP have 
>to be abandonded and replaced with real streaming protocols and large 
>window sizes. Xmodem wasn't a good idea back then, it's not a good idea 
>now (even though the blocks now are larger than the 128 bytes of 20-30 
>years ago).
>Mikael Abrahamsson    email: [email protected]