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Wire Speed

Wire Speed Feature

November 02, 2010

Wire Speed Optimized for Unified Fiber Access Networks

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Effectively managing traffic across your network is essential for streamlined processes and ensuring optimal uptime and process capabilities of all applications. Traffic managers are especially concerned with packet buffering aspects and wire speed can play an important role in this element.

The need for wire speed in unified fiber Access networks is growing, especially as the Access market is diverging. User demand is requiring more capacity, more intelligence and more architectural options. Flexibility in the network is also demanded as different use cases exist and varying network features can affect demand. Service delivery capabilities are providing the foundation for differentiation and those optimizing wire speed will be better equipped to lead.

To optimize unified fiber Access networks, it is important to keep current SLAs as processors with degrading performance will fail to meet the necessary requirements; traffic classification, policing and priority marketing are being conducted at full rates; and oversubscription should be completed after processing.

In addition, packet processing in Access needs to be wire speed and deterministic. Traffic management will need to be upstream to handle per service priorities and downstream for per user service shaping. As Quality of Service (QoS) continues to gain more power as a differentiator, this will be key for all providers.

Switches will also have to be a key focus as Ethernet switches must be programmable and optimize ASIC efficiency. To accomplish this, networks must strive for intelligent aggregation with pre-classification, hierarchical scheduling, wire speed programmable packet processing and the integration of advanced traffic management.

An integrated switch will provide the internal switching to the different subsystems on the chip, while also enabling significant advantages in a range of applications. More specifically, this enables you to use over-speed for intelligent aggregation in pizza box stacked designs and in fabric-less systems.

The SMS approach also allows for multicast capabilities as there are two versions. The first version has identical copies, while the second one has individual copies which are then processed into the programmable pipeline for custom statistics, counting and processing as defined by the packet program.

Wire speed has primarily been a focus for network processing technology, yet is also very valid for packet buffering aspects found in traffic managers. The next generation NPUs from Xelerated (News - Alert) offer the integration of a full-featured traffic manager that has been designed along the same philosophy as the dataflow architecture. As a result, the packet buffering technology can also run at wire speed.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda