Light Reading
Its Supercomm demo addresses carrier concerns that optical nets could suffer scalability problems similar to frame relay's.

Sycamore Demos Software Scalability

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
6/6/2000
50%
50%

ATLANTA, GA -- One of the star attractions of the Supercomm trade show, starting here today, is likely to be a demonstration of software scalability being staged at booth 2717 by Sycamore Networks Inc. http://www.sycamorenet.com.

The demo comprises two walls of PCs, emulating the equivalent of 100 Sycamore SN 16000 optical switches linked together in what amounts to a working optical network that's far bigger than any that exist in real life right now. Visitors can see, via management systems, how the software handles tasks such as automatic provisioning of end-to-end connections and automatic rerouting of those connections around network failures.

The point that Sycamore is making is that software scalability is a huge issue for carriers - and it thinks it's found a way of addressing that issue that goes way beyond its demo at Supercomm.

Here's the score. Up to now, the big focus on optical switch developments has been on hardware scalability - how many fibers, wavelengths, and circuits the switches can handle. However, it's one thing to develop a big switch and quite another to develop software that can make large numbers of those switches work together seamlessly in a network - particularly as the software must be incredibly reliable. The slightest glitch could spell disaster for a carrier, because the switches carry enormous amounts of traffic.

Service providers are very sensitive to this issue, having witnessed what happened with frame relay services in the mid 90s. When demand for frame relay took off, carriers built bigger and bigger networks and then suffered some catastrophic blackouts. In each case, the root cause turned out to be that the switch software hadn't been designed for very large networks, according to Amy Copley, Sycamore's product marketing manager.

The problem is that it's hard for vendors to prove to carriers that their software has been designed to scale and will be extremely reliable in practice. It isn't feasible for them to build a real, large-scale network in a lab - so Sycamore is doing the next best thing and emulating such a network using PCs. In other words, the demo on its booth isn't a "one-off project" for Supercomm. It's being used within Sycamore to test its software developments.

The big question is whether Sycamore's emulated network is a true likeness of a real one. Sycamore points out that its switch network operating system - now named Broadleaf - runs on Linux. As the PCs in its demo are also running Linux, the Broadleaf software in them is identical to the one used in the vendor's real-life switches.

- by Peter Heywood, International Editor, Light Reading, http://www.lightreading.com

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
Back Office Is Vital for Broadband Evolution

10|2|14   |   02:08   |   (0) comments


The future success of fixed broadband services depends as much on the service provider IT capabilities as new network hardware.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Innovating Access Technology With G.fast

10|1|14   |   3.42   |   (0) comments


Exploring the potential of G.fast technology from the point of view of the Broadband Forum, Huawei – and an end-user.
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (11) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (1) comment


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Comcast Turns Off Streampix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/26/2014
SoftBank Eyes a DreamWorks Buy – Report
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/29/2014
Telecom Sector 'Its Own Worst Enemy' – Kroes
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/2/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed