& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
The 'gleaming city on a hill,' Steve Saunders calls it. But who is going to take us from today's NFV componentry to the grand future of a self-driving network? Here's a look at the vendors hoping to make it happen.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2017
1 Million Pirate Set-Top Boxes Sold in the UK
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 9/20/2017
Comcast Shuts Down OTT Again
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/19/2017
Why Amazon May Be Cable's Biggest Threat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/22/2017
Photo Highlights: Operations Transformation Forum 2017
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 9/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed