x
Optical/IP Networks

Multiservice Switch Test

One of the big challenges facing carriers right now is how to boost the capacity of ATM infrastructure while paving the way for the rollout of IP-based services using MPLS. The most likely solution appears to be a new generation of multiservice switches, high-capacity devices that aim to handle ATM and MPLS equally well.

“Aim to” may be the operative words here. Plenty of vendors have announced multiservice switches, but how many of them can deliver blistering performance when handling IP and MPLS as well as ATM?

To get an answer to this question, Light Reading asked the European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC) to run an exhaustive series of tests on this type of equipment.

The tests were groundbreaking in three respects. First, they were truly independent; they were paid for by Light Reading, not by participants. Second, they were conducted by EANTC, a lab with a world-class reputation for testing ATM and MPLS equipment. And third, the tests themselves were very thorough – a serious effort at pinning down the ATM, IP, and MPLS performance parameters that matter for most operators.

So, what was the outcome?

The good news is that at least one vendor – Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) – has a multiservice switch that's likely to meet and exceed expectations of carriers. The Alcatel 7670 RSP passed all tests, and blew the doors of some of them. The niggles we had (no product is perfect) were over minor points that have either been rectified in subsequent releases of software or wouldn’t present a problem in the real world.

The bad news is that no other vendor was prepared to have its multiservice switch undergo the same series of tests. Many of them studied the test plan with great care and even suggested revisions to it, but that's as far as they got. Every man-jack of them bowed out.

Why? They had their excuses, but the bottom line is that Alcatel proved that its multiservice switch works in the world's first independent test of this type of equipment: Everybody else didn't – leaving questions hanging over whether their switches are up to snuff.

This report goes into the details of how the Alcatel 7670 RSP was tested, and what results were obtained. A hyperlinked summary follows:About the Author: Carsten Rossenhövel is managing director, research and manufacturer testing, of European Advanced Networking Test Center AG (EANTC). He may be contacted at [email protected].

Want to know more? Carsten Rossenhövel, together with representatives from Alcatel, Agilent, and Light Reading, will be discussing this test in a session at next week's Lightspeed Europe 02 conference in London. For more details, click here.

1 of 12
Next Page
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
Chughster 12/4/2012 | 11:22:57 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test Can some one explain the possible causes of the following trend:

With NAT enabled throughput for larger sized packets is lower than the throughput for smaller sized packets. That is, Packet streams with 64 byte size packets have a higher throughput compared to packets with 1500 byte size packets. The media is Fast ethernet. I am not sure if this is related to NAT in any way or if it is just an inherent switching performance any general router. Anyone with packet-switching knowledge please comment. The router is of VXR(NPE400). The MTU size is standard 1500 bytes for the interfaces.

What could be a logical explanation of this trend?

Janus Chu
tonypeng 12/4/2012 | 11:20:21 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test Does anyone know the company web site for Vitran? This is the company that makes fusion splicer. I am looking for thermal striper (non-contact) and I remember Vitran has it. I just could not find any information of this company on the web! Strange.....Any info regarding this company and thermal (vacuum...) striper is highly appreciated!

Tony
[email protected] 12/4/2012 | 11:19:56 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test Tony,

Try www.Vytran.com.

Mike
blush 12/4/2012 | 9:17:16 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test EANTC did not do any of the following:

Develop the test suite
Determine which vendors are invited
Determine which vendors participate
Publish the results with analysis

EANTC had no opportunity to influence the tests.
fw23 12/4/2012 | 9:17:16 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test
This is a new low. Staging a test at EANTC,
considering the various other activities alcatel
has been engaged in at with EANTC, makes the
whole thing a farce.

Or don't you see a conflict of interest in
staging an "independent" test for a single
vendor at a test lab where that vendor is
also a customer.



skeptic 12/4/2012 | 9:17:15 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test EANTC did not do any of the following:

Develop the test suite
Determine which vendors are invited
Determine which vendors participate
Publish the results with analysis


But the fact remains that EANTC had a clear
conflict of interest in doing the testing. And
if the did not do any of the above, who did?

Who developed the test suite?

Who determined the scores? And whoever did the
scores doesn't seem to have that much experience
with MPLS equipment.



skeptic 12/4/2012 | 9:17:14 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test Alcatel passed the test case. There is a switch-wide capacity limit of 4,000 LSPs enforced, no matter how many ports are used.

Is this enough
----------------
No, its not enough. 4,000 transit LSPs per
system is terrible. Transit LSPs are lightweight
compared to ingress LSPs (which you didn't even
test) and 4000 is nothing.

skeptic 12/4/2012 | 9:17:14 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test More information:

Light Reading Core Router test results (3/2001)

Cisco LSP capacity 5,000

Juniper LSP capacity 10,000
------------

So based on the only numbers available, alcatel's
current product would be able to do 40% of what
Juniper did in March of 2001. And not even
match the cisco number from that that test.
Both are better than those numbers now.

Please explain in light of these competitive
numbers from your own previous testing how
you justify giving alcatel the grade you did.

If anything, the LSP requirements are higher
in multiservice products.
Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 9:17:13 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test skeptic,

How would Nortel's product have fared in the same test?

Steve
blush 12/4/2012 | 9:17:13 PM
re: Multiservice Switch Test Please reread the 1st sentence of the 1st page of the article.

"One of the big challenges facing carriers right now is how to boost the capacity of ATM infrastructure while paving the way for the rollout of IP-based services using MPLS."

This is not a core router test. I can accept the fact that that a device put forward in a "Multiservice Switch Test" will not come out as the best performing core IP/MPLS platform. The test is looking for products to grow the ATM infrastructure, (where the money is), while paving the way ........

If you want a core router test, tell Light Reading to do that. If you want a "Multiservice Switch Test" then read this.

Products that fall exactly into this category are features on every vendors home page.

Why the no-shows?
Page 1 / 4   >   >>