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Optical/IP

Procket Gets Unstealthy

After four years in stealth mode and $272 million in funding, Procket Networks Inc. is finally ready to talk.

With big names like routing guru Tony Li and former Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) executive Bill Lynch on board, there has been much speculation about the company. Some said it was building a huge core router to take on Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) (see Procket's Strategy Taking Shape). Others said it was building an edge router (see Is Procket Heading Toward the Edge?).

The company is actually doing both. Each of the three boxes in the PRO/8800 series has the capability of being either an edge router or a core router, depending on what software is loaded onto it.

“The power of the product is that the same DNA is used across the whole portfolio of products,” says Randall Kruep, CEO of the company.

He claims the main differentiators lie in the company’s unique approach to developing its software and hardware.

Having helped develop routing software at Cisco and Juniper, Tony Li, Procket’s main software architect, avoided some of the problems that currently limit those routing codes today, according to Kruep. For one, Procket avoided off-the-shelf software code, such as Gate D or BSD. Instead, Li and his team developed source code from scratch. As a result, the company was able to put each routing function, including individual routing protocols, onto its own processes.

The modular software code offers many advantages, says Kruep. It provides carriers flexibility in terms of which features to add and when. And it allows them to troubleshoot software bugs more easily. It also ensures an easier and stabler environment for loading software upgrades.

According to Network Strategy Partners LLC, in-service software upgrades account for 22 percent of network downtime per year. This is because most routers -- namely Cisco’s -- run monolithic software code, which means every function runs on the same process. Whenever an upgrade or patch is needed, the entire IOS routing code is reloaded onto the router, which often causes other parts of the software to fail.

“Upgrading a Cisco router is like trying to fix the engine of a jet while it's still flying,” says Dorian Kim, director of IP engineering and network development for the global IP business unit of NTT/Verio Inc. Kim and his team have been testing Procket’s software for almost two years. Verio is still evaluating the Procket gear, says Kim, but because it likes to dual-source vendors, it has already deployed Juniper T640 routers in its core (see Juniper Goes Terabit With the T640).

Juniper’s software, Junos, is semi-modular in design, but Procket contends it didn’t modularize far enough. While it has separated some of the routing functions onto different processes, it still has bundled individual routing protocols together.

Another major software difference is that the Procket code is completely portable, meaning it can be loaded onto other IP devices. The company already has plans to port the code to strategic partners. This is a completely different strategy from that pursued by Cisco and Juniper, which do not share code with anyone. What’s more, Procket's software is self-monitored and can fix minor problems without bringing down an entire device.

The company has also taken an innovative approach to developing hardware. Instead of burning the routing functionality and features into ASICs, the company has leveraged Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) microprocessor technology to build high-speed packet processors. Unlike the older generation of network processors, VLSI microprocessors are highly integrated, allowing for packet processing speeds up to 40 Gbit/s on 40-byte packets.

Procket attributes this performance gain to the fabrication process used in developing VLSI chips. It allows more transistors and memory onto chips than is possible with current ASIC designs.

Because VLSI microprocessors are completely programmable, adding new features can be done much more quickly. The current ASIC development cycle is about 18 months. VLSIs can be programmed within days or weeks.

Procket’s platform comes in three sizes. The single-slot PRO/8801 router is shipping now. It offers 80 Gbit/s of total capacity and can support up to 40 high-speed interfaces in an eighth of a seven-foot telco rack; it starts at $65,000 for a base system. The 12-slot PRO/8812 routers will ship in the second quarter of 2003. It features 960 Gbit/s of total capacity and can forward 1.2 billion packets per second; it's priced at $237,000 for a base configuration. The four-slot PRO/8804 will be available later this year. All PRO/8000 Series routers support a wide range of interfaces, including OC3c, OC12c, OC48c, OC192c, Gigabit Ethernet, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet.

So far, Procket has been getting traction with customers. Kruep claims the company is in trials with 20 carriers throughout the world, and it names three customers: NTTPC Communications Inc., NTT/Verio, and PacketExchange. But some experts are skeptical that carriers will really bite on the company’s claim that it can lower capital and operational costs by 65 percent.

“The techie in me loves what they are doing,” says Dave Passmore, research director at the Burton Group. “But when I put on my business hat, I’m concerned whether their differentiators will really matter enough for service providers to migrate away from the Ciscos and Junipers of the world.”

Indeed, it won’t be an easy road for Procket, taking on the two Goliaths of the IP routing business. The core router market, which Procket will target first, is relatively small. In 2002, core IP routers generated $1.4 billion in revenue, according to Dell'Oro Group, the market research firm. That’s only about 2.9 percent of the entire worldwide carrier capital expenditure for 2002. Compare this to spending on optical and Sonet gear, which made up 30 to 40 percent of total capex. Even during the Internet boom, IP routing gear only generated $2.7 billion in 2001.

Other startups -- like Pluris and Ironbridge Networks -- that have tried to take on Juniper and Cisco have failed miserably. Even public players have found little success against them. Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) have all cancelled their core routing products. And Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7) have gained little marketshare over the past several quarters.

Coincidentally or not, another core router player, Caspian Networks, is also coming out of stealth mode today (more on that later).

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading

indianajones 12/5/2012 | 12:12:13 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Looks like Procket sends a Rambo along with their systems to insert/pull cards from their chassis. Clearly, the connectors shown in the pictures imply an insertion force of ~ 100 to 150 pounds and the cards do not seem to have any ejectors of any kind. Please do not tell me that you need some kind of tool to pull the cards out. That is such a non-starter with carriers!!!
lawsofphysics 12/5/2012 | 12:12:45 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Sure you can create a burst onto one port for a non-blocking type test. A simple bernoulli distributed input traffic can create a significant burst if you run long enough. In fact that is the best test for true non-blocking behavior.
tsat 12/5/2012 | 12:13:56 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy If you want your router to be an edge access
device, which Procket claims, you need extensive
L2 functionality... Cisco/Juniper usually does
this in their line cards. Can Procket do it
just in their NPU?

-tsat
signmeup 12/5/2012 | 12:14:03 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I think that you are confusing the differentiation between L2 and L3. Procket obviously wanted to raise the bar for the current generation of Internet core routers by adding reliability and scalability. IMO this is what CSCO and JNPR should have been focusing on - if they had done what they had been claiming for years, there would have never been a market for Procket or any other HA startup in the core space.

I'm pretty sure that Procket doesn't want to make cheap L2 boxes to compete with F10, Extreme and Foundry. Nothing I have read so far regarding their hardware or software appears to be positioning for that. What remains to be seen is how much mileage their VLSI chipset gives them in terms of features and futures. Look at the slides on VLSI from this Japanese site (posted earlier about 2 months ago on LR):
http://internet.watch.impress....

It shows that the PRO/Silicon chip set consists of 6 processors, ranging from 30.5 to 214 million transistors. The average count is ~121 million transistors. Another slide shows the Terabit Switch Engine and the Adaptive Packet Processor in relation to some competitive processors. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't ~121 million transistors per processor enormous?

It certainly sounds like a lot of development time and effort went into this PRO/Silicon chipset; I would be suprised if they didn't take future requirements into account when they designed it. Then again, perhaps I'm just an optimist who would for once like to see a company do exactly what they have promised, without all of the excuses and delays.

signmeup
tsat 12/5/2012 | 12:14:04 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy >Procket's NPU design seems to be capable of taking up >the gauntlet for such a task. Now if they can provide >channelized OC-3/OC-12 media adapters with T1/E1 >MLPPP, PPPMux, RFC2508/2509/3095/3241 support and >SONET/SDH APS at a reasonable price point, we would >love to buy 50+ boxes a year.

Thats the real question about procket. Is there NPU design
capible of complex layer-2 functionality along with the
layer-3 functionality? For example, can they do ethernet
VLAN, accounting, queueing, ect just by reprogramming
their NPU? Nobody knows. Nobody knows how many
functions their NPUs can do at line rate. I would not
invest in Procket products until I was confident I fully
understood their "new services by just reprogramming
the NPU" claims. It sounds real nice, but without hard
data and proven examples... sounds risky to me.

-tsat
indianajones 12/5/2012 | 12:14:11 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy tmc1,

My point was to refute your observation that speedup can solve issues in crossbar architectures. As Nick himself has admitted, real-systems behave very differently compared to theoretical results. I have no position on whether it is cheap or expensive to build a switch with 4x speedup. All I can say is that a 4x speedup would be better than a 2x speedup, though I agree with simpleton that if T-640 had only 2x speedup, its performance would be awful.
tmc1 12/5/2012 | 12:14:12 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Arbitration and scheduling is a different issue. distributed/output scheduling can help.

however if speedup does not even help as nick says then why would anyone (Juniper) create an expensive 4x speedup fabric.

simpleton and indianajones, this would still be an order of magnitude higher than any other speedup out there. when you are talking about 320 Gbps on the T640 - it means you have to have a fabric that is doing 1.2 Terabits internally. The data path size and frequency are still extremely difficult and expensive at that amount of speedup with that throughput. i honestly don't believe that there is ANY production fabric with more than ~2x speedup.

show me, i am from missouri.

-------------------------------------------------
He has written a paper in SIGCOMM2002, August which further re-emphasizes this point. In fact, in that paper he has come out and said that Virtual Output Queued architectures (even with switch speedup) cannot offer any predictability and no delay, bandwidth or loss guarantees can be made. I can send you a pointer to the link if you so wish.
DocGonzo 12/5/2012 | 12:14:13 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy "I agree that strenuous real-world testing is crucial, but if the software has actually been cooking for 2 years I would expect that it would be pretty solid - anyone one who has worked with it care to speak up?"

I don't have first-hand knowledge of the code. However, I will point out that the code was likely provided early on to potential customers on a PC to help test it. Usually this testing is done in the lab and very innocuous roles in the network (peering router). Since the PC is limited in available interfaces and performance the code really can not be deployed in a serious way until the hardware arrives. My guess is that the actual hardware platforms probably didn't hit customer sites until about six months ago. So there is really not much serious deployment experience of either the code or hardware.

SP's have differing rules for pre-deployment experience prior to their roll out of new stuff. If my assumptions are correct, I suspect that you will not see any major deployments in the next few months unless someone is desperate or likes living on the edge. Major outages caused by router/code failures brings a storm of PR to the SP; and none of it positive.

Procket will be quite busy over the remainder of 2003 trying to gain some momentum in the market. They also will be challenged to make every customer deployment successful and eliminate the skepticism inherent with new stuff.

Doc
simpleton 12/5/2012 | 12:14:14 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy andropat says:
"and another thing.. embedded software in my opinion is much harder than a routing protocol."

IMO: Both are hard in a box of this size - different issues. Scaling, performance, stability and features are major issues for the protocols, while, for embedded work, keeping a large system working seamlessly as one and dealing with bezillion conditions in timely manner on a variety of pretty complex hardware (various blades) are the key issues.
simpleton 12/5/2012 | 12:14:14 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy tmc1 says:
"i am no expert on switch fabrics but i would say your understanding of switch fabrics is very wrong. i really doubt that juniper has a 4x speedup on the t-640 xbar. most speedup is in the 1.2x - 2x range as it is difficult, expensive and usually unnecessary to do more. read anything by nick mckeown from stanford to understand."

It was difficult back in 1989. Juniper started working on T640 around three/four years ago. A year ago, I derived my info from Juniper's docs about T640 Architecture. If any Juniper people are reading this, maybe they can confirm/deny that the T640 crossbar has a 4X speedup, meaning, each switching element in the crosbar can switch 40G. BTW, go read Nick's paper that "indianajones" referred us to - you will know what I am talking about.

tmc1 says:
"secondly, oversubscribing an egress has NOTHING to do with non-blocking behaviour. non-blocking simply means that traffic sent across the fabric in a full mesh will pass at wire-rate without drops. every box ever created is blocking when you oversubscribe the egress. you just cannot get 11 Gig or more out a 10 gig interface... DUH!"

I was not referring to oversubscription, but "bursts" into the same egress port. That is why I said 30 uS (micro seconds). 30 uS @ 10 bits/nS (oc192 line rate) translates to 30*10**-6*10**9/8 ~37 KB burst. This is not much. It is entirely possible that certain number of ingress ports burst into the same egress port at the same time. This blocking will occur on the ingress port - meaning, some ports may see better performance than others. This leads to least common denominator "gaurantees", if at all, to all sources.

Anyways, this is not about Juniper or crossbar. Procket claims to have Shared Memory architecture. I believe the key to the performance of this box is the switching part - lots of companies have solved the NPU side of the story. More light on the switch is what I would like to see. So far, nothing is forthcoming.


/simple
andropat 12/5/2012 | 12:14:14 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy not all switch architectures use central aribtration or scheduling.. and I agree about the flaws in those architectures.
andropat 12/5/2012 | 12:14:15 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy DocGonzo,

Couldn't have said it any better.. and I did not mean tony built the crisco and junisphere systems. I just thought and heard he had insight and he is always given too much credit for their designs.
andropat 12/5/2012 | 12:14:15 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Last I checked neither procket nor redback own the core of those guys who actually do have 1000+ routers per AS... and believe me it took Juniper a couple years with one of the best routing teams to get it right. All that happened using BSD which simply needed to be modified..not that I am trying to downplay that. Procket is doing it "from scratch"...

and another thing.. embedded software in my opinion is much harder than a routing protocol.
rtg_dude 12/5/2012 | 12:14:17 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy tera-
Looks like the OS is not completely from scratch. They appear to by using LynxOS, a Linux like embedded operating system.
As long as they are just using this for process scheduling, mem management, file system access and basic IPC, I don't see an issue. I.e., you still need a kernel to create an environment for your SW, and there is no reason to write it on your own (though some modifications would probably be needed anyways). What they should have avoided is using whatever TCP/IP-related stuff was in it - this should have been taken out to the application level and tweaked to scale. The reason for this is you don't want your kernel's behavior to change depending on what's going outside the box.

rtg_dude
indianajones 12/5/2012 | 12:14:26 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Please re-read Nick McKeown's papers. He concludes that while centralized scheduling algorithms exist that come close to ideal output queued behavior with 2x overspeed, implementing them in practice is close to impossible, especially for more realistic traffic scenarios.

He has written a paper in SIGCOMM2002, August which further re-emphasizes this point. In fact, in that paper he has come out and said that Virtual Output Queued architectures (even with switch speedup) cannot offer any predictability and no delay, bandwidth or loss guarantees can be made. I can send you a pointer to the link if you so wish.
opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 12:14:32 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Looks like the OS is not completely from scratch. They appear to by using LynxOS, a Linux like embedded operating system.

Go to:http://www.linuxworks.com/supp...
and keep entering refresh until you get this quote:
"Our support representative is fast, responsive and accurate. I hope you keep on improving the quality of tech support."
- Yuet-Fung Siu, Procket Networks

tmc1 12/5/2012 | 12:14:33 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy i am no expert on switch fabrics but i would say your understanding of switch fabrics is very wrong. i really doubt that juniper has a 4x speedup on the t-640 xbar. most speedup is in the 1.2x - 2x range as it is difficult, expensive and usually unnecessary to do more. read anything by nick mckeown from stanford to understand.

secondly, oversubscribing an egress has NOTHING to do with non-blocking behaviour. non-blocking simply means that traffic sent across the fabric in a full mesh will pass at wire-rate without drops. every box ever created is blocking when you oversubscribe the egress. you just cannot get 11 Gig or more out a 10 gig interface... DUH!



------------------------------------------------
3. So far, we only discussed traffic going in! How does it come out of the fabric that gaurantees no stall or dead time on the wire?

480G non-blocking switch is no joke. Juniper's T640 *is* blocking, even if they claim it is non-blocking because the cross-bar has 4X overspeed (since all you got to do is send 5 OC192 worth of traffic at the same time to the same queue on the same egress port for long enough time (say 30 uS) - at the very least, this buildup will cause unpredictable and increased latency & jitter or pure simple ingress drops due to blocking); the T640 is relying on statistical multiplexing, just as any existing and practical crossbar switch does.
chimpz 12/5/2012 | 12:14:35 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy >
> The people who really understood scaling and
> robustness in routing, they are at
> Procket, Redback and Juniper.
>

I have heard a comment from a "routing guru" that
there are only three companies in the whole
wide world that can really do routing. They
are: Cisco, Juniper, and Redback!

As far as I can tell, the guru didn't think much
of Procket or any other companies.

Screw 3rd party testings, my guru is always right!

Umm, come to think of it, you sound a lot like
my beloved guru! Hi guru!
simpleton 12/5/2012 | 12:14:38 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Can we get to the meat of the matter please? The real issue is switching! I am curious that there is no information other than a small paragraph on the switching architecture. Procket mentions a shared memory architecture:

1. Noting that each LC is 40G slot, that would suggest a LC-Fabric interconnect of about 5*4 = 20 SERDES at 3.125 Gbps each, giving a real bw of 5*2.5 = 12.5 Gbps per 10G (the additional BW would be for Procket packet overhead. If they are using 2.5G SERDES, then the total number of links per slot would be 6*4=24. There is a possibility, that they use SONET-like scranmbling instead of 8B/10B codec. Even in this case, to support continuous low packet size input, they will need 20-24 links.

2. The # of links are very high. So, the receiving device on the fabric end must be devices getting either 40G or 80G, no more. This would suggest that from this device to the shared memory is a pretty large mesh on the memory card. To stay non blocking, that is a 480*1.2= ~580G mesh! The fabric board, assuming it is one board would be almost impossible to build. That would suggest multiple fabric boards. This in turn leads to other issues upstream which may cause the number LC-FC links to increase beyond what we calculated earlier (since this would imply cellification at the line cards).

3. So far, we only discussed traffic going in! How does it come out of the fabric that gaurantees no stall or dead time on the wire?

480G non-blocking switch is no joke. Juniper's T640 *is* blocking, even if they claim it is non-blocking because the cross-bar has 4X overspeed (since all you got to do is send 5 OC192 worth of traffic at the same time to the same queue on the same egress port for long enough time (say 30 uS) - at the very least, this buildup will cause unpredictable and increased latency & jitter or pure simple ingress drops due to blocking); the T640 is relying on statistical multiplexing, just as any existing and practical crossbar switch does.

Some information on the switching fabric might help us understand how real the PRO8812 is.

I cannot believe that the power consumption issue someone brought up has any clues to their product being real or not - those calculations are simple, any decent engineer in that area of work can do back of the envelope analysis and throw out realistic numbers. Even if the 8812 is further away from what Procket claims, they would not be so stupid as to miss that one.

/simple
signmeup 12/5/2012 | 12:14:38 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy The assumption here is that the software is "brand-new". I know for a fact from friends that the software has been in several large service providers networks for at least 1 1/2 to 2 years. I believe I even remember reading an article about it back then as well, but I can't be sure...

I agree that strenuous real-world testing is crucial, but if the software has actually been cooking for 2 years I would expect that it would be pretty solid - anyone one who has worked with it care to speak up? <g>

signmeup</g>
DocGonzo 12/5/2012 | 12:14:45 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy "Are we forgetting history? Who designed the wonderful Crisco box you tear down? umm.. chief scientist tony li
Who helped design the again wonderful junisphere box you tear down? umm... chief scientist tony li."

Your version of history is a bit off. Tony is a smart and capable guy, but he did not single-handedly design the "Crisco and junisphere boxes". He was not even a "chief scientist" at either of those companies (perhaps a factor why he is no longer there.) Also, there are a number of "boxes" available from both companies; several designed after Tony had already left. No doubt that the Procket systems have much of Tony's design ideas in them, some of which are new to the industry.

Seems to me that a good approach for a start-up is to build on what has worked in the past and innovate in areas that differentiate you from the competition. The key areas of differentiation are ones most important to your targeted customers. "Gee whiz" features don't really contribute to your market share.

Procket has the benefit of Cisco and Juniper history and analyzing what they did right and wrong. They were smart to write their own software as that is a critical facet of the offering. I don't doubt that Procket has the talent to write code that will work, but it will take time to work out the kinks. They need to get out of the labs and deployed in large networks in in as many roles as possible. That is their next hurdle to survival. You can't fix what you don't know is broken and lab testing only takes you so far.


Doc
randy2000 12/5/2012 | 12:14:46 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy There was a sighting of Redback's infamous Indian Mafia at Microsoft! Go figure:-)
Flower 12/5/2012 | 12:14:46 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy andropat wrote:
> Building a new OS "from scratch" is such
> marketing hype it sickens me. this stuff
> is very hard to do. It will take atleast
> a couple years to bake out all the nuances
> and make all the components of this OS play
> nicely. This is what everyone is excited about?

The Internet went from a toy to a real network during the second half of the nineties. Most of the cisco team that did the routing protocols at cisco during the early nineties had either moved out of the industry, or moved to Juniper. During the second half of the nineties there was a new, small team of maybe 10 people at cisco that did cisco's routing protocols (BGP, IS-IS, OSPF and you might also mention FIB). Half of that team went to Redback, half went to Procket.

So the people who implemented and hardened many of the stuff that made the Internet scale from 10k routes to 100k routes, and from 50 routers per AS, to 1000 routers per AS, those guys have taken their expertise to Procket. What makes you think they need "at least a couple of years" to prevent making the same mistakes that were made during the whole of the nineties ? The people who really understood scaling and robustness in routing, they are at Procket, Redback and Juniper.

(Note, I am talking about routing protocol and forwarding software here. I don't know much about hardware, kernel stuff or other stuff).
andropat 12/5/2012 | 12:14:49 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Are we forgetting history? Who designed the wonderful Crisco box you tear down? umm.. chief scientist tony li
Who helped design the again wonderful junisphere box you tear down? umm... chief scientist tony li.

What makes you think this same shit is going to work now?
4 media adapters per slot.. sounds familiar.
centralized shared memory..sounds familiar.

Building a new OS "from scratch" is such marketing hype it sickens me. this stuff is very hard to do. It will take atleast a couple years to bake out all the nuances and make all the components of this OS play nicely. This is what everyone is excited about?

NPU blah blah blah... Again such marketing hype. Is there a single customer out there really using all the capabilities that these "flexible" processors will deliver "at scale"? NOT!

I would love and am begging LR to conduct another core router test. Unfortunately I don't think procket would even show up.
IP_freely 12/5/2012 | 12:14:56 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Is Tony Li a "primadona"? Is that such a bad thing?
arak 12/5/2012 | 12:14:57 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Procket appears to have a decent product that is quite adaptable to different purposes when compared to Crisco and Junisphere ones. While it might be true that most service providers might play the waiting game*, there are some customers that are looking for a box that is capable of doing some seriously processor intensive edge aggregation services. Our existing solution not only bogs down and is a joke about 5 nines reliability, but also ends up costing an arm and a leg.

Procket's NPU design seems to be capable of taking up the gauntlet for such a task. Now if they can provide channelized OC-3/OC-12 media adapters with T1/E1 MLPPP, PPPMux, RFC2508/2509/3095/3241 support and SONET/SDH APS at a reasonable price point, we would love to buy 50+ boxes a year.

Contacting someone from Procket marketing though seems a hard task. Maybe the LR message board Tony Li (not sure if that is the real Tony Li) can point me to the right person at Procket.

Arak


* (wait until someone else buys these things for a year or two and prove it in a production network, before I buy them game)
vapa 12/5/2012 | 12:14:58 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Maybe wiley worked at Caspian, but mmmmflows did not. Or mmmmflows was a part of that clique.

Anyhow, what wiley said is totally true about both Graham and ASIC team. Some good people recognized the problem early on, realized it's not something they could fix, and moved on (left the company).

I don't know about 30 trials, and I don't know how serious those trials are. I can't say Caspian's architecture is all that great or new, since it seemed to have borrowed a lot of ATM technology and some MPLS.

It doesn't really matter what you and I have to say about Caspian or Procket. Only customers matter, and time will tell. It doesn't matter if they have the worst team, the worst technology or the worst management. If they start making money, they will get respect. I don't think they will, but who cares.

Peace out.
arak 12/5/2012 | 12:14:58 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Since Mohamed Said Sahaf's ex-boss has been deposed and he is currently out of work, I think he should start a PR bureau that can do contract PR work for all the telecom startup companies. Atleast we would have entertaining quotes.

"What telecom meltdown ? The infidels in the US federal reserve are propogating lies and we will roast their stomachs in hell for that"

"God/Allah/Jesus willing, we will beat Cisco's current stranglehold on the market. We are currently beating them in all carrier and enterprise accounts as I speak"

"There is no company called Cisco nor have I seen any of their criminal products. I now inform you that you are too far from reality."

On the other hand, maybe Bush Jr. can field him to answer questions on the current US economy.

http://www.welovetheiraqiinfor...

Arak

cyber_techy wrote:

So far, Procket has been getting traction with customers. Kruep claims the company is in trials with 20 carriers throughout the world, and it names three customers: NTTPC Communications Inc., NTT/Verio, and PacketExchange.
===============================================
I would rather trust Iraq's minister of information claims than the CEO of Procket.
johnyboy 12/5/2012 | 12:15:00 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy It wasn't that they were getting rid of people
for economics, it was more that the company
had to set a single direction that everyone
agreed to....and anyone who didn't agree had
to get out.
==============================================

This is clearly an opinion. I was one of the people who was let go. Some of us worked the hardest in our lives for 18 months to deliver the first set of ASICS.The sad thing is that It left a bitter feeling in engineers who do still work at Procket and nobody trusts the Management or is willing to stand up.

Not a formula for success for a startup that has yet to prove out It's business model
CaspianSea 12/5/2012 | 12:15:01 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy
- The ASIC implementation of micro-flow based scheduling with Qos as the heart and soul of a scalable terabit router turns out to be almost a mission impossible or does not make any sense (a router within a router as Skeptic said).
With probably less than 7 ASIC designers on board at this moment, you tell me what they can do ?!

- "...The Asian market is likely to be where both Caspian and Procket find success first. China, Korea, and Japan have all seen an explosion in IP traffic growth ..."

Come on. The pie (core market) belongs to Cisco, Juniper and Japan's three big players (plus Alcatel probably). Go ask Caspian if their IPv6 is ready or not.
http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/0304...
http://www.lightreading.com/do...

- &#8220; &#8230;Caspian has 30 customer trials going on&#8230;&#8221;
This is a pure lie.


LTTSUF 12/5/2012 | 12:15:01 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy If the 30 trials are any reflection of how the trial at C&W came about then these guys are gonners. You ask any of the lab engineers about the Caspian box and they point to one person being responsible for bringing that product in. And I'm sure it had nothing to do with the TAB shares. Sorry guys your gonna have to go to the UK, ohh yeah, and be prepared to fly the execs around in helicopters.
cyber_techy 12/5/2012 | 12:15:01 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy So far, Procket has been getting traction with customers. Kruep claims the company is in trials with 20 carriers throughout the world, and it names three customers: NTTPC Communications Inc., NTT/Verio, and PacketExchange.
===============================================
I would rather trust Iraq's minister of information claims than the CEO of Procket.
IP_freely 12/5/2012 | 12:15:02 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy my my, name calling, name dropping and blacklisting. What have we come to? I thought California was a right to work state. "Oh, and everyone also knows that..." Blacklisting is a little bit illegal. For shame.

Let me tell a story about an engineer who was silenced. He said that the "O" rings in the booster rockets might become brittle with extreme cold. Did silencing him prevent the Challenger disaster from happening? Will silencing the engineers who really do know the product keep $262 million dollars from being wasted. Maybe?

"Nobody is giving Caspian credit for coming up with something new" because "microFlows" are not new.

So what about Juniper's new T640 is "real old".

Procket has got something new... and sweet!

The "Valley" is small and actions speak louder than words. How often have I heard it is just a matter of execution. There is real proof that an ASIC designer has done his job. Do the ASIC's funtion as intended... yes. ASICs are a small part of the puzzle. How many times have I heard that the best technology doesn't always win...

So lets stop this name calling and have a real contest where all these new shiny routers get together in a Light reading super shoot out! Bake off.. Cage match... Router Rally.

woo hoo!
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:15:03 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy If I remember correctly Procket did something similar last May or June. Lots of chip designers put onto the street because their job was complete.
================
No. What happened at procket was supposedly
disagreements over the direction of the company
and bad execution on ASICs.

They hired CPU designers from SUN. And the
problem with people like that is that when
they go to a startup, they forget that they
no longer have the massive support system
for designs that a big company provides. They
tried to do too much and were pushing the
envelope (lots of all-custom stuff). They
also supposedly tried to do lots of things with
contractors.

It wasn't that they were getting rid of people
for economics, it was more that the company
had to set a single direction that everyone
agreed to....and anyone who didn't agree had
to get out.

As a disclaimer, these are the things I heard at
the time from other people. They may or may
not be the whole truth.
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:15:03 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Caspian has 30 customer trials going on which is costing their customers a lot of money. Carriers don't let you into the lab these days unless they really like what you're doing. Let's wait and see if they can pull it off before writing them off.
=================
I dont believe that they have 30 real trials
going. Caspian has been dishonest about their
progress for years. I dont know where they
are, but I know where they are not. And where
they are not says lots more about whats going
on.

Their big bet since the beginning was on C&W.
They had the inside track there at first, but
they didn't follow through. And when C&W
imploded, it really hurt them.

And as far as the acid, part of it is that
doing this whole re-launch was just really
cheap. And doing it the same day as procket
was just low-class.
mmmmflows 12/5/2012 | 12:15:05 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy fine, fine. i know this is a troll, but i'm not the bigger man here.

The Caspian ASIC team designed a number of very complex ASICs that worked. That is an accomplishment. They did not have a blind devotion to Larry and were in fact some of his most outspoken critics in the company. This is the primary reason the team was blacklisted. They were the ones implementing the design and knew the problems. Upper management isolated the team from the rest of the company so as not to "poison" them with the issues being brought up. Primadonnas? These guys worked hard for two years, long hours and a devotion to making the chips work even though they had serious concerns. The politics in that company, many of it started by the Nortel managers you mentioned, were incredible. The ASIC team was isolated, understaffed, and made scapegoats. This led to some frustration within the team. That I can not deny.

Any of the engineers from other teams who interacted with them know the truth. Remember wiley, there is always another perspective.

One thing you got right though is about Graham. That man is the biggest reason Caspian may fail. The management hierarchy and empire building was amazingly not well thought out.
random_task 12/5/2012 | 12:15:05 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Your mother needs a large partner...

"Charlotte's gay ass Web" what does you being
a homo-phobe have to do with Procket??
wilecoyote 12/5/2012 | 12:15:06 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Random, are you kidding?

ASIC guys have been the bane of Caspian's existence other than their stupid Nortellers (Graham--screw you, you free spending, fish tank loving, taj mahal building idiot) and their blind, almost cultish devotion to Larry is a little odd. Larry--I love ya, but you should've kept a lower profile.

ASIC guys there were a bunch of primadonna pains in the ass and everyone knows it. Oh, and everyone also knows they never got anything done to justify their high maintenance "costs."

If you see a Caspian ASIC resume come across your desk, run, don't walk. Anyone who's still there actually got something done and if the doers were shown the door, well, I bet Dan Lenoski at Cisco would love to hear from you.

Bill did what he had to do. Good riddance to those guys. And I bet he lost more sleep over it than most would have.

I'm puzzled by the volume of acid directed towards Caspian in the boards. Yeah, the hype is lame and a little cheesy (Dallas, you listening?) But what they are doing is interesting and people don't give them any credit for coming up with something new, vs. Hypedupchip and Charlotte's gay ass Web, and all the others who were me-toos (Avici, Pluris, the list goes on).

JNPR and CSCO architectures are getting real old. The traffic engineering costs are outrageous and you're still nowhere near having a stable core. I personally think Caspian should have a shot if they can figure out a way to raise another $100 million (crazy but I think they can).

Caspian has 30 customer trials going on which is costing their customers a lot of money. Carriers don't let you into the lab these days unless they really like what you're doing. Let's wait and see if they can pull it off before writing them off.

Caspian needs a large partner, and right now.
random_task 12/5/2012 | 12:15:07 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Well, Bill Kraus has to earn that 2 million
dollar bonus he recieved over his first
year somehow, and "making a viable product" is
just not an option at this point, so he
has to do the next best thing... "streamline
the organization"....

The funny thing is that he actually sat up
with the ASIC group for like a few months
to pretend to be their friends, then as soon
as he left the area, come around with his
new lap dog of a VP and witch-hunt the fysty
ones, and get everyone looking for a new job.
By November maybe 5% of those chip's original
owners of blocks which get used were left,
and that wasn't good enough, so they chopped
it down to 0% this last layoff.

The dude has got 2 brass ones, I gotta give
that to him.
sailor 12/5/2012 | 12:15:09 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy If I remember correctly Procket did something similar last May or June. Lots of chip designers put onto the street because their job was complete.

Force10 has done similar things. Must be a sign of the times.
TheNet 12/5/2012 | 12:15:09 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy How what about Hyperchip then? ;-)
mmmmflows 12/5/2012 | 12:15:10 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy
>BTW The Caspian news bulletin has a really >insensitive comment from the CEO. He states how the >product is such a huge accomplishment for the team, >etc. He neglects to mention that he's just laid off >40% of them now that the job is complete. I'm sure >the "displaced team members" would rather have been >less successful and still have their jobs.

Yes, this is a disturbing action. And it doesn't bode well for startups in the valley. If they get a reputation for "throwing away" engineers once their task is accomplished, no one in their right mind would work for someone like that. Bill Kraus is going to have a tough time hiring anyone in the future (unless the job market doesn't come up). But in some ways, what do we expect? In the boom time, we threw away companies when a better offer came around. Now the tables are turned.
fifteenfifty 12/5/2012 | 12:15:11 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy This is just a death rattle. The corpse is twitching a few last times. Does anyone seriouly expect these people to survive? The will run out of case, and die on the vine. Wither and blow away. Why would anyone in their right mind risk deploying their unproven gear? The companies left which are capable of writing such big cheques are those most averse to any risk whatsoever.
Procket does not have enough time (money) left to wait through one year of wait-and-see customers, all the while receiving zero income. If you believe otherwise you are just one more dot-com sucker, the last of a dying breed.
signmeup 12/5/2012 | 12:15:19 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I think Tony means that in engineering speak the 8812 supports 480Gbps throughput in full duplex, whereas the marketing speak numbers would be 960Gbps, which is what Cisco and Juniper both use.

After looking at the 12404 spec sheet, which is Cisco's nearest competitor to the 8801, it does not support switch fabric redundancy either. It offers 1 combo CSC/Alarm card, and 4 user slots. It does include RP redundancy, however doing so would reduce the # of usable line-card slots to 2, so the max capacity would only be 20Gig (10Gig per slot) compared to 80Gig (with no redundancy) usable on the 8801. If you went with a 12404 with no RP redundancy, you could get 60Gig theoretically.

From the mechanical appearance of the 8801, it looks like they designed it so that they could scale the chassis to a larger size and still use the same power supplies and cards. If they introduced a 1/4 rack system, it would most likely use 3 power supplies (a 2+1 redundant) system. This would make since sense of the space between the 2 power supplies on the 8801.

signmeup
fiat_lux 12/5/2012 | 12:15:19 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Where is ATM/channelized support? It does not
look like there is space on the physical line card for SAR buffer. Will RBOCs be interested if there
is no ATM? Can the central packet buffer be
used as a SAR?

How many routes can it handle? There is no
mention of this in any of the specs... perhaps
it's very limited.

Where is the ACL support? I don't see any CAMs
on there.

There does not seem to be enough counters. Only
256K for the entire line card? This does not seem
to be enough for ethernet VLAN MIBs.

Is the OC-3 card real? There is no part number
for it.

How many tags are supported for MPLS? What about
MPLS on ethernet, and all of the other real world
combinations?

In general there is not enough information about
the software.
Belzebutt 12/5/2012 | 12:15:23 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Just to be clear, the 8812 supports 480Gbps, full duplex.

In Cisco/Juniper speak, isn't that 480Gbps simplex (i.e. you only count the traffic in one direction)? I thought when Cisco doubles the numbers to count traffic in both directions it's called "duplex", in which case you get 2x the port capacity of your router (assuming all ports are at line rate).


By the way, it appears the PRO/8801 has single points of failure in the route processor and the switch fabric?

And what's in the big space between the power supplies, other than gremlins? :)
IP Observer 12/5/2012 | 12:15:23 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy

"No, we haven't done SNMPv3 yet. No, the in-service upgrade is not yet zero downtime. Yes, we thought about doing ATM, but most of the customers that we spoke with had already phased out ATM."

Tony, based on these comments it would appear that Procket has been spending all of its time in the lab and not enough time speaking to customers. Or if you have, they are not the ones that can make a decision about buying your product.

These types of statements are appropriate for a bygone era. Internet bubble burst before you guys made it out.



smokeNmirrors 12/5/2012 | 12:15:26 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I am interested in the "no carriers want mesh" comment. Can you explain that statement? What do they want in your opinion? Thanks.

SnM

---------------------------
IP Observer wrote:
No scalability (from data sheet-"less meshing" Procket-unfortunately service providers want no meshing)
---------------------------

Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 12:15:27 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy
Just to be clear, the 8812 supports 480Gbps, full duplex. Yes, that's 48 OC-192's.

The 960Gbps that you will see in some of our literature is so that we can compare with the numbers that some of our competitors distribute.

Tony
dellman 12/5/2012 | 12:15:29 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy The chasis in a rack will be connected by a dedicated switch fabric to give 960G?

Page 4 says switch fabric provides 480Gbps.

I would consider 480G itself a big achievement - maybe they are doubling it to get an edge over Juniper.
Neophone 12/5/2012 | 12:15:31 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy ------In this tough climate commonsense says to announce your product only if you have a major deal.And customer announcements
--------------------------
yes, i hear they do sign some big deal with NTT, and some big reseller of cisco in Japan turn to Procket...

Neophone 12/5/2012 | 12:15:31 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy so how can procket avoid data loss? by graceful restart or something else?
router_buff 12/5/2012 | 12:15:32 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Procket chose to come out of stealth with a couple of terabit routers but how different does it make it from Pluris? In this tough climate commonsense says to announce your product only if you have a major deal.And customer announcements
-- from the comments of Verio top boss does it look like they will be buying the gear??

Looks like they have a dense router and modular software but timing is all that matters.

And when is Procket to get its routers tested by a third party?





heavywriting 12/5/2012 | 12:15:33 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Hmmmn ... my understanding of the datasheet is that 1/2 rack = 1 PRO8812 = 12 Linecards * 40 Gbps * 2 duplex = 960 Gbps duplex 1/2 rack. this is similar math as T640 which is 640 Gbps duplex.

Which means one rack = 1920 Gbps ... whoa! that's really really a lot of switching.
Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 12:15:33 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy
A compendium of responses:

Yes, the 8812 is quite real. Do watch your toes, that weight rating is not a joke.

The 8812 is indeed rated for 7000W. It has two PEMs internal to the chassis. However, for folks who find that to be too much current, there is another DC shelf that has three 60A PEMs to deliver us the net power. Obviously the 7000W number is a worst case number, systems typically seem to be lower than that, even fully populated.

No, we haven't done SNMPv3 yet. No, the in-service upgrade is not yet zero downtime. Yes, we thought about doing ATM, but most of the customers that we spoke with had already phased out ATM.

Tony


daffyduck 12/5/2012 | 12:15:34 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy >>>Data sheet says chasis will support
>>>192 OC-48 ports - 192 * 2.5 = 480G.
>>>How it becomes 960G?

You have the density/chassis number (1/2 a rack)... Density/Rack is 384 OC-48 Ports.... which is 960G. See data sheet, page 2 of the 8812
dellman 12/5/2012 | 12:15:34 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Heard Cisco is interested in BXR48000 - Marconi's multiservice switch + router. BXR48000 boosts similar specs except ethernet interfaces....
dellman 12/5/2012 | 12:15:34 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Data sheet says chasis will support 192 OC-48 ports - 192 * 2.5 = 480G. How it becomes 960G?

No ATM interface support? - not a wise decision.
deepciscothroat 12/5/2012 | 12:15:35 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy NFW
270 large in
Get Tony Li back -- would rather move to Baghdad, where the climate is friendlier
Neophone 12/5/2012 | 12:15:35 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy i think cisco can't stay there do nothing,
heard rumor cisco or another big guy
have interesting buy procket or be partner of it.
veemee 12/5/2012 | 12:15:36 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Beo,

I agree coding from scratch will for certain have more bugs than a code that has been tested.

The reason third party software companies are doing well, is because they have changed their architecture to be modular(so you can have distributed processing for an RP), besides you do not need to maintain big teams to support the code. Though for certain the response time will be far slower in case of critical problems.

Veemee
beowulf888 12/5/2012 | 12:15:36 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy One could make the argument that gated has been around a long long time, and, therefore most of the bugs have been shaken out of it. I won't say this is necessarily true -- because I haven't worked with gated source code. Certainly code written from scratch could be more efficient and more modular, but (cynic that I am) I'd be worried about all those undiscovered bugs waiting to bite.

On the other hand, if someone is going to write router code from scratch, Tony is the one to do it.

As for carriers requiring router code written from scratch -- I've helped answer a dozen RFPs and I've NEVER seen that requirement (but I've seen some other doozies).

Cheers, and best of luck to Procket!
--Beo

Honda_Elise wrote:
As far as I understand, the carriers won't qualify
hardware vendors that use Gate D or BSD, or
any other routing code that is "off-the-shelf".
This isn't some unique Procket feature, this is a
requirement set forth by the customers. Any
equipment vendor worth his weight needs to do the
same thing if they want to sell product.
-----------------

Skeptic wrote:
No. The real requirement is that the vendor
has stable routing code that works. And that
they have staff in-house to support their
routing code.

Carriers are going to ask where the code
came from. And how the vendor answers usually
is what determines if someone will take a chance
or not. Regardless of the source, you are going
to have to show that your code works. And
no commerical package is good enough to take
without major changes.
joe_average 12/5/2012 | 12:15:37 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy The guaranteed low battery voltage at the terminals of your device is -40V. This is based on a review of all the major NA service providers. Take it to the bank.

The -36V comes from the minimum working voltage of the power supplies but you have to get through a lot of voltage drops until you get there. Voltage drop also equals power dissipation!

The -42V statement is probably from an old CO powering requirements for the Class 5 switches.

In the end, -36, -40 or -42 will all give you lots of heat dissipation in a small volume. Operating companies just hate this trend but they are like drug addicts and can't stop themselves from continuously more concentrated power producing boxes. Bizarre.

Joe the power guy
changeisgood 12/5/2012 | 12:15:37 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy >> It will be good if Procket can prove each line card can take 40Gbps in and forward 40Gbps out, preferably by a third party test lab.

heheheh - you can't do that on an OS simulator with some NICs? they are always going to be behind 2.5 other vendors when it comes to feature support and proven stability. dreaming up something in the boom and executing today will be a challenge when trying to capture, or even penetrate, this tough and tight industry.
dbostan 12/5/2012 | 12:15:38 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy The -48V can get as low as -36V, so your calculation gets even worse...
signmeup 12/5/2012 | 12:15:38 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy A quick call to 408.635.7900 (Procket HQ number listed on their web site) resulted in an explaination that the info on spec sheet should have read max. ~175 amps, not 25 amps so daffyduck is right on. They also stated that the number of power entry modules on the 8812 are 1+1, not 2+1 as listed. Both spec sheets were being reworked and will be released soon.

I also happened to mention that some people believe that the 8812 is just vaporware based on the flaws found in the spec sheet... The response I got was quite funny - they said "better not let that vaporware land on your toes, its quite heavy.." Looks like about 571 pounds of heavy.

signmeup
dellman 12/5/2012 | 12:15:39 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy What do they mean by industry standard CLI?- Cisco's CLI?

SNMPv3 and 3DES encryption not supported?

It will be good if Procket can prove each line card can take 40Gbps in and forward 40Gbps out, preferably by a third party test lab.
daffyduck 12/5/2012 | 12:15:39 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy >>>Look at the datasheet for PRO/8812 and it says
>>>that the maximum DC input power (estimated) is
>>>7000W.


I think the spec sheet means to say the nominal current draw is 25 Amps for a minimal 8812 system (the minimal system for a 8812 is apparently the same as for a maximum-standard 8801.. there is apparently only one 8801 configuration...





>>>Do the math; input current of 25A at 40V is 1000W
>>>not 7000W!!!


A fully loaded 8812 system, running at worst hot temp and low voltage, would prob draw about 6500-7000 watts ... this is based on my _COMPLETE_ reading of the spec sheets (including the line card, media cards, et al) and looking at all the slots I could fill, and making an educated engineering guess.

7000 Watts at low station battery Voltage (42 Volts) = ~175 Amps. This seems in line with other systems I have seen... I will grant you that I think it could be clearer that the spec should state that it is for minimal system config, but I also think a closer look-see at the entire set of spec sheets shows the 7000W figure is prob correct.






>>>Another case in point; the 8812 datasheet shows
>>>3 (2+1) power entry modules. All the COs I know
>>>have only 2 power rails A and B. Was this also
>>>copied from the 8801 data sheet which has AC >power inputs?


Um...you might want to re-read the 8801 data sheet again... apparently the 8801 can be an AC or a DC powered unit....and there are only two power supply modules for AC or two modules to filter/condition the DC, not three as you indicated. See the data sheet for 8801 again.... it says "Power Entry Modules (1 + 1 redundant)". I would say the 3(2+1) for 8812 was not copied.


rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:15:40 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy In the absence of a public offering, a start-up will need to get a lot of customer success to survive. The VC's will not fork out more dough without seeing paying customers and future potential.

The public has been burned and has more immediate problems than making insiders rich, so agreed that their won't be a public offering anytime soon. I guess that means we have to go back to the days of building real companies that solve real problems for real (and paying) customers.

Achieving profitably when your name is spelled "other" has proven to be difficult."

That one is funny. I like that.
Critic 12/5/2012 | 12:15:41 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I don't see any value Procket is bringing in to the service providers. Yeh... it is VLSI, yeh.. it is new routing code from scratch.. What do they offer to the user ?

Is it reliability ? Who will believe that a completely new routing sw be more reliable than the ones that have been running in the network for years ?

How about the AI stuff ? It is no more than marketing. I hope it won't screw things up. No service providers will be stupid enough to turn them on.

Critic
indianajones 12/5/2012 | 12:15:44 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Look at the datasheet for PRO/8812 and it says that the maximum DC input power (estimated) is 7000W. Do the math; input current of 25A at 40V is 1000W not 7000W!!! Now look up the data sheet for PRO/8801 and the maximum DC input power is 1000W (25A at 40V). Looks like they have just cut and pasted whatever is in 8801 to 8812 leading one to question whether the 8812 is for real?

Another case in point; the 8812 datasheet shows 3 (2+1) power entry modules. All the COs I know have only 2 power rails A and B. Was this also copied from the 8801 data sheet which has AC power inputs?

What can we really believe in the PRO/8812 datasheet?
lyricji 12/5/2012 | 12:15:45 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy any info for pro's OS, as Juniper's BSD, and Cisco's IOS?
DocGonzo 12/5/2012 | 12:15:48 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy "Tomorrow's service providers need more than two qualified equipment providers. This supports competition which reduces prices. And the cost structures of the equipment vendors is just one component of getting the bits delivered as cheaply as possible."

True, but being a successful equipment provider in this space is a very capital consuming proposition. In the absence of a public offering, a start-up will need to get a lot of customer success to survive. The VC's will not fork out more dough without seeing paying customers and future potential. Also, achieving profitably when your name is spelled "other" on the market share chart has already been proven to be difficult by others.

Doc
DocGonzo 12/5/2012 | 12:15:49 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Interesting that they chose to announce on the day before Juniper's Q1 earnings announcement. Should give Scott Kriens some more fun questions to field on the call.

Doc
IP Observer 12/5/2012 | 12:15:49 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Yes, tomorrow's service providers need more than two qualified equipment providers.

There are already more than two router vendors and yet Cisco and Juniper continue to dominate.

Procket is not providing a solution that is different enough from Juniper to make a change. In post-Internet bubble era, science projects looking for a home are not worth supporting or losing your job over.
IP Observer 12/5/2012 | 12:15:50 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Yes. When technical leadership is demonstrated by putting up powerpoint slides and customer "validation" comes from a channel partner it puts the announcement in perspective.

Time will tell but the clock is ticking. At least Caspian didn't attempt to hide that they had no customer traction with their announcement.
rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 12:15:51 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy As a service provider, why would I spend time and money getting the router operationalized?

The way I see it is that the SP market is going back to ground zero. They need rebuild their businesses. And Wall St. won't be subsidizing them nor the equipment vendors in this upcoming phase of our industry.

Tomorrow's service providers need more than two qualified equipment providers. This supports competition which reduces prices. And the cost structures of the equipment vendors is just one component of getting the bits delivered as cheaply as possible.
IP Observer 12/5/2012 | 12:15:53 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Upon closer inspection of Procket's product specs all Procket has done is built another version of Juniper router. Makes sense since Tony came from Juniper.

No scalability (from data sheet-"less meshing" Procket-unfortunately service providers want no meshing),a centralized switch fabric design (Oops from data sheet-"a superior centralized shared memory switch fabric", no control plane reliability protection,no hitless upgrades, and a whopping 20% cost savings relative to Cisco and Juniper.

As a service provider, why would I spend time and money getting the router operationalized?

Service providers who are willing to change network want something different than status quo Cisco and Juniper. Procket does not deliver.
laserbrain 12/5/2012 | 12:15:54 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Based on tony's comments, it doesn't sound
like a zero-downtime upgrade... Of course its a difficult problem and none of the people working on it have proved that they can do it in anything beyond a "toy" network.
-------------

No question they have a lot to prove. But I interpret Tony's comments to be that exactly. There are indeed a number of companies working on this problem and it is indeed difficult to pull off completely. Given Procket's time and $$, let's hope they haven't cut too many corners to make it work.

Using distinct processes gives them the opportunity to migrate new traffic to the new process, but it sounds like they didn't spend any cycles trying to preserve existing sessions. That's probably OK, since TCP will just retry and a tiny fraction of end users might see a hiccup but no distruption to service. As an engineer, you can split hairs whether that's "really" zero downtime upgrade, but the end-users would probably would say that it is.
changeisgood 12/5/2012 | 12:15:54 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy i thought is was pretty funny how D. Kim is quoted on the procket press release and Junkins' mug is on the main juniper website page. that is really freakin funny.
IP Observer 12/5/2012 | 12:15:55 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy This was a good announcement for Procket. Great to see that they are out of stealth mode.

However, they have not announced any customer deployments for product, just trials. NTT PC Communications was announced by Procket in November of 2002. They are a channel not a service provider. NTT Verio is research trial in research network. So, no real proof yet that product works.

The real work for Procket is yet to come and the core routing market is littered with other companies that announced products, never delivered the customers, and went out of business.
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:15:57 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy As far as I understand, the carriers won't qualify
hardware vendors that use Gate D or BSD, or
any other routing code that is "off-the-shelf".
This isn't some unique Procket feature, this is a
requirement set forth by the customers. Any
equipment vendor worth his weight needs to do the
same thing if they want to sell product.
-----------------

No. The real requirement is that the vendor
has stable routing code that works. And that
they have staff in-house to support their
routing code.

Carriers are going to ask where the code
came from. And how the vendor answers usually
is what determines if someone will take a chance
or not. Regardless of the source, you are going
to have to show that your code works. And
no commerical package is good enough to take
without major changes.
walter_100 12/5/2012 | 12:15:57 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Really??? I thought barring Procket, everybody does/did it!
-------------------------------------------------
As far as I understand, the carriers won't qualify
hardware vendors that use Gate D or BSD, or
any other routing code that is "off-the-shelf".
This isn't some unique Procket feature, this is a
requirement set forth by the customers. Any
equipment vendor worth his weight needs to do the
same thing if they want to sell product.
multithreaded 12/5/2012 | 12:15:58 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Then VLSI is marketing smoke since it is simply an in-house NPU.

Procket needs to search NPU conference proceedings to verify whether their VLIS is an industry's first 40Gbps NPU. I remeber that Clear Speed Inc. has a OC-768 NPU in 2002.

It looks like NPU has a bad reputaion in the networking industry. People adopted the technology but do not want to endorse its name :(
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:15:59 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I'm a firm believer that the routing infrastructure is in dire need of zero downtime upgrades, whether this alone is enough of a differentiator for Procket remains to be seen. I frankly hope so. In the not-too-distant future we'll be looking at the core with the same reliablity expectations as the class5 switch. We've reached that maturation point.
------------------

Based on tony's comments, it doesn't sound
like a zero-downtime upgrade. They could
do it through graceful restart, but some
people (at least in cisco's case) have found
out by now that claims don't sometimes mean
much. (i.e. if you give me graceful restart
and it comes with so many different restrictions
that I can never use it, you've wasted my
time and given me nothing.)

There are multiple companies working on what
I would consider more of a true hitless upgrade
with stateful redundancy. Of course its a
difficult problem and none of the people working
on it have proved that they can do it in anything
beyond a "toy" network.
Marguerite Reardon 12/5/2012 | 12:15:59 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy A story on Caspian will be up on the site soon.
tspoon 12/5/2012 | 12:16:00 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy The real joke.

If you went to Caspian's site a week ago, you would have been able to pull down an 11 page PDF on the Apiero Switch. That was the first name, now we have the Apiero Router, nice try Caspian. No customers. feels rather desperate.

Great article on Procket Maggie, go get Caspian, it fraud.
signmeup 12/5/2012 | 12:16:01 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy [Taken from http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-...]

Highlights of Procket Network's PRO/Silicon technology include:

-- Industry's first 40Gbps network processor
-- Fully programmable network processor - enabling new feature additions
via simple software upgrades, avoiding costly hardware upgrades common
today
-- Industry's first Terabit Switch Engine used in the highest performance,
service-optimized, switch fabric available today
-- Enables systems that scale up as well as down - one chipset supports
high-performance platforms that range from 80Gbps to 960Gbps.
laserbrain 12/5/2012 | 12:16:01 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I'm a firm believer that the routing infrastructure is in dire need of zero downtime upgrades, whether this alone is enough of a differentiator for Procket remains to be seen. I frankly hope so. In the not-too-distant future we'll be looking at the core with the same reliablity expectations as the class5 switch. We've reached that maturation point.

What I wonder is when they're going to lay off 200 people to the the burn rate to a manageable size. Gotta be burning close to $100mil/year. Even if they close some big deals this year, that maybe extends their life by a couple months. The math just doesn't work.

Congrats Procket, now choose to survive.
Belzebutt 12/5/2012 | 12:16:02 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy First, congratulations. I hope I get to play with one of these boxes sometime.

For in service upgrades, what we're making available today is the ability to install a replacement module for one of IS-IS, BGP, OSPF or PIM and then restart that particular process. Today this would be typically used to phase in patches. Yes, this would cause a service interruption, but all other processes would still be alive.


Tony, so you do not offer hitless upgrade for these boxes? Is it possible to use graceful restart to do a complete hitless upgrade, or is that not possible?


About Caspian, their box sounds a lot like Vivace, with their emphasis on flows and QoS.
multithreaded 12/5/2012 | 12:16:04 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I am really curious about this so called VLSI microprocessor. It is said that it is different from the OLD generation of network processors. Does this indicate that it is a new generation of NPU?

At least it proves that the NPU approach works :-)

The new generation of NPU will replace more and more ASICs in the core and edge routers.

____________________________________________
The company has also taken an innovative approach to developing hardware. Instead of burning the routing functionality and features into ASICs, the company has leveraged Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) microprocessor technology to build high-speed packet processors. Unlike the older generation of network processors, VLSI microprocessors are highly integrated, allowing for packet processing speeds up to 40 Gbit/s on 40-byte packets.

skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:16:05 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy
Caspian isn't announcing much of anything that
they have not announced before. I dont see
any detail about customers or trials.

Their flow-based adaptive router stuff is still,
IMO flawed and open to DOS attacks and
manipulation. Distributed computing is really
difficult to get right and the benefits are not
really clear. The routing table has to live
somewhere (one place) and no matter how you
distribute the rest, if the routing table is
lost, everything is gone.

I remember Caspian promising revenue and
customers "soon" at least a year ago. I remember
an article about them preparing for an IPO
long (maybe a year) before that. All
we got today (as far as I can see) is old
presentations re-done and new graphics on
the website.


DocGonzo 12/5/2012 | 12:16:06 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Interesting but sort of underwhelming. While a lot of the things "done right" sound good the real proof will be in the exectution, delivery and support of the new systems. New code is exactly that and will take time to season for confident deployment in large networks. SP's are very concerned (paranoid) about downtime and any attributable to a new vendor will raise skepticism surrounding them.

In these times of tight finances most SP's will really scrutinize any expensive recommendation to introduce a new hardware and software platform into a sizable network. My guess is that Procket will get most of their market share from 1.)SP's that are not happy with Cisco and didn't view Juniper as a better solution 2.)SP's that want a new second provider (ala NTT/Verio) 3.)New deployments where the SP's can afford to risk a new vendor introduction. The question is how much will that market share and revenue be and is it enough.

I do seriously doubt that this is compelling enough to motivate any semi-satisified Cisco or Juniper customer to jump on the Procket bandwagon. I suspect that the 65% lower cost claim will be difficult to prove and therefore not make much of a difference in the long run. IMO, the only thing that will get SP's attention in a big way is to demonstrate dramatically improved uptime versus the incumbents. This will take time to prove out.

The real interesting point to me is where they go with licensing the code to other partners. Cisco tried this in the distant past and quickly abandoned it and Juniper has never shown any interest in it. If the the portable Procket code delivers good IP functionality and reliability, with the right partners it could become more of a threat to Cisco than Huawei.

Good Luck.

Doc
mu-law 12/5/2012 | 12:16:06 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy I'm surprised Dr. Li & co. aren't doing process replacement with checkpointing, etc. Although what this PR indicates seems to be an improvement wrt the old world, the technology certainly exists to do non-interruptive upgrades this way; I would think that would be the goal if one were to do a rewrite...

u
joe_average 12/5/2012 | 12:16:06 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy What a coincidence that both Procket and Caspian announce product at the same time! ;-)

It is also apparent that the Procket marketing team was more successful in getting the word out. A big LR article vs. only a mention in the news briefs is certainly a win for Procket.

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

I wish them both luck but can't see how either is going to make money in this terrible market.

BTW The Caspian news bulletin has a really insensitive comment from the CEO. He states how the product is such a huge accomplishment for the team, etc. He neglects to mention that he's just laid off 40% of them now that the job is complete. I'm sure the "displaced team members" would rather have been less successful and still have their jobs.
Honda_Elise 12/5/2012 | 12:16:07 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Having helped develop routing software at Cisco and Juniper, Tony Li, ProcketGÇÖs main software architect, avoided some of the problems that currently limit those routing codes today, according to Kruep. For one, Procket avoided off-the-shelf software code, such as Gate D or BSD. Instead, Li and his team developed source code from scratch. As a result, the company was able to put each routing function, including individual routing protocols, onto its own processes.
---------------------

As far as I understand, the carriers won't qualify
hardware vendors that use Gate D or BSD, or
any other routing code that is "off-the-shelf".
This isn't some unique Procket feature, this is a
requirement set forth by the customers. Any
equipment vendor worth his weight needs to do the
same thing if they want to sell product.
Seldon 12/5/2012 | 12:16:08 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Congragulations Tony and team @procket
Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 12:16:09 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Skeptic,

No, we did not use Zebra. Yes, it is all from scratch.

Yes, BGP is dependent on OSPF, but other cases that are not dependencies are more interesting. For example if PIM goes down, unicast is not affected.

For in service upgrades, what we're making available today is the ability to install a replacement module for one of IS-IS, BGP, OSPF or PIM and then restart that particular process. Today this would be typically used to phase in patches. Yes, this would cause a service interruption, but all other processes would still be alive.

Regards,
Tony
skeptic 12/5/2012 | 12:16:10 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Having helped develop routing software at Cisco and Juniper, Tony Li, Procket&#8217;s main software architect, avoided some of the problems that currently limit those routing codes today, according to Kruep. For one, Procket avoided off-the-shelf software code, such as Gate D or BSD. Instead, Li and his team developed source code from scratch. As a result, the company was able to put each routing function, including individual routing protocols, onto its own processes.
---------------------

When Juniper said things like this, I believed
them....and after the fact it turned out that
their "from-scratch" code turned out to be
based on gated.

I want to believe procket, but what they are
talking about sure sounds like it was based on
Zebra.

The other rather obvious thing to mention is
that "modularity" in things like OSPF and ISIS
and BGP is generally useless. You can put it
into a different process, but if any one of them
goes down, the whole ship still sinks. If OSPF
goes down, the BGP next-hops become unreachable.
if BGP goes down, most of the connectivity in
the system is lost.

And as far as in-service upgrade, what are they
really offering? Just because OSPF is a seperate
process doesn't indicate anything about how
in-service upgrades are to be done and based
on past comments, they don't seem to be doing
anything technically different than cisco/juniper
in how they plan to do in-service upgrades.

reoptic 12/5/2012 | 12:16:11 AM
re: Procket Gets Unstealthy Basically these guys are touting modular software. So who isn't? That's been around forever and even Cisco is doing that. Claim to have built another big iron box but unclear who really needs that kind of platform -- and do they have the software features and all the interfaces needed to make it useful. Sounds like those are coming later. These guys are most overhyped company in the industry. Remember that Pluris launched not long before they went bankrupt.
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