Soaking Up the CRS-3

1:20 PM -- You can't just let a story with the headline "What's So Big About CRS-3?" go by without a comment. And, fortunately, West Coast Editor Craig Matsumoto had plenty to say about Cisco's new router:

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

mr zippy 12/5/2012 | 4:41:19 PM
re: Soaking Up the CRS-3

Regarding the comment about the Internet not being designed for video, that's true. But it's not designed for anything.


The key to the success of the Internet is that it's not optimised for one type of application. It's a general purpose network.

To explain why this is a good idea, consider the old voice network aka the PSTN. It was only ever designed to carry voice conversations, so it is a single application network, and optimised for that purpose.

The problem was when things like fax machines or modems came along. They are completely different applications to voice services. For example, voice is sub-second latency sensitive, but faxing isn't. 

So to deliver a fax service there were two options - build a second fax only network, or make faxes look like voice phone calls. The same applies to data modems - computer to computer communications is better suited to packet switched rather than circuit switched models, but has the data had to be transported over the voice network, modems had to shoe horn their operating model into making the communications also look like phone calls.

The Internet isn't designed or optimised for one application. More importantly, it shouldn't be. It tries to provide a basic best effort packet based transport service, which may have some packet forwarding prioritisation (which is only necessary to overcome congestion). Otherwise, it doesn't care what the applications are - the exist at the edge.


Have a read of RFC1958 for the Architectural principles of the Internet.

I think Cisco going on about "intelligent" networking is really about them trying to decommoditise the network/Internet. The more Cisco proprietary "Intelligence" you build into your network, the more you have to continue to buy your equipment from Cisco. They are using FUD like "the Internet not being built for video", despite huge amounts of video travelling across the Internet daily, to sway people to their cause.




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