sell shell accounts?

Tim Salo salo at
Wed Jul 24 05:10:30 UTC 1996

> Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 19:03:08 -0400
> To: salo at (Tim Salo)
> From: Paul Ferguson <pferguso at>
> Subject: Re: sell shell accounts?
> Cc: freedman at, nanog at
> At 05:06 PM 7/23/96 -0500, Tim Salo wrote:
> >The desire for a full mesh of VCs between routers becomes more compelling
> >if you have more than three routers.  The diagram is left as an exercise
> >to the reader; I rather dislike having to draw in ASCII.
> >
> >Note that the two paths between A and C, (directly versus via B), seem
> >to take distinctly different paths.  (Perhaps, I missed your point).
> Perhaps I missed your point.
> Tim, I could've sworn that you had been following the IETF ION WG
> mailing list, where this has been discussed on hundreds of occasions.
> I hesitate to even mention this on NANOG (I really don't want to
> re-hash this on this list), but I can't hold my tongue.
> The scalability of an ATM network where each end-point is fully meshed
> to all other end-points decreases in direct proportion to the number
> of end-points. This is not so much a layer 2 problem, per se, but rather
> the ability to maintain functional routing (convergence, et al.) in a
> fully meshed network topology.
> This does not scale.

I believe that given my [secret] assumptions, (some of which are revealed
below), it scales well beyond the financial abilities of most any NSP.

I assumed that the wide-area ATM service supported only PVCs and
PVPs.  (I keep hearing promises of SVCs "next year" but I don't think
anyone [domestically] has delivered them.)  I believe this address your
concern about maintaining functional routing, but I make no claims to
being a routing expert, so I might not fully comprehend the issue.

I also assumed that the going price for a DS-3 xwide-area ATM connection
is, to more or less pull a number out of the air, $250,000/year.
This has two implications:

o	Any one NSP isn't going to be able to afford all that many
	connections.  A full mesh of 100 routers, (i.e., $25 millino/year
	in ATM services) would require 4,950 PVCs.  That is a lot to
	configure, but...

o	Given that each link is rather expensive, it behooves the
	NSP to try to avoid needlessly moving a packet back and
	forth across a DS-3 local loop just because my ATM 
	provider can't provide me with any more PVCs.
	(Which was my major point, by the way.)

On the other hand, you are correct that this doesn't sale to thousands
of routers.  But, I didn't think that was the problem we were
trying to solve here, (just yet).


More information about the NANOG mailing list