Film at 11:00

Tony Li tli at
Fri Jan 3 21:45:12 UTC 1997

   Really, there is one important question (not the blame about IOS's
   memory or so on) - does hardware vendors (just as CISCO etc) really predicts
   the future? 

There's a complicated answer.  Yes, certain people at router vendors do
understand and can predict what is necessary.  However, this does not imply
that the right thing happens.  Please recall that most (all?) router
manufacturers are driven by the enterprise market, not the ISP market.

Memory constraints in the enterprise market are not an issue.  Memory costs
(and even the cost of the extra SIMM socket) _are_ an issue, as they affect
the price that everyone on the street pays.  This either cuts into
manufacturers profit margins or into their sales.

Thus, router manufacturers can indeed predict what's needed for the ISP
market.  But history shows that they consistently make a business decision
to design hardware for the enterprise market.

   It's easy to install 2 or 4 CPU into SUN ULTRA-2 or SGI SERVER
   computers, but it's impossible to do it with routers. And so on.

In fact, it's not impossible.  That's _exactly_ what you're doing when you
install a VIP.

   But what we'll do with the routers next 2 years? Just now existing
   CS7500 and CS4700 are 30% - 50% loaded by ROUTING (not switching but
   routing) and there is not ways to scale them easily.

Again, getting the switching off of the CPU is key.  Once that happens
consistently, then there is much more CPU for routing computation.  30-50%
for routing is fine once that happens.  It just implies that we need to
scale up the processor to match the growth in _routing_ traffic.
Fortunately, that's _FAR_ lower than transit traffic, so I believe it's a
tractable problem.  Just gotta stay on the processor curve.


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