[c-nsp] Devil's Advocate - Segment Routing, Why?

Saku Ytti saku at ytti.fi
Fri Jun 19 08:18:44 UTC 2020

On Fri, 19 Jun 2020 at 11:03, Mark Tinka <mark.tinka at seacom.mu> wrote:

> MPLS has been around far too long, and if you post web site content
> still talking about it or show up at conferences still talking about it,
> you fear that you can't sell more boxes and line cards on the back of
> "just" broadening carriage pipes.
> So we need to invent a new toy around which we can wrap a story about
> "adding value to your network" to "drive new business" and "reduce
> operating costs", to entice money to leave wallets, when all that's
> really still happening is the selling of more boxes and line cards, so
> that we can continue to broaden carriage pipes.

I need to give a little bit of credit to DC people. If your world is
compute and you are looking out to networks. MPLS _is hard_, it's
_harder_ to generate MPLS packets in Linux than arbitrarily complex IP
stack. Now instead of fixing that on the OS stack, to have a great
ecosystem on software to deal with MPLS, which is easy to fix, we are
fixing that in silicon, which is hard and expensive to fix.

So instead of making it easy for software to generate MPLS packets. We
are making it easy for hardware teo generate complex IP packets.
Bizarre, but somewhat rational if you start from compute looking out
to networks, instead of starting from networks.

> There are very few things that have been designed well from scratch, and
> stand the test of time regardless of how much wind is thrown at them.
> MPLS is one of those things, IMHO. Nearly 20 years to the day since
> inception, and I still can't find another packet forwarding technology
> that remains as relevant and versatile as it is simple.
> Mark.


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