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Vivace multiservice IP switches scale to 2.5Tbps

Posted: 22 May 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:viva5100? viva1050? multiservice ip switch? switch fabric? atm switching?

A multiservice Internet protocol (IP) switch family from Vivace Networks Inc. allows per-flow control and per-channel scheduling of as many as 256 interfaces operating at up to 10Gbps. The Viva line can channelize each interface with STS-1 granularity and achieve per-flow control on each channel, the company said.

The switch family is based on the Vista set of five proprietary ASICs. It operates on the premise that the end-to-end QoS, multilevel scheduling, scalability and channelization that operators need can be accomplished only when a design fully optimizes the relationships between these processors within the data path.

"The biggest problem carriers have today is profitability," said Mike Kazban, VP of marketing and service at Vivace. "That's because no one's figured out how to offer QoS over an IP backbone. Without that, no one's going to pay value-added pricing for IP services."

The flaw with current frame relay and ATM networks, said Kazban, is that they can't scale well. "They can't support ATM SARing at 10Gb and don't really support ATM switching at OC-48?except in very limited ways," he said.

This might typically be done with 4-by-OC-48 connections. In addition, the granularity of the channelization achieved by solutions so far isn't enough, said Mohammad Issa, director of ASIC development at Vivace. "To date, competing offerings have only gotten to the OC-3 or OC-12 level," he said. "We go as far as STS-1."

Vivace, said Kazban, comes into existing Layer 2 frame relay and ATM networks and makes them more profitable with greater density, more functionality and more scalability. "We offer those same platforms IP services?but not just with best effort. We also offer pure QoS between end-to-end locations with IP backbones, with our key differentiator being per-flow behavior and wire-speed operation."

The five ASICs create a packet processor, a traffic manager (with two chips), a switch-fabric gateway and a switch fabric. "We own everything in the data path." Kazban said. "It's specifically built for service creation."

Key features include the ability to scale to 2.5Tb, a logical, single-stage switch, multilevel scheduling on a per-flow basis, full UBR+ support, multiple-priority switching, and multiple lookups without degradation as the number of line cards increases.

Features edge

Many of the chip set's features could not have been implemented if the chips were cobbled together from different vendors, said Raghavan Menon, principal architect at Vivace. "One reason why UBR+ wasn't done before is that it [the scheduler in the traffic manager] requires support from the fabric," he said. "Very few companies have been building these together."

The traffic-manager chip set provides ATM-level traffic management for all protocols?with three levels of shaping, said Raghavan. They also include a standard dual-bucket policer.

The switch fabric is fully distributed, fault-tolerant and nonblocking, while scaling from 40Gbps to 2.5Tbps. "It also implements a logical, single-stage switching scheme to make better use of the interconnect," said Raghavan. Along with improving the performance and efficiency, he said, the logical single-stage switching also provides predictability when links fail.

The chips have been incorporated into the Viva5100 and Viva1050 multiservice IP switches. The '5100 consumes half of a seven-foot rack with 32 usable, full-duplex OC-192 interfaces. The box also supports DS3, OC-3/STM-1, OC-12/STM-4, OC-48/STM-64, OC-192c/STM-64, Gigabit Ethernet and 10GbE interfaces.

The Viva1050 supports 16Gbps of port density and comes in a 3RU box. Both are available now.

UBR+ is an integral part of the Vista chip set's functionality, said Kazban. "If someone signs an SLA for 1Mbps over a GbE application, the steady state is 1Mb but it can burst to 1Gbps. But if you mark everything red above the 1Mb and drop all the reds upon congestion, the service is meaningless."

With UBR+, the carrier "can give the customer a solid SLA of 1Mb, or increments thereof up to 1Gbps, and allow them to burst to the full 1Gbps and we will play it out to the network at SLA rates of 1M?and never drop a packet. That's the key," he said.

Patrick Mannion

EE Times





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