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EARNEST: The Future of Routing & Networking Technology HEAnet National Networking Conference 2007 15 November 2007, Kilkenny, Ireland

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EARNEST: The Future of Routing & Networking Technology HEAnet National Networking Conference 2007 15 November 2007, Kilkenny, Ireland. EARNEST Background. EC-funded GN2 project (35 NRENs including HEAnet ): Build and operate G É ANT2, the pan-European research and education backbone.

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EARNEST: The Future of Routing & Networking TechnologyHEAnet National Networking Conference 200715 November 2007, Kilkenny, Ireland

earnest background
EARNEST Background
  • EC-funded GN2 project (35 NRENs including HEAnet ):
    • Build and operate GÉANT2, the pan-European research and education backbone.
    • Joint Research Activities (JRA 1-5) to investigate and develop network enhancements.
    • Service Activities (SA 1-6) to procure network and connect NRENs.
    • Networking Activities (NA 1-7) to provide user support, dissemination, addressing digital divide, coordination activities, conferences and workshops, and undertake foresight study.
  • GN2-NA4 = Education And Research Networking Evolution STudy (EARNEST)
earnest background3
EARNEST Background
  • Aims to identify trends, developments, and to make recommendations for future research and education networks.
  • Seven sub-studies:
    • Organisational and Governance issues
    • Economic issues (move to dark fibre, and provision of new services)
    • Researchers’ needs (what type of network and services are required?)
    • Other users’ needs (e.g. schools, healthcare, arts & humanities)
    • Geographic issues (examining and quantifying digital divide)
    • Campus issues (infrastructure, services, expertise and collaboration)
    • Technical issues (transmission, control plane & routing, network virtualisation, operations and performance, middleware)
  • All sub-study reports plus final conclusions available shortly.
technical study areas
Technical Study Areas
  • Transmission Technologies
    • Fibre provisioning, transmission protocols, equipment evolution.
  • Control Plane & Routing Technologies
    • Switching & routing developments (optical & IP), IPvX, multicasting.
  • Operations and Performance
    • QoS vs overprovisioning, end-to-end performance, network management (optical & IP), network monitoring, PERT.
  • Middleware
    • AAIs, identity management, federations, mobility.
  • Network Virtualisation
    • Customer-enabled networks utilising virtual routers, lightpaths, VPNs, VLLs controlled by UCLP, DRAC etc..
methodology caveats
Methodology & Caveats
  • Technical panel with expertise in specific areas advised on important or emerging technologies.
  • Interviews with key personnel from 11 vendors, 3 research institutes, and a number of NRENs.
  • Technological briefings and research papers also used.
  • Primary goal was to investigate technologies applicable to NRENs, although attempts to address other types of network as well.
  • R&E networks often have different requirements to telco and ISP sectors, and usually have fewer legacy issues.
ethernet or sdh
Ethernet or SDH?
  • No obvious path for SDH beyond OC-768 (40 Gbps), and likely to become legacy technology in coming years.
  • All manufacturers developing 40 and/or 100 Gigabit Ethernet because of cost advantages, and because packet-based services are increasingly prevalent.
  • Vendors don’t wish to repeat experience of having to support different variants of 10 GE (i.e. LAN-PHY, WAN-PHY).
  • Was initially expected that 100 GE would be next standard, but this is proving to be technically difficult.
ethernet or sdh8
Ethernet or SDH?
  • 100 GE implementations not expected before 2010, and likely later.
    • Initially likely to be 4 x 25 Gbps and restricted to short-haul applications.
    • Full serial implementations not expected until at least 2012.
  • 40 GE may be interim solution as implementations possible by 2009
    • Expected to be 40% the cost of OC-768.
    • Supposedly intended for data centre applications, but some vendors talking about WAN capabilities (80 km before amplification/2000 km before regeneration).
ethernet enhancements
Ethernet Enhancements
  • Ethernet scalability initially addressed with IEEE 802.1Q and 802.1ad.
  • PBB (IEEE 802.1ah) aims to greatly increase number of customer networks, and defines protocols for connecting provider-bridged networks.
  • Carrier-grade OAM&P and virtual circuit functionality is also currently being added:
    • PBBTE (802.1Qay) will support point-to-point circuits over Ethernet.
    • CFM (802.1ag) will support hop-by-hop detection, isolation of connectivity problems
    • Shortest-Path Bridging (IEEE 802.1aq) being developed as alternative to Spanning Tree for loop-free forwarding.

dwdm systems
DWDM Systems
  • Trade-off between number of wavelengths, faster line rates and longer reaches due to CD, PMD, XPM and FWM.
  • New modulation techniques (e.g. DP-QPSK) are becoming practical and promise longer reaches at 40 Gbps+ speeds, whilst minimising need for EDCM.
  • Most manufacturers focusing on 50 GHz spacing for DWDM channels (i.e. ~80 channels per fibre). This has been found to provide optimal performance with respect to faster line rates and longer reaches.
  • Tunable lasers, VOAs, EDCMs, multi-degree ROADM technology, and PIC-based OEOs promise easier-to-facilitate (and potentially cheaper) DWDM systems. Also make meshed optical networks possible.
  • Passive Optical Networks (PONs) being trialled.
dwdm systems11
DWDM Systems
  • Questions to ponder:
    • There was a lot of hype about DWDM five years ago, but actually how important is this to NRENs?
    • Dark fibre is increasingly available to NRENs, but few fully exploit DWDM possibilities.
    • Why is the take-up of DWDM by NRENs so slow?
    • Is being ‘faster’ or ‘fatter’ more important to NRENs?
ip routing
IP Routing
  • Routing scalability becoming problematic (again).
    • Huge rise in number of hosts, fragmentation of service provider hierarchy, increase in multihoming, and amount of traffic.
    • Global routing table now >230,000 entries, which generates around 400,000 BGP updates per day.
    • Concern that growth is starting to outstrip router chipset and memory developments, but more specifically the cost of provisioning these.
    • IPv6 doesn’t help as end-users unwilling to use provider-assigned addresses, or renumber when changing service providers.
ip routing14
IP Routing
  • Not immediate cause for concern, but IAB/IETF looking for efficiencies.
    • Multihoming and traffic engineering should be possible.
    • Addresses should be provider-independent
    • Work with IPv6, and ideally IPv4.
  • Proposals based on splitting IP addresses into identifiers and locators.
    • End hosts would have unique identifier regardless of location (EID)
    • Locator used for intermediate routing, but is dynamically allocated in accordance with network location (RLOC)
    • Locator would be provider dependent and allow for better aggregation.
ip routing15
IP Routing
  • How to do it?
    • NAT sort of achieves the same thing, but uses private IP addresses which introduce other problems.
    • e-FIT would use EIDs within user networks, and encapsulate packets using RLOCs in transit networks. Routing separated between networks.
    • LISP also uses encapsulation, but this happens at edge routers. Is transparent to BGP.
    • Six/One based on 8+8/GSE and shim6. Lowest 64-bits are unique identifer, but top 64-bits written by edge router (although hosts can suggest route).
    • EID-to-RLOC mapping: APT (all nodes hold limited database with default routes), NERD (all nodes hold complete database), and LISP-CONS (distributed query)
      • What part of the network should have global overview?
      • How to determine default routes?
      • How dynamic can/should mapping be?
      • Security?
  • Core IPv6 specifications and related protocols largely completed some years ago.
  • Most NRENs already support IPv6 in dual-stack systems, but also tend to have more IPv4 address space.
  • Some router and user equipment still has limited support.
  • Still limited support in most campuses.
  • New predictions suggest IPv4 address space could be exhausted in 3-5 years.
  • Regional Internet Registries discussing rationing measures.
ip multicasting
IP Multicasting
  • Never really taken off in past 20 years, but IPTV in context of ‘triple play’ increasing interest amongst service providers.
  • Increased availability to end-users may make it easier to deploy across Internet.
  • Inter-domain multicast routing still complex, although SSM may improve situation.
  • Automatic Multicast Tunnelling (ATM) allows hosts to find convenient multicast relay if native multicast not available.
  • Many peer-to-peer applications already multicast at application layer.
dynamic control of hybrid networks
Dynamic-control of hybrid networks
  • Lightpaths are still largely manually configured.
  • Optical and IP domains still managed separately.
  • GMPLS offers possibility of integrating IP routing and WDM control planes (amongst other things).
    • In development for long time, but only just starting to be deployed using vendor-specific solutions.
    • Still signalling and interoperability issues to resolve, especially between domains.
    • Peer or overlay model?
    • Probably necessary for fully exploiting hybrid networks, but introduces more complexity.
network virtualisation
Network Virtualisation
  • Virtualisation concepts starting to be used across all networking layers.
  • Basic virtualisation already implemented in certain modern routers to enable upgrades and troubleshooting of specific interfaces, and programmable features.
  • NRENs (e.g. CANARIE, CESNET) pioneered customer-empowered network concept, where resources on NREN-provisioned infrastructure can be managed by customers to build logical networks.
  • Deployment of UCLP, DRAC and similar technologies are first step towards full network virtualisation.
  • Need for technology agnostic infrastructure, although most users still want IP connectivity as part of service.
network virtualisation21
Network Virtualisation
  • MANTICORE and FEDERICA projects aim to develop network virtualisation to allow disruptive technologies to be tested over production infrastructure.
  • US-based GENI initiative extends concept to wireless and sensor networks as well.
  • EARNEST study revealed there was little knowledge in wider R&E community about virtualisation initiatives, but lot of potential interest.
  • TERENA NGN Workshop (06/11/07) had session on network virtualisation/customer-empowered networks.
    • Generated much discussion.
    • Support for information exchange and coordination activity (e.g. task force).
  • Need a better term to describe all this though!
layer 0 2 management
Layer 0-2 Management
  • NRENs have traditionally only managed Layer 3 and above, so have limited experience at the optical level (WDM systems and/or SDH).
  • Limited tools for managing Network Layers 0-2, and expensive.
    • Although some R&E developments such as TL1 Toolkit and NDL.
  • Management of Layers 0-2 is currently labour intensive and relies heavily on documentation.
  • NRENs have not really made extensive use of WDM systems to-date, and the management of much so-called dark fibre is often outsourced.
  • Is this something to investigate further?
overprovisioning vs qos
Overprovisioning vs QoS
  • Core networks likely to continue to be overprovisioned as bandwidth is (relatively) cheap.
  • Some edge networks do need to undertake traffic engineering though, so QoS transparency should be supported.
  • Increasing availability of dark fibre allows R&E networks to operate hybrid networks, enabling dedicated links to be provisioned for demanding customers using C/DWDM.
  • Should encourage innovation through network neutrality, subject to traffic engineering requirements.
end to end connectivity
End-to-End Connectivity
  • Most end-to-end performance issues are due to problems at customer sites.
  • Middleboxes such firewalls, NATs, rate shapers, caches and other ‘black box’ solutions are responsible for many of these problems.
    • This is due to instrinic architecture, misconfigurations, or simply intentional behaviour.
    • They encourage workarounds that circumvent what the box is trying to achieve in the first place.
    • Consider improving network transparency, either through protocol support, or moving functionality closer to end-hosts.
    • Filtering and firewalling should also be weighed against reduction in innovation capabilities within research environment.
  • Buggy or sub-optimally tuned software also responsible for some problems (e.g. TCP stacks for large file transfers).
  • Consider evolution of PERT concept.
identity federations
Identity Federations
  • Identity federations are solution for supporting user access to remote services.
  • Most NRENs have identity federation or are establishing one. Others should plan to do so within next couple of years.
  • NRENs are natural candidates for supporting technical organisation within their countries, as well as representing national federations.
  • User-centric identity (e.g. OpenId) management also growing, and abstract identity framework also being worked on. NRENs should monitor developments.
    • Already integrations of identity federation and OpenId
  • Inter-operability of identity federation happening:
    • SAML 2.0 is today choice for exchanging identity data for web-based applications.
    • All the identity federations technologies are SAML2.0-compatible or they migrating to be SAML2.0-compatible.
    • Schemas such as eduPerson or SCHAC becoming more important to facilitate inter-operability.
  • In order to be able to handle different AAIs it is recommended that NRENs support multiple trust infrastructures:
    • X.509 certificates used quite a lot.
    • SAML signed tokens, coming up.
  • It is recommended that NRENs try to minimise number necessary (e.g. by reusing existing PKIs).
  • Still open issue: No well established standard for communicating identity data to applications.
    • NRENs should be proactive about this (possible task force?)
further information
Further Information
  • EARNEST Reports

(Draft Technical Report available, minus some updates)

  • TERENA NGN Workshop
  • Thanks to:

Alcatel-Lucent, Calient, Cisco, DTU-COM, DANTE, Extreme Networks, Force10, i2CAT, IBM, Juniper, Liberty Alliance, MERLIN Project, Nortel, Sun Microsystems & SxIP

plus the Advisory Panellists