100G router technology and application analysis

What new application extensions can bring to network applications for 100G routing? What is the current state of 100G router development? What are the successful applications? When can it be truly popular?

With the rise of cloud computing, video applications, social networking, and other business applications, traffic on the Internet are growing rapidly. The surge in traffic has made the demand for routing performance improvement in IP backbone networks and metropolitan area networks soaring, and new to the “100G platform”. The generation of routing equipment has gradually become a new application hotspot.

What new application extensions can 100G routing bring to network applications? What is the current state of 100G router development? What are the successful applications? When can it be truly popular?

With the above questions, the reporter interviewed well-known router manufacturers at home and abroad such as Alcatel-Lucent, Brocade, Cisco, Huawei, H3C, Juniper Networks, and ZTE. From a technical, application and applicability perspective, a comprehensive technical analysis of the 100G router products currently available and to be launched by major manufacturers.

Advantages of 100G——Application Analysis of 100G Router

What can 100G bring to us? This question is a very good answer: For individual users, the application of 100G router can increase our Internet bandwidth by 10 times. Fiber-to-the-home will no longer be our dream. For enterprise users, the application of 100G routers can greatly reduce the user’s capital investment in network bandwidth. Ample network bandwidth will accelerate the pace of enterprise business toward cloud computing. For telecom operators, the application of 100G routers can enable operators to increase network data forwarding capability by 10 times without adding wiring. The transmission efficiency of 100G links is also higher than that of 10 10G links.

It can be seen that 100G routers are an opportunity and a challenge for all router vendors. In the global cloud index forecast report released by Cisco, we have already indicated to us that due to the promotion of new services such as video, mobile internet and cloud computing, whether it is telecom operators, cable operators, content providers or enterprise users, IP networks The construction and development is still a long-term investment focus in the future, and the overall trend of global IP traffic will still maintain a high growth rate. The pressure and bandwidth requirements of traffic will inevitably promote the rapid development of 100G routing technology. Under this market form, technical lag will mean being eliminated. As a result, router vendors are scrambling to promote or release technologies or products related to 100G routers.

100G’s confusion – analysis of 100G routing technology

However, is the current 100G router product technology mature? In the era of 100G routing, do we still have to endure the routing calculation caused by IP and transmission of two networks, network traffic planning, scheduling, and convergence time is difficult to coordinate? Operators and enterprise customers need to control the network more intelligently and flexible and hope that the router can provide richer and more flexible service capabilities when the network itself provides value-added service capabilities. When the 100G route is officially deployed, can the old router be smoothed? upgrade?

With the above questions, “Network World” conducted an in-depth technical investigation of major router manufacturers. In the survey, vendors have their own opinions: some vendors promote their own routing chip technology, some vendors push their own routing architecture, some vendors promote end-to-end solutions, and some vendors promote the integration of routing and transmission…… In general, in order to achieve the scaled deployment of 100G routing, there are at least three difficulties in the interface, chip, and transmission hardware, and the software problem of IPv4 and IPv6 interworking needs to be overcome. Let’s take a look at how the major router vendors “smooth transition” to 100G.

The guarantee of smooth transition – analysis of manufacturers’ technical solutions

“Smooth transition” This is the most frequently talked word in the 100G router survey. Although the IEEE released the IEEE 802.3ba standard for 40G/100G Ethernet in June 2010, other related optical modules and frame structures have been put in place. However, there are still many routers that have a “smooth transition” to 100G.

100G interface and 100G platform

To achieve the goal of 100G high-density deployment, the first thing to overcome is the problem of 100G access. In the survey, we found that although many manufacturers have introduced their own 100G routing interface modules, the current 100G routing interface modules have problems such as large physical size, short transmission distance, and low reliability.

At present, the 100G routing interface modules adopted by the manufacturers are basically CFP optical modules with a length of 144.75mm, a width of 82mm, and a height of 13.6mm. The electrical interface of the module has 148 pins, and the maximum data transmission distance is 10 kilometers. Excessive physical size will inevitably affect the deployment of high-density ports. Excessive interface pins will affect the plug-in life of the module, and the data transmission distance of 10 kilometers is difficult to meet the requirements of data remote transmission. It can be seen that the current 100G routing interface module technology only solves the problem of the 100G routing interface, but it does not have strong practicability. At the same time, the processing performance of the current routing chip cannot meet the application of the over-density 100G routing port.

Therefore, before the router interface module technology has not been perfected, the processing performance of the routing chip has not been significantly improved. The current 100G router is actually a more accurate 100G router platform that should be called a transition to 100G routing. Take the product of the 100G platform router launched by H3C as an example:

In the H3C CR16000 series core routers, the innovative cross-interval matrix architecture is adopted to reduce the crosstalk and attenuation of data signals in high-speed transmission channels, and the single-slot 720G non-blocking switching capability can be realized, thereby effectively securing the current high-density 10G. Or wire-speed forwarding of 100G boards.

Support 10M routing table, support IPV4, and IPV6 dual protocol stack support multiple routing protocols. While meeting the requirements of the core and aggregation location routing applications of the carrier’s IP backbone network, the data center backbone interconnection node, and the large-scale IP networks of various industries, the performance of the switching network board can be continuously upgraded. Thereby achieving a smooth transition to the 100G router.

In fact, this is also the technical solution currently adopted by major router vendors: At present, the high-performance routing processing capability of the 100G platform router can achieve high-density 10G access or low-density 100G routing and forwarding, thus effectively alleviating The pressure of current traffic bandwidth application requirements. In the future, after the 100G access port and network transmission technology are improved, the transition to 100G routing can be smoothly implemented by improving the processing performance of the router and increasing the density of the 100G routing interface.

Routing chip and routing architecture

The forwarding processing of the router requires the routing chip to bear. High-performance routing chips are the guarantee for the successful application of 100G routers. What is the current development of routing chip technology? Alcatel-Lucent provides us with a more comprehensive analysis: 100G routing boards can be built in a variety of ways and can use multiple low-speed chip combinations such as 10G, 20G or 40G. You can use the 100G high-speed chip directly.

The 100G routing board built on a single chip can dynamically share resources between multiple ports. The single-chip board has the advantage that the board built by the combined chip is unmatched: such as very detailed load balancing to avoid resources Data processing problems caused by sharing, providing a simple development interface. Therefore, developing a single faster and faster router chip is a challenge for the new generation 100G routing platform.

At present, major mainstream router vendors are working on developing their own 100G routing chips, and the processing power of routing chips is also steadily improving. Stronger single-chip processing capability and lower routing chip power consumption have become an inevitable trend in the development of routing chip technology. Single-chip routing and switching processing performance will also become a new technical indicator for considering router performance.

The processing performance of the routing chipset is steadily increasing, but the network application traffic demand is also growing. In a communication interview with Juniper Networks, we learned that the rate of network traffic growth has exceeded the Moore rate. This means that in the future, the processing power of the routing chip will certainly lag behind the application requirements of network traffic. As a result, it will inevitably have a very bad impact on the Internet application of the Internet.

At the same time as the issue was raised, Juniper Networks also offered a revolutionary change: simplifying the core router business functions, and the core router was only responsible for high-speed bearer and forwarding. The business functions are placed in the edge routers of the network, and the capacity of the network core routers is effectively improved by reducing the complexity of the core devices in exchange for the increase in capacity. From the perspective of the development of network architecture technology, this is indeed a well-deserved “revolutionary change.”

From the current manufacturer’s technical data, you can understand that the router network core is simplified into a super-capacity Layer 2 network switching device. The technical ideas of many core routing clusters have been recognized by many vendors. At present, apart from Juniper Networks, Huawei and ZTE have similar products.

Through the transformation of the routing network architecture, the routing bandwidth processing capability can be effectively improved, and the router interface density is increased, thereby satisfying the requirement of the smooth transition to 100G routing. However, in the actual application deployment, it is also necessary to pay attention to the compatibility issue. At present, there is no universal standard for router clustering technology. Core routers of different vendors cannot be integrated on a unified platform. Therefore, in the future selection of core routers, it is necessary to further consider the cluster expansion capability of routers.

Transmission and fusion of 100G routes

When asked what factors are currently restricting the popularity of 100G routers, many vendors have pointed to the transmission of 100G routers. At present, the initial transmission distance of a 100GE optical module is only 10 kilometers. The 100GE interface is first applied in the long-distance backbone core plane, which requires close cooperation between the core router and the transmission system. In the transmission network, the POS interface technology has stopped from the perspective of standard development to 40 Gbps.

In the 100G era, Ethernet and OTN (Optical Transport Network) will be the mainstay, and the Ethernet/OTN package will replace POS. After the GMPLS (Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching) technology is used at the same time, the IP and the transmission control plane can be coordinated to achieve an efficient solution to route calculation, network traffic planning, and scheduling, and convergence protection optimization.

After further analysis of the vendor routing solution, we can understand that there are currently two solutions for transmission and convergence.

Huawei specifically describes the solution for interconnecting routers and transmission equipment to build an end-to-end 100G network: Huawei’s OTN series products enable ultra-long-distance transmission of 1500 kilometers, with large-capacity OTN switching, intelligent ASON (Automatically Switched Optical Network), etc. The technology realizes the WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transmission network to continuously evolve to a larger capacity, more flexible, efficient, and highly reliable network.

ZTE has also launched a full-range 100G bearer network solution to achieve ultra-high-speed network from the aggregation layer to the backbone layer and from the transport layer to the IP layer. It has three high-end products—the cluster router ZXR10 T8000 and the large-capacity cross-device ZXONE 8000. And the core switch ZXR10 8900E. Among them, the cluster router ZXR10 T8000 completed the EANTC 100G independent test last year, and can smoothly upgrade to support 100G port line speed forwarding.

Cisco has proposed a disruptive solution: the routing device is integrated with the transmission device, and the two technologies of transmission and lighting (IP over DWDM) are integrated on the router. Thereby canceling the transmission device, breaking the bottleneck between the transmission and the router, reducing the input of the user equipment, reducing the network structure, and fundamentally solving the problem of long-distance transmission of the routing device.

From the current analysis of technical data, the problem of long-distance transmission of 100G router data still exists. In the short-term, 100G data long-distance transmission also requires the intervention of the transmission network equipment. However, the convergence of routing equipment and transmission equipment is a major trend in the future development of the network. Once the technology is mature, it will inevitably lead to a subversive change.

IPv4 and IPv6

The current IPv4 address has been exhausted. The deployment of IPv6 is undecided. How do you deal with this problem in 100G routers? Through the IPv4 to IPv6 transition technology announced on the H3C CR16000, we can understand that it is mainly through various tunnel technologies and The IPv4 and IPv6 dual protocol stacks solve the problem of IPv4 to IPv6 transition.

In the current transition from IPv4 to IPv6, IPv4 and IPv6 dual-stack technology applications account for a relatively high proportion, and there are countless standards. Numerous protocols are discussing how v4 and v6 coexist. Even Cisco has introduced the Name Separation Network Protocol (LISP) on the Routing and Switching Platform. This protocol can automatically create and modify IPv6 on the IPv4 tunnel, and support the rapid establishment of dual-stack configuration, which can effectively simplify IPv6 deployment.

It can be understood that in the 100G router, the transition technology is supported as much as possible so that the user can smoothly transition from IPv4 to IPv6, which is also an expectation of all router vendors.

Transformation in the 100G era

In order to make it easier for users to understand the 100G router products, the “Network World” evaluation lab listed some important evaluation items of 100G routers, and collected the technical data of the current mainstream 100G router manufacturers, and conducted a technical comparison. I hope that through this comparison, users can have a clearer understanding of 100G router products from different vendors.

In the router product model, we selected the highest-end products in each manufacturer’s 100G router for technical comparison.

In the technical indicator comparison project, we selected the exchange capacity, packet forwarding rate, service slot, board interface number, and 100G interface module type and supported fiber type for comparison.

In comparison, we found that the large switching capacity and high packet forwarding rate are still the trend of router development. The router performance index competition of various vendors will exist as a permanent topic for a long time. Through the comparison of the routing table capacity technical indicators, we found that the large routing table capacity is another technical trend of 100G routing. With the conversion of IPv4 to IPv6 address protocol, the router needs to have a higher routing table capacity to support, but the large routing table. It will inevitably affect the forwarding performance of the router. How to balance and choose on this issue is the key point of the router technology.

On the 100G interface, the manufacturer basically only has the CFP fiber interface module, which brings the highest access density of the two boards and the data transmission distance of up to 10 kilometers. Low port density and long-distance data transmission problems cannot be solved until new technologies are introduced.

Urgent 100G application requirements

Not long ago, Akamai, the world’s largest CDN service provider, announced on the 4th that China’s broadband average speed of 1.4M is ranked 90th. New services such as video, mobile Internet, and cloud computing require network bandwidth support, while too low network bandwidth is limiting the development of network applications. At home, the demand for network bandwidth applications is urgent. However, according to the most conservative estimates of the interviewed vendors, the large-scale application of 100G networks will not be realized until two years later.

Nowadays, how do domestic operators improve the domestic network application? When we understand the current domestic 100G router application status to various router manufacturers, each manufacturer said that it is currently conducting relevant tests, and it is still not convenient for external users. Announced.

At present, it is difficult for us to understand the current network deployment of operators through other channels. In sharp contrast, in foreign countries, many companies, universities, and research institutions are building their own 100G routing networks. It can be seen that the openness of domestic network development is worrying! What is the improvement of our network application bandwidth when 100G routing technology is booming? When we enter the post-100G era, domestic network applications will have What new development changes? We will wait and see!

Article source: http://www.cnw.com.cn/

Amra Author

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