DDN Backbone bandwidth vs. speed


WANCHO@SIMTEL20.ARPA
Wed, 7 Oct 1987 10:44 MDT


As the host administrator for this machine, I often get asked why the
network is so slow. Part of the answer is that this host is but a
2040 with 512KW, soon to be upgraded to a 2065 with 4MW. That should
make a significant difference in that we will finally be able to run
the TCP service locked into the highest queue without swamping the
system.

But, for the rest of the answer, I point out that the DDN backbone is
still operating at 56Kbps with nodes which apparently cannot handle
higher rates. That configuration maybe was adequate when the net
consisted of about 300 to 500 hosts and the protocol was the more
efficient, but less flexible NCP (in my opinion). Now, we have an
order of magnitude more hosts sending TCP traffic through the net, and
the links are still 56Kbps. Oh, there may be more links, more
cross-country paths, and even satellite hops added on a weekly basis
to handle the traffic. But, the basic *speed* is still 56Kbps,
although the bandwidth *may* be greater.

Meanwhile, campus LANs architects sneer at anything less than 10Mbps
to get any work done.

Is it really unreasonable to ask why the backbone hasn't been upgraded
to at least T1 service? Are there any plans for such an upgrade? If
not, then what? Still more 56Kbps links? Does that *really* solve
the problem? What should I tell my users (one in particular) to
expect, and when?

--Frank



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