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[PACKET SWITCHING] Possibly Useful Protocol Software

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  • Joachim Martillo
    Hi, I have made a software release (http://www.softlane.com/downloads1-0.html) that may be of interest to some of the subscribers to this list. I occasionally
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 19, 1999

      I have made a software release
      (http://www.softlane.com/downloads1-0.html) that may be of interest to
      some of the subscribers to this list.

      I occasionally teach a course at Harvard in Understanding and
      Implementing High Performance Packet Switching Systems. In my course,
      I argue that the development trend in this field is much too much
      oriented toward developing hardware. Concentration on hardware
      development rather than developing correct software approaches leads
      to premature obsolescence of equipment, inadequate performance or
      bottlenecks and tremendous maintenance or development costs.
      Overemphasis on hardware packet switching technology may actually slow
      the development of Internet technology as a whole.

      In order to make this point, I have decided to release some of the
      course material under non-commercial licenses. I am first releasing
      Solaris LAPB drivers. Now I know that many people consider X.25, LAPB
      and SDLC rather despicable technology, but correctly implemented X.25,
      LAPB or SDLC can provide very good link utilization in the presence of
      noise or when using large numbers of earth-satellite links. Moreover,
      the best engineers have a good grasp of the historical developments in
      their fields. The famous Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse would not
      have happened if the American civil engineers involved in the design
      had had a better knowledge and understanding of 19th century European
      bridge design. With regard to operating system design, it used to be
      proverbial that those who did not know Multics were doomed to recreate
      it. Unfortunately, nowadays few people have even heard of Multics.

      X.25, LAPB and SDLC are particularly relevant today because a lot of
      the developments associated with these technologies have direct
      relevance to VOIP.

      I am making this announcement on the following mailing lists:

      list@... (because ISPs should be interested in better
      packet switching software),

      cisco@... (because I occasionally see interest in
      building LAPB and HDLC interfaces for Solaris to talk some forms of
      IP/LAPB or IP/HDLC specific to Cisco -- I am interested in extending
      these drivers to perform such communications but would need to work
      with someone with up-to-date Cisco routers),

      OSPF@... (a list interested in software aspects of
      packet switching),

      gated-people@... (another list interested in software aspects of
      packet switching),

      linux-router@... (yet another list interested in software
      aspects of packet switching -- I might develop Linux versions of these
      drivers if there is interest),

      packet-switching@... (my own mailing list dedicated to
      understanding and implementing high performance packet switching
      systems) and

      tcpsat@... (the technology of LAPB and SDLC satellite links
      has a lot of relevance to the mailing list).

      The drivers provided have been tested extensively on Aurora
      Technologies, Inc. (http://www.auroratech.com) synchronous serial
      cards (SBUS 401S+ [4 port], SBUS 800S+ [8 port], PCI 4520 [4 port],
      PCI 8520 [8 port]). The demands made on the synchronous serial
      adapter card are minimal (example programs are included), and there is
      great likelihood that the drivers will work with other synchronous
      serial cards.

      Supporting networking software is very expensive and often requires
      expensive analytic tools. I cannot warrant the implementation even
      though I believe it is excellent.

      Joachim Martillo
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