From: Sean Doran[SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 1996 2:28 PM
Finally, I assert that we are already at the point where anything
that can be deployed today that is based on ATM (which incidentally
typically rides over SONET/SDH) can be kludged up (or even done right)
with Cisco gear and SONET/SDH. ATM has a temporary edge in being
multivendor and making it easy to do TDM-style and point-to-multipoint
things, however the former is likely to be short-term and the latter
is something that can be done better for Internet traffic anyway,
with a bit of cleverness in the latest and in the next generation
of IP routers.
"IP Unter Alles", in other words, right?
Okay, I'll take the bait. This past weekend, we demonstrated (1)
video-conferencing, (2) streaming video, (3) 155 Mbps to the desktop
Internet connectivity, and (4) connectivity to the Public Switched
Telephone Network, all over our ATM OC3c backbone, simultaneously and
continuously. #1 & #2 can be either IP or native ATM, and in this case we
ran it over IP. #3 requires ATM, although you can get close to it using
But what about #4? Connection to the PSTN?
Please explain to me how to, in a non-kludgey manner, provide the PSTN
connectivity using only Cisco routers. I certainly believe that most
customers would consider speaking into a microphone attached to their PC
and listening to the PCs speaker just a tad on the kludgey side. Not to
mention that they would need an extra sound card to avoid having to say
"over" every time they were through speaking. No, I think they want to use
the nifty 900Mhz Sony cordless phone they just bought at Circuit City, and
have a level of service (note I avoided the dreaded 'Q' word) similar to
what they get from their POTS line.
Oh, and by the way, given that the local loop provider has OC-48 SONET
provisioned to this particular location, we could just as easily have
provisioned the connection to our backbone at OC12 as opposed to OC3. Did
I miss the Cisco announcement of an OC12 IP-SONET card?
Since these routers will be needed with or without ATM, the time
to ponder whether ATM really has that much added value in the
long run is upon people already.
As is the time to ponder how all the various technologies can work well
together. What is long past is the time to flame a technology which has
already become an integral part of the Internet infrastructure, and which
will remain so for a long time to come. There are plusses and minuses to
the widespread deployment of ATM, just as with *any* technology, however it
does have some undeniable advantages, and one of them is its ability to
carry voice traffic independent of IP traffic, and to connect in a
reasonably straightforward manner to the PSTN. Would you prefer to have
voice traffic clogging up the IP backbone??