Nope, remember - there is no magic. Any mesh of PVCs that one makes
over a switched network must reflect the toplogy of that network, and
one can set up a matching set of active routing sessions and route
weights which will cause traffic to flow the same way.
Yes, the switches are a bit faster and have less to do. Data moves through
them in a few ms less per point. But as you said (and as I said in our
discussion in NYC), relative to any distance, the speed of light guarantees
that you won't notice the difference.
The question is: Will there be routers available that can make IP
routing decisions based on 40-60kroutes and move 2-3 OC3s worth of
bidirectional traffic? The building of the configs to have a routed
network work the same as a switched ATM one can be automated, but it's
true that it *can be* easier to see what's going on in a large-scale
Uh, yes. Like today.
See NetStar (recently acquired by ASCEND).
Their hardware does nothing *slower* than DS-3 right now, and updates the
route forwarding table 20x/second.
This thing is a monster, and will make the so-called "state of the art"
7513s look like dogmeat when in full production (presuming the BGP issues
get completely resolved).
Coming soon to a network near you.