ethernet and switches, was Re: [rescue] Mozilla Firefox

Patrick Finnegan pat at
Thu Apr 22 21:07:47 CDT 2004

On Thursday 22 April 2004 20:39, Dave McGuire wrote:
> On Apr 22, 2004, at 8:05 PM, Patrick Finnegan wrote:
> >>> OK... but what is the proper solution there?
> >>>
> >>> I don't really see how ethernet could have survived without
> >>> violating it.
> >>
> >> I think you just answered your own question.  Long live FDDI!
> >
> > I think you mean "Long live ATM".
> >
> > *ducks*
>    We were talking about "better technologies".  This term cannot be
> applied to ATM, at least not in the context of computer networking.

I was kidding.

Still, I love the idea of circuit-switched networks, instead of packet 
switched ones like ethernet.  Mmmm, low latency.

I'd like to get some ATM gear to play with, but all I've got in that 
area is SBUS cards so far.  I've heard plenty of disdain about ATM from 
Purdue's networking people... but of course, they hate anything that's 
not Cisco and Ethernet. :(  Right now, I'd say "sounds potentially fun, 
but don't have time to play" to ATM.

Anyways, unswitched FDDI, like unswitched ethernet, still doesn't scale 
well.  Of course, you could argue that you should have smaller network 
segments (perhaps called "subnets" :), connected via routers.

SP switches proviced a nicer networking topology, but, don't work under 
things other than AIX, and I haven't seen a PCI switch card (though 
they may exist).  While $friend+$me have pleny of AIX hardware to be 
able to use it, it makes it harder to connect that network to the rest 
of my machine (umm, like my Alpha that's a NFS server).

<set mode=$work>
As far as new technologies go, InfiniBand is a pretty awesome networking 
topology, especially considering its value.  $Work is working on 
getting a small IB network set up, and is considering a proposal for 
something very large connected using it.

Compared to Myrinet, it doesn't suck, and compared to Quadrix, seeing 
its price doesn't make you go blind.  Right now, IB is faster than 
Myrinet (and cheaper).  Of course, the bandwith is wasted unless you've 
got something with PCI-X slots, which rules out all of the Rescuable 
computers I know about.

<set mode=$home>
FDDI (and it's slower friend, Token Ring) are fun, but not useful for 
$work_stuff.   At home, however, I've got a FDDI network (aka how to 
push 100Mbit/s out of a MCA RS/6000) and a TR one (S/390 console).

Perhaps my favorite, however, is ESCON CTC networking.  But first, I 
need to pick up an ESCON PCI (or MCA) card or another S/390 so I can 
have a "useful" ESCON network.

Purdue University ITAP/RCS        ---
The Computer Refuge               ---

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