Xah Lee's Unixism

Morten Reistad firstname at lastname.pr1v.n0
Thu Sep 9 17:17:15 CEST 2004

In article <u1xhbv9s3.fsf at mail.comcast.net>,
Anne & Lynn Wheeler  <lynn at garlic.com> wrote:
>Morten Reistad <firstname at lastname.pr1v.n0> writes:
>> It was an upgrade from 56k. The first versions of NSFnet was not
>> really scalable either; noone knew quite how to design a erally
>> scalable network, so that came as we went.
>we had a project that i called HSDT
>for high-speed data transport ... to differentiate from a lot of stuff
>at the time that was communication oriented ... and had real T1 (in
>some cases clear-channel T1 w/o the 193rd bit) and higher speed
>connections. It had an operational backbone ... and we weren't allowed
>to directly bid NSFNET1 .... although my wife went to the director of
>NSF and got a technical audit. The technical audit summary said
>something to the effect that what we had running was at least five
>years ahead of all NSFNET1 bid submissions to build something new.

In 1987 T1's(or E1's in this end of the pond)  were pretty normal; 
T3's was state of the art. But it is not very difficult to design
interfaces that shift the data into memory; and 1987'is cumputers
could handle a few hundred megabit worth of data pipe without too
much trouble; but you needed direct DMA access, not some of the
then standard busses or channels.

IBM always designed stellar hardware for such things; what was 
normally needed was the software. To see what Cisco got away with
regarding lousy hardware (GS-series) is astonishing. 

There was a large job to be done to handle routing and network
management issues. BGP4 didn't come out until 1994, nor did 
a decent OSPF or SNMP. 

>one of the other nagging issues was that all links on the internal
>had to be encrypted. at the time, not only were there not a whole lot
>of boxes that supported full T1 and higher speed links ... but there
>also weren't a whole lot of boxes that support full T1 and higher
>speed encryption.

If you could do it hardware-assisted you could do T1s in 1987; but
in software you would have had large problems.

>a joke a like to tell ... which occured possibly two years before the
>NSFNET1 RFP announcement ... was about a posting defining "high-speed"
>.... earlier tellings:
>http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/94.html#33b High Speed Data Transport (HSDT)
>http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000b.html#69 oddly portable machines
>http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2000e.html#45 IBM's Workplace OS (Was: .. Pink)
>http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2003m.html#59 SR 15,15
>http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/2004g.html#12 network history

-- mrr

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