WorkshopsElucidating Complex Networking Technologies

The Keys to Converged IP Networks:
Traffic Engineering and Quality-of-Service - Techniques, Carrier Current Practices, and Algorithms

A fundamental impetus at every major carrier anywhere on the globe today is network convergence, the notion of eventually putting multiple types of traffic - packet- and circuit-switched - on a common packet-based backbone that uses the Internet Protocol (IP). Whether it be ATT in the US, France Telecom or BT in Europe, Optus in Australia, KT in Korea, NTT in Japan, or BSNL/MTNL or Reliance in India, each of these carriers is in the process of formulating strategies for efficient network operation and deployment of profitable packet services.

This requires that carriers not only optimize network performance by better resource allocation to the inherently different traffic demands impinging on the network, but that they also use new and improved techniques to offer graded qualities-of-service (QoS) to different traffic. Thus, voice-over-IP (VoIP) or video-on-demand (VoD) traffic requires a rather different network operation strategy than does SAP traffic or best-effort email traffic. This is especially important with the packet infrastructure becoming a critical business resource for enterprises the world over.

The key to achieving this is traffic engineering (TE), defined as a set of processes that systematically aims to put traffic where there is capacity, and intelligent QoS strategies that determine the resources and priority to be accorded to different traffic types at different times.

Understanding the methods, protocols, practices, and algorithms for TE and QoS, and gaining insights into the network- and deployment-level issues that influence the design of chips, systems and software going into carrier networks is crucial for building both advanced networking chips, systems, and software, and the networks themselves.


With this goal, this workshop covers:

  • The move towards convergence: drivers, business benefits, current and future roadmaps
  • Drawbacks of traditional IGPs & proposed extensions: equal-cost multipath, metric tuning
  • TE process model at a provider: measurement, modeling, analysis, optimization
  • Components of Internet TE: MPLS, constraint-based routing (CBR), enhanced IGPs and signaling protocols, or alternatives discussed under TE methods" below
  • Components of Internet QoS: service definitions, signaling and admission control, policing/shaping, QoS-based routing, QoS-based forwarding (buffer allocation, RED, queueing disciplines)
  • TE methods in operational IP networks: evolution and best current practices; case studies of Sprint and Global Crossing
  • On-line & off-line algorithms for TE: theoretical developments, practical approximations
  • Considerations for inter-domain TE: controlling congestion and peering traffic across provider boundaries
  • Practical techniques for providing QoS: what are some of the provider best-practices to offer QoS and tiered services; protocol details and practical issues
  • Canonical service provider approaches to network design: fiber infrastructure, restoration strategies, backbone robustness, IGP convergence & network stability, queueing for voice.

The workshop adds value by providing attendees a comprehensive view of the traffic engineering process, algorithms, and applications, and key QoS techniques that have emerged as accepted best practices in the industry and have been adopted in some major provider networks. It provides insights into network-level and deployment-level issues that significantly influence the design of systems and software deployed by carriers. It also highlights some of the requirements that TE imposes on the design of chips, components, systems and software that goes into network elements.

The workshop is useful service provider organizations seeking to use new techniques to design, build, and deploy efficient, revenue-generating networks. It is also useful for software and hardware engineers working on advanced routing protocol, QoS, and/or MPLS implementations, or on system design, and can also be valuable for chip and component designers and system vendors, because it provides insights into the requirements that TE imposes on architecture of chips, processors, systems, and software.

Audience: The workshop is targeted at system and network architects, advanced hardware and/or software development, strategic marketing, executives, system engineers, and application engineers. The workshop will be useful for companies involved in providing systems, software, or chips for wide-area networks, local area networks, optical networks, storage, and carrier/ISP services spaces.

Category: Intermediate to Advanced.

Expected background: This workshop assumes that the audience has a basic understanding of data networking, and has familiarity with elementary IP routing and IP routing protocols. Knowledge of basic MPLS operation and the RSVP protocol will be helpful, though not necessary. The workshop will focus on the routing and signaling protocol modifications/enhancements needed for TE and QoS, on the the state of the art in TE and QoS deployment in carrier networks, and on the algorithms and tools to accomplish TE and provided tiered QoS.

Workshop Duration: Expected duration is 2 days (with 4 hours of instruction each plus 1-2 hours of discussion and QA each day).

Workshop Goals: The aim of the workshop is to enable the audience to:

  • Appreciate the TE process
  • Gain insights into how that impacts the design of systems and software
  • Understand techniques for QoS and their contemporary applications
  • Grasp thoroughly the basic steps involved in TE in service provider environments
  • Acquire detailed knowledge of contemporary TE and QoS algorithms
  • Apply their learning to products (software, chips, or systems) and networking problems (of network build out and deployment) that they are working on.


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