[unisog] Somewhat OT: End User Gigabit Port Cost models?

chris mccraw chrism at ticam.utexas.edu
Thu Jan 16 19:50:15 GMT 2003

On Thu, Jan 16, 2003 at 02:29:38PM -0500, Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu wrote:
> On Thu, 16 Jan 2003 12:58:35 EST, Steve Bernard <sbernard at gmu.edu>  said:
> > Price model aside, I am also curious about the applications or services that
> > people are using which require gigabit throughput to the desktop.
> We don't have any "end-user" gigabit.  We've got gigabit to a *very* few
> server boxes (multi-terabyte file servers, large high-usage database boxes,
> and the like).  At peak loads, these boxes *can* sustain more than the
> 12Mbytes/sec or so traffic that is the 100mbit limit.
odd;  several of our small-group servers with a few to a hundred gigabytes
of local storage easily reach over 12MByte/s a few times a week;  one is
used as a data repository for a cluster where apps routinely read hundred-MB
files from up to 64 clients simultaneously, another is the departmental
server for about 150 100mbit (and 2 gbit) desktops.

while the cluster is a special case and was designed to combat the limitations
we were running up against @100mbit, the departmental server hardly seems
atypical if you have a few power users who insist on throwing mad amounts of
data around their workgroups and occasionally doing stuff like burning CD's
off (non-personal) network storage?  (my department is approximately .2% of
the campus population, and while not typical, is neither alone in such
usage patterns.)

these are nearly 100% linux servers and clients, btw.  quite efficient at
eating up (100mbits of) wirespeed during large transfers..

the desktops were much harder to justify.  the one has no justification
but was paid for by the end-user, while the other was intended to run
snort on our entire network (including aforementioned servers).

at the time we tried it out, snort was unable to handle our loads--is anyone
now using it for traffic that regularly approaches 2-300mbits (considering
we'd monitor all clients and the aforementioned servers)?

> We've not seen any applications that require gigabit to the desktop.   And
> there's a certain pushback to the concept - ubiquitous gigabit would require
> some major buildout on the backbone to support it...

seems to me that depends entirely on how local your traffic is.  while our
department has a Gbit uplink to the backbone (and occasionally goes over
100Mbit when doing enormous data shoveling during other normal daytime use),
most of our intense traffic is file sharing and stays inside our (local,
same-switch) subnets.

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