Hybrid switching : converging packet and TDM flows in a single platform
Optical fibers have brought fast and reliable data transmission to today’s network. The immense fiber build-out over the last few years has generated a wide array of new access technologies, transport and network protocols, and next-generation services in the Local Area Network (LAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), and Wide Area Network (WAN). All these different technologies, protocols, and services were introduced to address particular telecommunication needs. To remain competitive in the market, the service providers must offer most of these services, while maintaining their own profitability. However, offering a large variety of equipment, protocols, and services posses a big challenge for service carriers because it requires a huge investment in different technology platforms, lots of training of staff, and the management of all these networks. In today’s network, service providers use SONET (Synchronous Optical NETwork) as a basic TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) transport network. SONET was primarily designed to carry voice traffic from telephone networks. However, with the explosion of traffic in the Internet, the same SONET based TDM network is optimized to support increasing demand for packet based Internet network services (data, voice, video, teleconference etc.) at access networks and LANs. Therefore the service providers need to support their Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure as well as in the legacy telephony infrastructure. Supporting both TDM and packet services in the present condition needs multilayer operations which is complex, expensive, and difficult to manage. A hybrid switch is a novel architecture that combines packets (IP) and TDM switching in a unified access platform and provides seamless integration of access networks and LANs with MAN/WAN networks. The ability to fully integrate these two capabilities in a single chassis will allow service providers to deploy a more cost effective and flexible architecture that can support a variety of different services. This thesis develops a hybrid switch which is capable of offering bundled services for TDM switching and packet routing. This is done by dividing the switch’s bandwidth into VT1.5 (Virtual Tributary -1.5) channels and providing SONET based signaling for routing the data and controlling the switch’s resources. The switch is a TDM based architecture which allows each switch’s port to be independently configured for any mixture of packet and TDM traffic, including 100% packet and 100% TDM. This switch allows service providers to simplify their edge networks by consolidating the number of separate boxes needed to provide fast and reliable access. This switch also reduces the number of network management systems needed, and decreases the resources needed to install, provision and maintain the network because of its ability to “collapse” two network layers into one platform. The scope of this thesis includes system architecture, logic implementation, and verification testing, and performance evaluation of the hybrid switch. The architecture consists of ingress/egress ports, an arbiter and a crossbar. Data from ingress ports is carried to the egress ports via VT1.5 channels which are switched at the cross point of the crossbar. The crossbar setup and channel assignments at ingress port are done by the arbiter. The design was tested by simulation and the hardware cost was estimated. The performance results showed that the switch is non-blocking, provide differentiated service, and has an overall effective throughput of 80%. This result is a significant step towards the goal of building a switch that can support multiprotocol and provide different network capabilities into one platform. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a prototype of the hybrid switch with broadband capability.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeLudwig, Simone A.; Khan, Wahid A.; Chen, Li