Operational Issues

  • A MetaRouter avoids the need to integrate new maintenance and monitoring software. A MetaRouter is assembled out of off-the-shelf routers; these routers talk SNMP and RMON. They can be monitored and managed by HP OpenView. From a network management perspective, a MetaRouter is just a specialized intranet.

  • A fault tolerant MetaRouter can be upgraded "hot" without a loss in service. The topological redundancy provides the required connectivity. IP's dynamic routing diverts the traffic around the upgrade induced faults. A fault tolerant Banyan or Butterfly network does not have sufficient fault coverage to be upgraded without an interruption in service.

  • The growth of a MetaRouter is smoother than the growth of a Banyan or Butterfly network. A MetaRouter based on 12 port routers grows by columns until a new row must be added at each integer power of 6. A Banyan or Butterfly grows by doubling in width and adding a row at each integer power of 2. This doubling in hardware at each upgrade can cause budgetary problems.


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