[e2e] Changing dynamics

Pekka Nikander pekka.nikander at nomadiclab.com
Sat Feb 21 07:43:06 PST 2009

Given that the memory prices have been plummeting about 100x every  
decade for the last two or three decades while the long-haul  
communication prices only maybe 5-20x every decade, why do we still  
consider the memory in the forwarding boxes as ordered queues?

If the network knew a little bit more about what it handles, instead  
of queues we could have opportunistic caches worth for several seconds  
or even minutes of traffic, couldn't we?.  No longer need to wait for  
a full RTT to get a missed packet?  No longer necessary to send  
packets out in the order received but better classified by latency  
requirements?  Ability to wait for better radio conditions before  
bursting the next bucket of spam?

Instead of trying to optimise some queues in an end-to-end fashion and  
fighting of whether the optimal queue size is 1 or 4, perhaps we  
should aim to keep the fibers bitted up all the time, and all of the  
memories filled with usable data?  Isn't lit but idle fiber or powered  
but unfilled storage essentially waste?

Or, when in 2018 I will drive to Fry's to buy my 100TB disk at $100,  
should I pick it pre-filled with a web cache, my favourite movies, or  
what?  Or will still I wait for it the three months it takes to be  
filled at constant 100 Mb/s, my upstream Tier-2 apparently still  
paying maybe $1/Mb/month to its Tier-1 for transit (instead of the  
present $20/Mb/month)?

Are we seeing a Content Wall joining the well-known Memory Wall?


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