GR2000: a Gigabit Router for a Guaranteed Network

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1 Hitachi Review Vol. 48 (1999), No GR2000: a Gigabit Router for a Guaranteed Network Kazuo Sugai Yoshihito Sako Takeshi Aimoto OVERVIEW: Driven by the progress of the information society, corporate information systems have rapidly shifted to ones based on a network-centric architecture. With this trend, the Internet has grown to be a major infrastructure. This rapid growth is mainly due to the cost advantage of the Internet, since cost is a vital factor to newly proliferating business models like electronic commerce (EC). Furthermore, legacy networks, including public telephone networks and dedicated corporate networks, have started using Internet technology. To apply the Internet to data communication and real-time communication for mission-critical business transactions, qualityof-service (QoS) feature must be provided. Adopting advanced hardware technologies, Hitachi has developed a next-generation gigabit router, GR2000, that provides various functions, including QoS control with a maximum performance of ten million packets per second (10 Mpps). INTRODUCTION THE rapidly expanding Internet is changing its role from a simple communication tool to an essential part of business information system that enables companies to win larger shares of business. Some examples of Internet applications are (1) electronic commerce (EC) in a market constructed on the Internet; (2) supply chain management (SCM) on a virtual private network (VPN) connecting companies in a business group in order to minimize the lead time of production and to optimize manufacturing plans; and (3) agile decision making by allowing access to a company s data warehouses from mobile terminals via the Internet. Fig. 1 shows an example of a network-centric corporate information system using Internet technology for promoting business. Mobile terminal Corporate A R Firewall LAN Internet R EC SCM Internet VPN Customer Corporate B Corporate C R: router : database SCM: supply chain management EC: electronic commerce VPN: virtual private network Fig. 1 Example of Network-centric Corporate Information Systems Using the Internet Technology for Business Promotions.

2 Performance GR2000: a Gigabit Router for a Guaranteed Network 204 To realize these Internet business applications, quality-of-service (QoS) function, which gives high priority to the important business traffic, is expected even in the Internet. By using this QoS function, companies can integrate various kinds of traffic, such as business traffic and voice traffic into one network based on Internet technology. Integrating services can therefore reduce communication costs. Hitachi has developed the gigabit router GR2000 to fulfill these requirements. GR2000 uses advanced hardware routing processors to provide a maximum performance of ten million packets per second (10 Mpps) and powerful QoS controlling functions. This article presents the performance and QoS features of GR2000. REQUIREMENTS FOR NEXT-GENERATION ROUTERS The implementation of network-centric information systems using Internet technology is accelerating. These systems are incorporated into corporate networks for promoting businesses like EC and SCM (see Fig. 1). An example is a high-speed network connecting personal computers (PCs) or servers at several branch offices of a company. Through the network, mission-critical business data may be transferred. Another example is a high-speed backbone network integrating data flowing from an enormous number of clients on the Internet to host servers in an EC business. Under these circumstances nextgeneration routers satisfy the following requirements: with dedicated lines to a new generation network with Internet technologies, the communication quality must not be degraded. If voice traffic and high-speed-lan (local area network) traffic from an internal network congests at the point of entering a low-speed WAN (wide area network), delay jitter and packet loss occur in the voice transmission. Delay and loss of voice are thus perceived. If critical data is being transmitted, data loss resulting from the congestion is a major problem. A function that ensures QoS of each data flow is therefore very important. Security Function As businesses become more dependent on network, security becomes even more important. As the number of customer-clients increases and the transmission speed increases, network has to cater every packet without any degradation of performance protecting against illegal access crossing over security features. This security features have to support functions, such as access control (firewall), user authentication, and validity of data transfer. Integration of All Functions within One Router From the viewpoint of simplifying network configurations, improving the efficiency of network maintenance, and reducing the operational costs, nextgeneration routers must have the ability to integrate three functions mentioned above within one router. Fig. 2 illustrates the requirements for the next- Gigabit-class High-speed Packet Transfer Performance Software-based legacy routers may become a bottleneck because they provide very low packettransfer speed. Business opportunities may be lost if networks cannot provide sufficient bandwidth or cannot transfer a large number of packets at high speed. High-performance routers that reduce the bottlenecks of current networks are therefore strongly in demand in today s market. Next-generation router Gigabit performance QoS control Security QoS Control Function Recently, several network services, such as voiceand business-transaction data transmission implemented with dedicated transmission lines, are being integrated into one universal network by using Internet technologies in order to reduce the cost of communication and data transmission. For smooth evolution from a legacy network system Legacy router Functions for guaranteed network Fig. 2 Requirements for the Next-generation Routers.

3 Hitachi Review Vol. 48 (1999), No generation routers. ADVANCED FEATURES OF GR2000 Hitachi has developed the GR2000 router suitable for network-centric information systems in the gigabit Internet era. Using advanced hardware routing architecture, GR2000 provides super-high-speed routing with a maximum performance of ten million packets per second (10 Mpps) and various QoS functions. Furthermore, the router provides several line interfaces that can be connected to LAN/WAN, including super-high-speed networks, e.g. Gigabit Ethernet and Optical Carrier Level 12 (OC-12: 622 Mbit/s). It also provides a highly cost-effective network solution, since it has a higher-speed packet transmission capability and higher port-density than those of several current routers for a similar market place. External views of GR2000 are shown in Fig. 3, while major features of GR2000 are described below. Super-high-speed Routing at Ten Million Packets per Second To achieve a maximum performance of ten million packets per second (10 Mpps), GR2000 uses advanced technologies such as high-speed circuitry and largescale ASIC (application specific IC) technologies. This performance is about a hundred times faster than Hitachi s software-based router, NP220. GR GR Fig. 3 External Views of GR2000 Routers. GR A route search algorithm suitable for hardware processing was newly developed and implemented on an ASIC. This ASIC can search and find the appropriate route from a routing table of a maximum of 250,000 entries without degrading the searching performance and regardless of the number of entries. By providing such high-speed routing, GR2000 can be easily adapted as the backbone of a large-scale intranet. The hardware routing architecture of GR2000 is shown in Fig. 4. GR2000 RM Crossbar switch RP Packet buffer Routing table Filter/QoS table RP Forwarding ASIC Routing ASIC NIF NIF NIF WAN LAN LAN ASIC :application specific IC RP: routing processor RM: routing manager NIF: network interface card Fig. 4 Hardware Routing Architecture of GR2000.

4 GR2000: a Gigabit Router for a Guaranteed Network 206 Precise Hardware Processing for Filtering and QoS Control In addition to high-speed transmission, precise packet filtering and various QoS controlling functions are also achieved by hardware. Traditional routers using software to achieve these functions experience a decrease in performance when active; therefore, they are not suitable for high-speed WAN networks. GR2000 can check filtering conditions packet-bypacket and remove violating packets from a high-speed packet flow, thus playing the role of secure firewalls. For providing multiple services like voice and missioncritical data services, QoS is controlled by functions, such as packet classification, bandwidth policing, and 8-class packet queuing. Advanced QoS Control in Compliance with Diff- Serv Diff-Serv is an Internet standard specified in IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) for effectively implementing QoS services within Internet-based networks. 1) GR2000, as a next-generation router, complies with this standard and thus provides QoS service functions on customers networks. The advantage of Diff-Serv is that it gives routers specific functions corresponding to its locations and roles in the networks where they are utilized. Namely, a boundary node (edge router) located at the border between networks determines a QoS class of a packet by analyzing the packet header and sets the QoS class into the DS (Differentiated Service) field in the packet header. On the other hand, an interior node (core router or transit router) located within an administrative unit of networks uses the DS field value for the packet forwarding prioritization. So an edge router takes the part of complicated functions like packet classification and QoS class mapping. A core router executes limited functions for high-speed prioritized packet transmission. 2) By adopting Hitachi GR2000, network providers and enterprises can smoothly and effectively transform their networks into QoS-guaranteed networks. 3) Wide Variety of Line Interfaces Various line interface menus, ranging from legacy network interfaces to the latest gigabit class interfaces are supported. Smooth migration to the gigabit-class network is therefore possible by simply updating line interfaces. Line interfaces provided for enterprise networks and carrier networks are Gigabit Ethernet, Packet over SONET (OC-12 [622 Mbit/s], OC-3 [155 Mbit/s]), 100 BASE-TX/10 BASE-T (with automatic line-speed detection), Frame Relay, and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). As for Japanese domestic interfaces, dedicated digital line, ATM cell relay, and ISDN are supported. Wide Adaptability to Various Networks by Using Advanced Protocols Since routing protocols such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) are supported, GR2000 can be applied to various network environments including large-scale intranet, extranet, and campus networks. Manageability and Reliability GR2000 provides two administrative tools for achieving superior manageability and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO). One is a user-friendly browser-based tool, and the other is a command-base tool suited for skilled operators. In addition to administrative tools, it also provides tools for uploading configuration information, created in advance, into a database on the GR2000 by using a PC. As for a network management capability, GR2000 supports a simple network management protocol (SNMP) agent. So the router, as well as other network devices using this SNMP agent, can be managed by Hitachi s network management system via userfriendly graphical interfaces. To provide high availability, components such as power supplies, routing manager boards, and crossbarswitch boards are redundantly configurable. Hot-swap capability of line interface modules is also supported, thus enabling service expansions without stopping the operation of routers. Furthermore, GR2000 has advanced reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) functions, such as self-diagnosis, loop testing, maintenance commands, statistics collection, and logging functions. CONCLUSIONS Hitachi has developed a gigabit router, GR2000, to meet requirements for achieving next-generation networks, which guarantee security and QoS, using Internet technologies. As for major functions, the router has a maximum high-speed forwarding performance of ten million packets per second (10 Mpps), various QoS controlling functions, and security functions. It thus provides a secure and highly

5 Hitachi Review Vol. 48 (1999), No guaranteed network environment for both enterprisebusiness use and carrier use. In future releases, GR2000 will support IP version 6 (IPv6), IP Security (IPsec) and IP multicast capability in order to contribute to the smooth transition to IPbased enterprise networks in the 21st century. REFERENCES (1) RFC2475 (An Architecture for Differentiated Services). (2) T. Aimoto, et al., QoS control mechanism in IP router, Internet Conference 98, ( ). (3) Aimoto, et al., Scenario to introduce QoS control mechanism on IP network, The 1999 IEICE General Conference, B-7-79 (1999-3). ABOUT THE AUTHORS Kazuo Sugai Joined Hitachi, Ltd. in 1987, and now works at the 2nd Group of IP Network Systems Development Operation at the Enterprise Server Division. He is currently engaged in the development of multi-gigabit routers. Mr. Sugai is a member of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan, and can be reached by at Yoshihito Sako Joined Hitachi, Ltd. in 1987, and now works at the 2nd Group of Network System Center at Enterprise Server Division. He is currently engaged in the development of multi-gigabit routers. Mr. Sako is a member of the Information Processing Society of Japan, and can be reached by at Takeshi Aimoto Joined Hitachi, Ltd. in 1982, and now works at the Network System Research Department at the Central Research Laboratory. He is currently engaged in the research on traffic control for gigabit network. Mr. Aimoto is a member of the Information Processing Society of Japan, and can be reached by at

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