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The Network Designer's Handbook

A. M. Jones, N. J. Davies, M. A. Firth, C. J. Wright, The Network Designer's Handbook. IOS Press. ISBN 90 5199 380 3. October 1997. No electronic version available.

Abstract

The market for computer technology is largely self-creating. New advances lead to previously undreamt-of applications, which in turn place new demands on both hardware and software ? indeed, nowhere is the relationship between supply and demand more complex. In this maelstrom, brilliant technical developments have often been neglected, while the capricious market has feted inferior technology. Or so it seems; sometimes the ?winners? are indeed simply lucky, but more often than not, success comes from a happy combination of good technology and vigorous promotion. The Network Designer?s Handbook represents both of these: it describes an excellent technical solution to the problem of scalable systems interconnect, and provides the basic engineering data needed to apply it in practical situations. This book will assist engineers addressing the problems, associated with efficient data communications, of limited bandwidth, availability, and cost-performance. It will be particularly valuable to designers of large LAN switches and routers, RAID systems, multimedia servers and parallel processors, who are seeking new ways to make their products competitive. The trade-offs associated with various design decisions are described, and the results of many CPU-months of simulations are presented in an easy-to-read format so that comparisons of different architectures can be made easily. The Handbook explains the new technique of using low-buffer serial crossbar switches, in particular using IEEE 1355-1995 serial interconnect. It focuses on results achievable with actual devices, not academic models, and provides case studies and practical advice for the practising engineer or engineering manager. It should ensure that the very significant contribution of this technology is not overlooked.

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