New router will transmit every movie ever made in 5 minutes

Well, that’s the claim in this article about Cisco’s new CRS-3.

Frankly, I am having a difficult time coming to grips with the claims. I understand the technology and terminology, but really, the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress downloadable in 1 second? I’m balking at the claims…

Well, we’ll never know until we try.

I got the impression that this is the sort of device that is used at peering points, like where Sprint’s lines connects to Verizon’s and AT&Ts.

I imagine that they arrived at that 322 Tb/s figure by adding up the total throughput provided by all of the ports you can get. It would be the equivalent of saying that your little 6-port D-Link router can do 6Gb/s. So to say that it can transmit every movie ever made in 5 minutes ignores the fact that they can’t all be transmitted to the same place at the same time.

It would be kind of like saying that every car in Canada could fit on all the roads in the GTA. It may be true*, but they can’t all drive to the CN Tower at once.

  • This is a made-up example, so don’t nitpick and say that it’s not.

Well, imdb says its database contains about 250,000 feature-length films. Let’s say that on average, each movie runs for 2 hours, so that’s 1,440,000,000 seconds of film. HDTV has a bitrate of about 25 Mbps, so if you were serving these videos to HDTV viewers, that would require 45,000,000,000,000,000 bits of raw data. 45 quadrillion. In 5 minutes there are 300 seconds, so transmitting that much data in five minutes would require 150 tbps of raw data. The link says it can handle 322 tbps.

We’ll finally have a central router that moves at the speed of porn. We live in a golden age.

Yeah, but they’ll be kind of hard to follow.

Except Peckinpah movies.

Beware the embedded blip-verts. At that speed the head explosions could take out whole buildings.

Avoid arguments that make the “weakest link” analogy, because the internet actually routes around weak links. But, at any rate…

One of the reasons the internet is so goddamn slow in the US compared to other countries (like in Japan where you can get internet 10x faster than ours for half the price) is because of the ISPs.

The people who maintain the trunks of the internet, the “backbones” that connect the major data “hubs” across the country are the biggest networking geeks in the entire past, present, and future of reality. Nowhere within all 11 dimensions (including the all-important fourth) will you find bigger networking nerds than the backbone people. That backbone could probably handle a hundred times more traffic than the tubes currently get. Anybody who knows anything about networking wants to go work for them, so they do. It’s a hyper-optimized system that could probably survive the zombie apocalypse.

The slowdown comes from the ISPs, the people who want to make money by charging you to access those tubes. They’re only going to spend as much money as they need to, so they build systems only as good as they needed to be as of a report they commissioned 18 months ago. They’re like airlines. Commercial airplanes could be giant dens of luxury and supersonic flight if they were run by plane nerds, but they’re run by people who want to make money, so they only spend what they need to and they overbook seats. ISPs do a similar thing, “overbooking” their systems. They know perfectly well that if every subscriber of theirs got online and started downloading furry porn, the system would break down immediately. The hardware they use can barely support the traffic they have now, so the super-fast internet backbones get choked down through ISPs’ crappy systems, like when a 10 lane highway condenses down to a single toll booth.

Home networking equipment is all a lot better than it needs to be for internet purposes. My consumer grade off-the-shelf router can handle traffic at 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) and some DSL internet connections are lucky to get above 1Mbps.

If those damn ISPs would just upgrade their gear, the entire fugging internet would get a kerjillion times faster almost instantly. If your ISP replaced a few of their routers with these new ones, they could support a ton more traffic, so things could get a ton more faster. Yes, more faster! Of course, when the executives find that out, they’ll just try to overbook those and the cycle will continue until every american citizen is being charged for access to the same router, built to support only 1/4th of american citizens.

People who know more about this than me, commence picking apart my argumeeent… NAOW!!!