[arin-ppml] debunking the myth that Moore's law helps

Michel Py michel at arneill-py.sacramento.ca.us
Tue Dec 15 23:52:18 EST 2009

There were several mentions of Moore's law lately. And with them, some
implied comments that scalability issues would eventually be solved by
it (assuming that it keeps working, which it has so far).

This is just not true, and here's why: yes, Moore's law is still in
effect. But guess what: link speed / bandwidth/ TE requirements / etc
have evolved also, possibly even faster than Moore's law.

Not so long ago, a 7500 was hot stuff BFR. A T1 was fast, a DS-3 was
smoking, and an OC-12 was something only a telco would have.

Today, a T1 is slow; most consumer broadband offerings fitting a family
budget are better. I have T1-speeds on my cell phone, and the CPU that
runs said phone is probably more powerful than anything that ran a 7500.
A DS-3 is not smoking anymore either, as FTTH and metro Ethernet have
brought equivalent speeds (in urban areas) to the masses for a few
hundred bucks a months. As of OC-12, it is a bit out of style too, when
the typical FTTH home link is GigE and the name of the game in any data
room is 10GigE.

So yes, Moore's law is still working. Does it help? Not much, as the
operating requirements tend to be a moving target that adapts to
whatever is available on the market.


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