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We propose a service concept in which high-speed Ethernet interfaces from end hosts are dynamically cross-connected to equivalent-rate Ethernet-over-SONET (EoS) optical circuits for transport across metro-area networks and/or wide-area networks. We call our service concept reconfigurable Ethernet/SONET circuits to end users (RESCUE). We describe how RESCUE can be used for two applications: dial-up service to Internet service provider routers and file transfers. We propose to deploy RESCUE service as an "add-on" to current Internet access for many reasons. Primary among these is that it allows a metro optical circuit-switched network to be operated at a high utilization, which is important to achieve a cost-effective bandwidth-efficient network. Given that end hosts with access to RESCUE service will have a choice of two paths, the primary Internet path and a secondary RESCUE option, end-host applications will need to make a routing decision. We carry out a quantitative analysis to provide a basis for this routing decision for both dial-up service and file transfers. For example, with the file-transfer application, if call-blocking probability on the optical circuit-switched network is 30% and the packet-loss rate on the transmission control protocol/Internet protocol path is 1%, a circuit setup should be attempted for files 180 KB or larger in low-propagation delay environments.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2004