Voice and Video over Gigabit Ethernet and ATM Backbone Networks: A Simulation Study

Voice and Video over Gigabit Ethernet and ATM Backbone Networks: A Simulation Study

Nurul I. Sarkar (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and Yash Dole (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4715-2.ch010


This chapter aims to report on the performance of voice and video traffic over two popular backbone network technologies, namely Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). ATM networks are being used by many universities and organizations for their unique characteristics such as scalability and guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS), especially for voice and video applications. Gigabit Ethernet matches ATM functionality by providing higher bandwidth at much lower cost, less complexity, and easier integration into the existing Ethernet technologies. It is useful to be able to compare these two technologies against various network performance metrics to find out which technology performs better for transporting voice and video conferencing. This chapter provides an in-depth performance analysis and comparison of GbE and ATM networks by extensive OPNET-based simulation. The authors measure the Quality of Service (QoS) parameters, such as voice and video throughput, end-to-end delay, and voice jitter. The analysis and simulation results reported in this chapter provide some insights into the performance of GbE and ATM backbone networks. This chapter may help network researchers and engineers in selecting the best technology for the deployment of backbone campus and corporate networks.
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Commonly used network performance evaluation methods are analytical modeling, test-bed measurements and computer simulation. The performance of GbE and ATM can be evaluated using analytical modeling, test-bed, computer simulation and/or combination of two or more methods. An analytical model is based on mathematical formula and the results can be obtained by varying parameters within into mathematical equations. Although the analytical modeling can be used for formulating a new algorithm, there are weaknesses in experiment controllability and operation. Moreover, analytical modeling cannot represent the dynamic nature of data communication and have discrepancies when compared to a real-world experiment. Therefore, many leading network researchers have used computer simulation for the performance studies of telecommunication networks (Han, Jia, & Lin, 2007; Kargl & Schoch, 2007; Pawlikowski, Jeong, & Lee, 2002; Salah & Alkhoraidly, 2006). In addition, the analytical results are only based on simplistic network models and only meaningful asymptotically. In this research we use OPNET-based simulation and modeling to evaluate and compare the performance of GbE and ATM networks. The OPNET Modeler (OPNET Modeler) was selected because of its availability under academic program and simulation credibility worldwide. The network modeling is described next.

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