MIT Master's Thesis, February 1995
There is currently a scaling mismatch between local area networks and the wide area facilities provided by the telephone carriers. Local area networks cost much less to upgrade and maintain than the wide area facilities. Telephone companies will only upgrade their facilities when the aggregate demand of their customers is large enough to recover their investment. Users of LANs who want a wide area connection find themselves in a position where they are unable to get the amount of bandwidth they need or want at a cost that is acceptable. This coupling of technology in the two domains is a barrier to innovation and migration to new equipment.
Network striping is a method which will decouple the progress of technology in the local area from progress in the wide area. This thesis proposes a reference model for striping in a network based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). The model is used to analyze the degrees of freedom in implementing network striping, as well as the related issues and tradeoffs. An environment that interconnects three different ATM platforms has been used to explore and experiment with the functional space mapped out by the model. The results are used to validate and improve the predictions of the model.