The Fairisle Network

The Original Fairisle Project

Fairisle is an experimental general topology local area network based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM). The network switches (as shown in the above diagram) consist of up to 16 port controllers connected to a switch fabric. The transmission system is based on 100 Mbps AMD TAXI chips. An early paper describing the network in more detail can the found here, and a paper describing our experiences of building the network can be found here.

The Blue Book contains documentation on the hardware and software associated with the fairisle project.


Traces of data traversing the Fairisle network can be obtained here:

A follow-on to Fairisle

These documents describe the achievements which have resulted to date from the collaboration between the Transport Design and Performance Unit at BT Laboratories and the Systems Research Group at Cambridge, based on the unique experimental flexibility offered by the Fairisle ATM network designed and built at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.

Achievements of the BT Project

The flexibility of the Fairisle platform and the representative range of ATM traffic sources available for the experiments are described in some detail. The experimental programme carried out to date is described in detail, as are the performance measures of interest and the specific traffic control mechanisms being investigated. Some of the experimental results are also presented. We conclude with a discussion of the scope for future collaborative work between these two groups and the problems which remain to be addressed.

CDV in ATM networks: Peformance Results from the Fairisle ATM Testbed

Current concern with the problem of cell delay variation (CDV) experienced by connections which traverse an ATM network arises from the need to provide guarantees on loss and delay for traffic with real time constraints. This study uses the Fairisle ATM LAN to measure the CDV experienced by constant bitrate (CBR) reference connections which traverse an ATM network and mix with different types of background traffic, including Bernoulli, VBR video and LAN interconnection data traffic. The results are compared with those of other practical studies and with theoretical models.