[NANOG] Alcatel

Paul Wall pauldotwall at gmail.com
Wed May 14 10:57:03 CDT 2008


On Tue, May 13, 2008 at 1:16 PM, Dan Snyder <snyder at fusion-networks.com> wrote:
> What about Alcatel's MPLS edge routers like the 7x50 products that
> came from Timetra...anyone have any experience with them?  Are they a
> good product?

Garbage, the 7750/7450 are complete junk boxes. Here is why...

 - For fun, view a 7750/7540 router configuration file and grep for
the word "exit". Count how many times you see that word. To sum it up,
the CLI is kind of annoying. Lets just say the 7x50 rivals a Bay Annex
CLI for uselessness.

 - They attempted to mimic the Juniper style of policy-statements, but
they still fall short of it. Whats up with the pseudo-commit crap?

 - The majority of ALU folks supporting the 7x50 are all from former
failed router vendors (caspian, nexabit, etc). When you deal with such
teams, keep your operator hat on and realize that some of the stuff
being suggested are from people who've never worked in production.

 - 7x50 is about 1-2 years behind Cisco and Juniper on any feature
functionality on the boxes.

 - The ALU business unit has no comprehension why users want to
interface with the box via CLI as opposed to their SAM EMS junk. The
BU and the former Newbridge developers think folks run their network
from a Sparc via a GUI. Times have changed...NETCONF what?

 - If you haven't run into any BGP scaling issues yet, you will, soon.

 - Limited RSVP-TE support...nothing compared to Juniper.

There are plenty of other better options like the Cisco 6500/7600 as
well as the Juniper MX. Why settle for sub-standard CLI, weak features
and a business unit who has no operational experience and their only
claim to fame was gobbling up companies and exploiting their long-time
industry friendships to seal massive deals.

I know some will reply to talk about their great failover is and this
and that, whatever. To get the box where it is today a lot of pain was
endured by plenty of customers who had to deal with a not-so-nice
Alcatel. The box pricing is not that great and for the same money you
can find better elsewhere.




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