innocent remark

Martin Lee Schoffstall schoff at
Thu Apr 28 02:38:11 UTC 1994

there are a number of companies that have made modest enhancements
(some of which you have mentioned) to NetBSD and are or will be deploying
routers based on the code using PC or other SBC "platforms".

I consider these people to be the "cloners" like a gateway or a dell.

They make wonderful 1e1T, 1e1B (BRI), and 1e1V (v.32bis)
"edge" routers, but like the PC cloners they will set their sights higher
and higher.

> > given that a BSD/386 or NetBSD system can be put together quite cheaply and
> > does a fine job at handling PPP and SLIP and multiple ethernets, this seems
> > like a fine alternative to dedicated routers like Cisco for T1/E1-speed
> > internet gateways.  especially considering the power of GateD 3.5, and that
> > a 16MB cisco can't handle a "full internet route table" while a 16MB i486
> > machine can do it easily.
> The end of the last sentence is wrong (the start of the last sentence
> might be too, though I'm biased enough to maybe believe it).  I know
> for a fact that, while gated's memory usage is not unreasonable, gated
> code does tend to resolve memory/CPU tradeoffs in favour of spending
> memory and saving CPU.  And the per-route memory consumption in the
> Net/II kernel forwarding table is way out of line with what a decent
> router implementation should do.  If you want your 486 box to compete
> with a 16MB cisco you really need to buy it a couple of extra rows of
> SIMMs.  By the time you get enough neighbours and alternate paths in
> there to overwhelm a 16MB Cisco the 16MB 486 box will be spending most
> of its time trying to get large chunks of gated into and out of the
> page space, though a 32MB 486 box should still be pretty chipper.
> My (somewhat dated) observation is that i486 machines also seem to do
> a whole lot of work to get quite mediocre packet-per-second forwarding
> rates.  On the other hand, if you buy it a good screen and interface card,
> the graphics are much better than even a 64MB Cisco.
> Dennis Ferguson

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