Force10 Gear - Opinions

Paul Wall pauldotwall at
Tue Aug 26 02:26:05 CDT 2008

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 7:26 PM, Jo Rhett <jrhett at> wrote:
>> 1)       Reliability
> Very good.  Across our entire business we've lost 1 RPM module in ~2 years.

How many boxes in total?  Losing a single routing engine in two years
is not a bad MTBF, though I wonder if we're talking about one chassis
or one thousand.

>> 2)       Performance
> [Note: we have no 10g interfaces, so I can only speak to a many-singleg-port
> environment]
> Much higher than Cisco.  So good at dealing with traffic problems that we
> have had multi-gig DoS attacks that we wouldn't have known about without
> having an IDS running on a mirroring port.

Routing n*GE at line rate isn't difficult these days, even with all
64-byte packets and other "DoS" conditions.

Linksys, D-Link, SMC, etc are able to pull it off on the layer 3
switches sold at Fry's for a couple benjamins a pop.  :)

Now mind you, this is all traffic through the router.  I'd imagine
Force 10 would have a problem with traffic aimed at its interface or
loopback IPs, given their lack of control plane policing/filtering,
unlike say:

>> 3)       Support staff (how knowledgeable are they?)
> Significantly higher than Cisco, and escalation is easier.  On par with
> Juniper.

This is good, though not necessarily hard when you have a small pool
of TAC people.

Then again, I've always had a good support experience with Extreme,
but I'm not about to run out and replace my core with Black Diamonds.

> These things are so very solid that I rarely spend any time doing network
> work any more.  Gigabit line-speed BCP38 makes life easier for the abuse
> helpdesk too.

I'm unaware of any hardware-forwarding-based platforms which can't do this.

Though if I find any, I'll be sure to steer clear!

Paul Wall

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