Software router state of the art

Seth Mattinen sethm at
Mon Jul 28 18:55:59 UTC 2008

Michael 'Moose' Dinn wrote:
>>  Thanks for being oh-so-helpful with a serious question. Got any useful 
>>  answers for me? Give me a vendor that offers your suggestion. I don't have 
>>  time for a make-it-myself solution.
> What are your requirements?

The problem I'm facing is that if I want something from Cisco that can 
do at least line-rate T3, I'm looking at least $20k per router. I don't 
have a uber-budget, so for me, that's kind of painful when I start to 
need more than one plus spare parts. But, I have a high level of 
confidence that I can put cards in, some memory, power it up, configure 
it and I'm good to go.

Junpier's J-series is a BSD based platform as far as I understand it. 
ImageStream is *much* more affordable for me, but is Linux-based, and I 
fear Linux as a router and I don't know what they've done to fix the 
common gripes with Linux-as-router. I have no idea if either of the two 
have hardware assist in the cards, but my impression is that they are 
essentially software platforms with custom interface cards. Interface 
cards are important to me because I'm operating in an environment where 
my link to the outside world is probably going to be T1/T3.

I'm aware of Cisco IOS, then BSD-based and Linux-based platforms that 
are actually sold as routing products. I also know there are a billion 
"yay, router!" things out there. T1 cards are easy to find. The only 
other place I know I could buy a T3 card from is Sangoma. Maybe someone 
has even used it* T3 card before. Rather than reinvent the wheel alone, 
nanog has to contain the highest concentration of people that have tried 
various things and already know what will work and what won't work. I'm 
not looking for OS politics, just operational experience from people who 
have access to more money and more hardware than I do to have tried more 

If my best option is still from the big players, so be it. If there's 
something else that's just as stable, I want to hear about it. I'm not 
adverse to some dirty work, but I just don't have the time right now to 
jump in over my head into a software router project and then fight my 
way back to the surface. I'm not trying to create something for 
educational purposes, I need something suitable for a production 



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