Software router state of the art

Chris Stebner chris.stebner at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 15:01:30 CDT 2008


Deepak Jain wrote:
>>
>> 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 stuff.
>>
>> 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 
>> environment.
>>
>
> [I didn't know what to cut from above, so I left it].
>
> What I've used and seen used before that plays both to the strengths 
> of the PC as a router and addresses some of the T3 related issues -- 
> especially if you control both ends of the T3.
>
> Using an FE to T3 bridge or FE to T1 bridge as the case may be. With a 
> little tuning you can put a rate shaper on the PC (prior art, very 
> stable) to not run into off-PC buffering issues. Your PC has plenty of 
> cheap buffer. The interface to the comms network is done through a 
> dedicated, telco or computer center grade piece of gear.
>
> Everyone here (NANOG) can agree that a 10 or 100Mb/s PC router is a no 
> brainer and as long as you aren't using irresponsible gear, this thing 
> will route packets forever.
>
> Putting telco interfaces into PCs has always been a little more odd, 
> but telco to ethernet bridges are fairly standard and fairly dumb. 
> Depending on how many of these you have etc, you can do creative 
> things with switches, FR, etc. And cost can be all over the map. I 
> know Pairgain used to make good ethernet to T1 bridges, and that's 
> probably the last time I remember playing with this stuff.
>
> YMMV.
>
> Deepak Jain
> AiNET
>
To echo Deepak's suggestion and draw attention to the original statement 
"because I'm operating in an environment where my link to the outside 
world is probably going to be T1/T3." Would lead one to question the 
PA-MC-T3 even. Could be even cheaper if you don't need the multi-channel 
component (of course the monthly cost of the DS3 pales here in 
comparison w/ the h/w setup, but thought Id mention it regardless as it 
could save you 2 grand.) If all you need is a few t1's just pick up the 
VIP 2-50 interface card and a 4 x T1 adapter.

This solution can most be definitely be had for under 5 grand. with the 
RSP4+'s (ECC mem) youd be looking at greater than 99.99 percent uptime 
if configured with SSO.

-chris




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