Router Choice

Paul Wall pauldotwall at
Fri Nov 14 11:30:32 UTC 2008

Whoa, excessive use of "!"...this isn't IOS ICMP output.

For those of you who want to have a chuckle, grep the word "exit" on
any of these fine 7750/7450 router configurations. Seeing a router
configuration that contains 10,000+ instances of the word "exit" makes
me recall the fine book FINAL EXIT. Seems like a poor mans version of
nesting with { }'s in JUNOS.

Some of my gripes on the Timetra (whens the last time Alcatel built
something themselves instead of acquire it?) box are that it really is
catered to installs where Alcatel is running the design side of the
network as well. The CLI is somewhat non-intuitive for IOS, IOS-XR or
JUNOS operations staff. Here are some examples:

Here in 2008, why are people buying boxes that do not support
candidate configuration or commit/rollback? The only thing you can
"commit" on the box is routing policy changes. I thought this was a
service provider box?

For years (this might not be the case anymore), any time you attempted
to use the short-form of the "show" command by typing "sh", you
received a syntax error. This is because there were two commands that
began with sh: show and shell. The problem is that the shell command
prompts you for a password that only Alcatel knows (and won't share
with any customers that I'm aware of). So, if your own customers cant
run the command, why give users a headache?

Its a router, why do I have to do "show router route" to see a routing
table entry? For years, you also had to suffix the command "exact" on
the end of every command as well.

Pricing wise...they're way above other boxes that you can find
elsewhere that can do the jobs you need. Both the Cisco 7600 and the
Juniper MX line both have a way better CLI and employ a knowledgeable
staff of seasoned former service provider engineers. Alcatel seems to
be comprised of failed router startup guys from Caspian or Chiaro.
Feature wise, they're behind the curve when it comes to competing with
Cisco and Juniper. I think this is also shown in how they name their
software releases as "Feature Groups" (telco-speak, anyone?).

The main thing I want to speak to is that this box is not made for
your clueful IP operator. Alcatel is very insistent that the customer
use their UNIX/Windows NMS (I believe they call the SAM) to interface
with the routers. Sorry but...that might fly in telcoland where
executives ooh and ahh over point-and-click network management, but I
think most operators are going to find it a tad bit useless.

Sure, they do have NSR, but so did Avici. Does NSR make up for the
lack of features, high pricing and being stuck at 20Gbps per slot?
Yes, they do have 40Gbps per slot on the way, but who doesn't support
40Gbps per slot today?

Why bother stepping back a few years in development when if you want a
solid P core box, Foundry MLX/XMR, Juniper MX, Cisco 7600s and CRS-1's
are ready now and at prices that really aren't all that bad. Oh yeah,
you wont scratch the hell out of your finger nails when removing the
compact flash on those boxes.

Drive slow, pinging 10(!!!!).

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 10:31 AM, devang patel <devangnp at> wrote:
> I guess they have good lab in Plano, TX also!!!I worked on the same routers
> for IPTV deployment and really they are best!!!
> regards
> Devang Patel
> On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 8:43 AM, Dan Snyder <sliplever at> wrote:
>> I think that the 7750SR routers are great and you won't be let down. We
>> used to have an all Cisco network and I was skeptical at first but they have
>> been great.
>> As for nss and nsr when we tested this by failing a cpm we saw less than 50
>> ms of traffic loss. I would see if you could go to either California or
>> Canada to one of ALUs labs and have it demonstrated for you.
>> hth,
>> Dan
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> On Nov 12, 2008, at 7:40 AM, "Raymond Macharia" <rmacharia at>
>> wrote:
>>  Hello  fellow nanogers,
>>> I am a long time user of Cisco gear and currently evaluating an
>>> alternative
>>> for my network expansion. currently the one that looks like it will be
>>> able
>>> to do the job iare Alcatel-Lucent 7710/7750 service routers.
>>> I am looking for real life experience of those who have used it and what I
>>> may need to watch out for (if anything) I have seen in some of their
>>> documentation features like Non-stop Services (NSS) and Non-stop Routing
>>> (NSR). are these features real world deployable.
>>> oh, just to add I want to use the routers as P routers in my IP/MPLS core
>>> Regards
>>> --
>>> Raymond Macharia

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