Force10 Gear

Matthew Petach mpetach at
Sun Sep 7 17:41:37 CDT 2008

On 9/7/08, Frank Bulk <frnkblk at> wrote:
> I think it would be interesting to put a table of routing devices together along with the commands it takes to knock down their forwarding rates.  And to find out what platform has the higher percentage drop in forwarding rate.
>  As mentioned elsewhere, it's not the pps, but operations per second.

Send a 3kpps stream of multicast packets with TTL=1 towards a sup720
and you can watch it keel over and cry uncle.

It really, really doesn't take much these days to kill high-end hardware;
they're so optimized for a specific class of traffic that they handle well
in hardware, as that's what the bulk of the normal traffic is, and that's
what the marketing department needs to chase to keep up with the
competition; any traffic profile outside of that doesn't get the same
focus from the hardware forwarding teams because that's not where
the pressure to keep up from the marketplace is coming from.

*Nobody* goes out and says "I have $10M to spend on routers, but
to qualify they must be able to forward 10Mpps of IPv4 packets with
IP options enabled, sustained rate, with no loss".  That's just not a
driving market force right now.

I think you would find that your table simply reflects what the *bulk*
of the traffic profiles from major customers represent; those areas
that cause the routers pain in terms of forwarding are exactly those
traffic patterns that are *not* highly represented among the majority
of the customer base.


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