real hardware router VS linux router

David E. Smith dave at
Thu Feb 19 15:43:06 UTC 2009

Ryan Harden wrote:
> While you could probably build a linux router that is just as fast as a
> real hardware router, you're always going to run into the moving pieces
> part of the equation.
> In almost all scenarios, moving parts are more prone to failure than
> non-moving parts.
It's quite possible to build Linux-based devices with few or no moving 
parts. Small embedded boards, and flash drives, are common and cheap; 
and for low-load situations it's possible to build a passively-cooled 
(i.e. no fans, so zero moving parts) system.

Higher-performance setups with a few moving parts (mainly fans) are 
still possible, but at some point you have to balance the time and 
effort of R&D and performance-tuning your system. If you save a few 
thousand dollars on hardware, but spend a few days tweaking everything, 
you may not come out ahead after all.

At least two vendors (Imagestream and Mikrotik) offer complete packages 
based on Linux; the latter also sells the software separately, for 
installation on your own hardware, and both offer support if you need it.

David Smith

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