Failover how much complexity will it add?

Joe Greco jgreco at
Mon Nov 9 15:20:28 UTC 2009

> Thanks,
> I've taken your advice and decided to reconsider my requirement for a full 
> routing table.  I believe I'm being greedy and a partial table will be 
> sufficient.  With regards to Linux/BSD, its not the CLI of quagga that will 
> be an issue, rather the sysadmin and lack of supporting infrastructure for 
> Linux boxes within the organisation.  So things like package management, 

You don't need to run Apache on your router.

> syslog servers, 

If you didn't have syslog servers for the Cisco, you don't need one for 
the Quagga.

> monitoring,

If you didn't monitor the Cisco, you don't need to monitor the Quagga.

> understanding of security issues etc.

What security issues?

The thing is, people get all tied up over this idea that it is some major
ongoing burden to support a Linux based device.

I have a shocker for you.  The CPE your residential broadband relies on may
well run Linux, and you didn't even know it.  The wifi router you use may run
Linux.  There are thousands of embedded uses for Linux.  I highly doubt that
the average TiVo user has a degree in Linux.  Many different things you use
in day-to-day life run Linux, BSD, VxWorks, or whatever ... mostly without any
need of someone to handhold them on security issues.

Of course, security issues do come up.  But they do with Cisco as well. 

A proper Linux router doesn't have ports open, aside from bgp and ssh, and
those can be firewalled appropriately.  This makes it very difficult to have
any meaningful "security problems" relating to the platform...

You can expect the occasional issue.  Just like anything else.  But trying to
compare it to security issues on a general Linux platform is only meaningful
if you're trying to argue against the solution.

(I'm a BSD guy myself, but I don't see any reason for undue Linux paranoia)

> I don't want to leave them with a linux/bsd solution that they won't be 
> able to maintain/manage effectively when I am gone.

If they're unable to maintain something as straightforward as BSD or Linux 
when you're gone, this raises alarm bells as to whether or not BGP is 
really suited for them.  BGP is *much* more arcane, relatively speaking.
You can go to your local bookstore and pick up a ton of Linux or BSD sysadm
books, but you'll be lucky to find a book on BGP.

> Thanks for your comments.  Look forward to hearing which solutions come 
> back into the mix having dropped the full routing table requirement.

There's a whole plethora of BGP-capable gear that becomes possible once 
you make that call.  Cisco and Juniper both make good gear.  A variety
of other mfrs do as well.  Something as old as an Ascend GRF 400 (fast
ethernet, line speed, 150K routes, ~1998?) is perfectly capable of dealing
with the load, though I mention this primarily to make the point that there
is a lot of equipment within the last decade that can support this.

... JG
Joe Greco - Network Services - Milwaukee, WI -
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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