Mikrotik RouterOS

Allan Eising allan.eising+gmane at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 04:46:06 CDT 2010

On Mon, 12 Apr 2010 14:54:59 -0400, James Jones wrote:

> I am currently looking at using RouterOS as a way to build a Metro
> Ethernet solution. Does anyone have experience with the device and the
> OS? How is the performance? Are there any "Gotchas"?
> -James

I've been working with RouterOS for a while, especially with it's more 
service provider oriented features such as MPLS and BGP. Here are some 
points that might help you:

1) Consider what device you want to run it on, especially regarding 
expected throughput. If you want to run it on x86 hardware, consider 
either buying one of the available x86 solutions, such as PoweRouter or 
OGMA connect, or spend some time evaluating that your hardware 
configuration is indeed supported. RouterOS is based on a 32-bit linux 
kernel, and it's not the newest one... The upcoming version 5 will 
feature a recent kernel, but is still 32bit, so don't expect things like 
multiqueue to work on your intel NICs.

2) Understand that bugs happen, and new software is released frequently. 
Acknowledge that there might be issues with quality assurance for new 
software versions. Expect to test new versions rigorously before rolling 
out. That said, MikroTik support is very friendly and will help you with 
most issues.

3) Their RouterBoard products are cheap, and are often made from the 
cheapest components. I have seen issues with faulty components.
Recently, they EOL'd their only rack-mount router, the RB1000U, while the 
replacement - a cheaper router with more ports, and little less power - 
has not yet gone into sale.

And now for all the good things:

4) Their MPLS support, as well as their implementations of routing 
protocols are quite good. They support both MPLS and VPLS and can even 
work with Cisco's BGP-signalled VPLS, as well as the rfc version of it.

5) The CLI is easy to work with, and has an excellent API that allows you 
to easily integrate provisioning into your existing systems. There is 
also a graphic tool called WinBox. This tool gives you a very easy 
overview of your router's configuration, so put away any CLI-only bias 
you might have inherited from working with other vendors.

I consider their routers great for Metro Ethernet solutions on a lower 
scale. Their low cost makes it very easy to roll out an MPLS network, as 
the price for a PoP will be low, however keep an eye on the performance 
of the routers.

You are welcome to contact me if you have any additional questions.


Allan Eising

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