Router for Metro Ethernet

Lamar Owen lowen at
Wed Apr 14 13:29:28 CDT 2010

On Monday 12 April 2010 01:28:45 pm Jeffrey Negro wrote:
> Any and all suggestions on the hardware would be greatly appreciated. 
> Thank you in advance!

Well, I've read through this thread as it's unfolded....

I repurposed some big hardware (that we already had on-hand) to terminate our 
metro ethernet connection, which replaced a point to point OC3.  The carrier 
was easy to work with, and provisioned the local loop over 1000Base-LX, which 
I terminated on a 12008 (same router that previously terminated the OC3).

Yep, overkill.  Until I want IPv6, that is, and then the 1 port GE will be 
about right for a metro e at less than 100Mb/s bandwidth.  And 12000's are 
beasts for HA.

Now, 12000's aren't designed for edges, really, so there's no NAT and some 
other edge features.  And it has a pretty weak CPU for the control plane, 
especially if it's a GRP.  But if you happen to have one on hand.....

A 7200 NPE-G1 or G2 would work, as would a 7400 if you don't mind older IOS.  
The 7400 is more than capable of 150Mb/s throughput with features; I have one 
that had previously terminated the other end of the OC3, which is still there, 
and still doing NAT and other edge features very well.  I was able to saturate 
the OC3 when it was lit, with features turned on, and the 7400 churned through 
it quite well, with max CPU hitting 75% or so under the heaviest loads.

If you have a 7500 series lying around you can go that route, too, as current 
12.4 mainline is still there for the RSP platform.  But the HA with 12.4 is 
not as robust as with 12.0S, and with 12.0S it acts more like a 12000 and less 
like an edge router.  And even the RSP16's CPU is a little weak for heavy edge 

There's a lot of older Cisco kit that will handle 40Mb/s quite well.  And, 
well, Cisco gear is built better than most 'industrial' x86 boxes out there 
(even if Cisco has shipped 'industrial' x86 boxes before, like the rebranded 
IBM x Series servers that were labeled 'Content Engines' and the PC's 
relabeled as LocalDirectors and PIXen of various models; the router platforms 
have, in my experience at least, been more reliable).  As much as I like and 
use Linux (and I installed SLS from floppy tape back in the day), I rest easier 
at night with a 12008 terminating the circuit.

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