Competition for Internap's FCP product.

Kevin Loch kloch at
Thu Feb 25 20:22:30 UTC 2010

Drew Weaver wrote:
> Hi,
> As my Avaya CNA/Route Science box begins to seriously age, and without the support of Avaya for 'Service Provider' uses of the product, I have been looking for alternatives to the product.
> The value we get from this product is mainly in the ability to easily manage our bandwidth commitments in a hands off way without having to manually manipulate anything. I have no real illusions that the 'performance' side of things is 'arguable' at best with these sorts of products due to the nature of the Internet.
> Internap to me stands out as essentially the only alternative to this product, but they have been tremendously difficult to work with, they won't allow us to demo a unit to see if it offers the same functionality as our current solution. The reason they won't allow us to a demo a unit is because they 'don't stock them'. So basically they have 0 units until someone orders one, that is fine if that is their policy but that hasn't really been our experience with other hardware vendors that want close to 100K for a piece of niche equipment. 
> My questions are:
> -What are other people doing who currently use or used the Avaya/RS product in the past?
> -Does anyone know of any competition in this space (aside from hiring a guy that sits there and does this for us manually)?
> -Has Cisco's OER/PFR made any progress in the last few years (is anyone using it?)

We use the Avaya CNA in one data center and it does an excellent job at
both commit management and rerouting around problems.  I almost never
see tickets regarding latency/packet loss at that data center except
when it involves inbound issues that the CNA can't fix.  Other data
centers have a more typical occurrence of routing issues that require
manual intervention.

Most of the parts to replace this exist in open source software today:

bird/quagga for bgp to import routes and inject re-routes.
net-snmp-utils for importing interface stats/state and bgp session state
various performance testing tools [tcp]traceroute/mtr etc.
netflow tools (like ehnt) to receive netflow data

The parts that are missing:

api for bird/quagga to import and assert routes
code to use netflow to generate list of targets for performance testing
   and to determine bandwidth/route for commit management
code to decide which routes to assert to which next-hop based on 
configured performance and commit levels.

None of that seems very tricky, especially the commit management which
does not need a sophisticated performance evaluation, just "does it
work at all via that link."

- Kevin

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