Mikrotik & OC-3 Connection

Butch Evans nanog at butchevans.com
Sun Jul 4 02:46:08 CDT 2010

On Sat, 2010-07-03 at 19:29 -0700, Mike wrote: 
        > Yeah, that's what the brochure says anyways, 
        I have been in the ISP business since early 1993.  I have used a
        LOT of Cisco gear in the past 17 years.  I am fully aware of
        it's functionality and it limits.  
        > but I don't know of 
        > many highly scaled networks using 'mikrotic' 
        It's "MikroTik", by the way.  Because you don't know about them
        makes it true that they don't exist?  I help to manage one
        network that covers the entire state of Wisconsin that uses
        MikroTik.  Is that "highly scaled" in your estimation?  
        > and some of the reasons 
        > come down to management, software stability and a readily
        available pool 
        > of knowledgeable admins ready to build the next google with
        The world IS changing.  Linux is moving into places that we
        suspected it would go.  I am not suggesting that Cisco will go
        because of it.  I am simply suggesting that your contention that
        only "real" option is Cisco or Juniper is very short-sighted.
        your statement that there is more functionality in a Cisco is
        just dead wrong.  There is, perhaps, more functionality is SOME
        Ciscos, but not in a single unit.
        > However, that sleep comes 
        > with the price of having to be a linux guru in order to do
        most network 
        > config operations, 
        And this is different from Cisco how?  While it's true that
        there is a lot of support out there for Cisco, it is, in my
        experience, even MORE true that there is good support for Linux
        network configurations.
        > and in the 8 years I have been eating my own dog food 
        > and running in my network now, I've not encountered many who I
        > successfully pass off network admin duties too for these boxes
        > iproute2, ebtables, iptables for instance) and centralized
        > and configuration control is non-existent. 
        Are you suggesting that you would do that if you used Cisco?
        This seems like a pretty isolated bit of anecdotal evidence when
        you talk about "highly scaled" networks in the first sentence.
        > These commercial systems you scoff at 
        No "scoffing" here.  I merely suggested that Cisco/Juniper were
        not the ONLY choices.  Not sure where you get the "scoffing" out
        of that.
        > also support advanced and important features such as online 
        > insertion/removal - which lets you take a card like a gigE
        > module, or a fiber/sonet interface, or a ds3, and just plug it
        in and 
        > immediately without a reboot or driver
        searching/updating/missing dance, 
        > start working. Another important difference is that these
        > units are NOT hosts and don't have silly host/desktop type
        stuff going 
        > on within them, like periodic flash writes, file systems
        filling with 
        > junk that causes system hangs, or hundeds of other possible
        reasons and 
        > causes that create 'system down' on host type machines that
        DON'T affect 
        > the commercial boxes, and contribute (in theory anyways) to
        > continued prospect of very long uptimes and reliable
        This is in some respects true.  Many of those things you point
        certainly make the Cisco worth a look.  I mean, if the network
        is moving data that cannot handle a few microseconds of downtime
        for VRRP or whatever failover solution you have in place to
        correct a problem, then I'm with you.  Obviously, you cannot
        easily do this with the OC3, but it is not impossible to create
        very fast failover.  If you recall, THAT was the interface we
        were discussing.  With those interfaces, plugging in the module
        is only part of the process.  The circuit will still take time
        to come up, whether you reboot the box or not.
        > basic hardware features like dual and triple redundant power
        > good fans and overall rugged design that further contribute to
        > lives (again in theory), that PC/x86 and other COTS SBC type
        > does not have.
        These features are available at a price.  I have one X86 system
        that is running with dual power supplies right now.  I can't
        imagine a scenario where I would need 3.  Perhaps that's just my
        limited experience...
        > So in summary, for small jobs, yeah you're right, but once
        your jobs 
        > aren't small anymore and you need more of these features or
        > continuity becomes really critical, these commercial solutions
        are far 
        > more likely to take you there today.
        There are places where I'd use Cisco.  For a switching fabric,
        Cisco is certainly a very strong contender.  I have used Cisco
        switches in
        numerous places with very good success.  For the routing, I just
        don't see the need.  I'm not trying to convince you to switch
        your network (or even your opinion).  I am merely correcting an
        inaccurate statement on your part regarding functionality
        comparisons between Cisco and Linux based routers.
        * Butch Evans                   * Professional Network
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