Software-based Border Router

khatfield at khatfield at
Sun Sep 26 22:12:11 UTC 2010

I do agree here. If you are not moving a lot of data then something like BSD or Vyatta may be a good alternative.  You do still have possible reboots required and things you would not see as often with a hardware-appliance model. However, for cheaper than the cost of 1 appliance you could build in redundancy. I guess the question is how many PPS you plan to push, whether you have regularly scheduled maintenance windows that you could bring it down for a reboot, and whether the additional maintenance involved still keeps you in the black? 

I am a big proponent of open source every thing. Although, I am a bigger proponent of stability and less maintenance. If you could prove out a software-based solution against the cost of a hardware solution then I don't see any reason not to go that route.
-----Original Message-----
From: Fletcher Kittredge <fkittred at>
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2010 17:21:57 
To: William Herrin<bill at>
Cc: <nanog at>
Subject: Re: Software-based Border Router

Another big problem for Linux/Unix-based routers of this size/cost is
upgrade-ability.   If you need to add cards, you are going to have to bring
the router down for extended periods.   Likewise, a software upgrade can be
a bigger deal than on a purpose designed router.   If a router is mission
critical, Linux/Unixed-based has issues over extended periods.


On Sun, Sep 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM, William Herrin <bill at> wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 26, 2010 at 6:15 AM, Nathanael C. Cariaga
> <nccariaga at> wrote:
> > Thank you for the prompt response.  Just to clarify my previous
> > post, I was actually referring to Linux/Unix-based routers.
> > We've been considering this solution because presently we
> > don't have any budget for equipment acquisition this year.
> What's your time worth?
> Quagga on Linux is a fine software, but messing with the
> idiosyncrasies is far more time consuming than buying a Cisco 2811,
> adding enough RAM to handle BGP, configuring it once and forgetting
> about it.
> Also bear in mind that while your ISP's engineers can help you
> configure your Cisco router, Quagga is a mystery to them. You can
> still get help... but not from someone who also knows how the ISP's
> network is configured.
> This is not a problem if you have lots of experience with BGP routing. Do
> you?
> Regards,
> Bill Herrin
> --
> William D. Herrin ................ herrin at  bill at
> 3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <>
> Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

Fletcher Kittredge
8 Pomerleau Street
Biddeford, ME 04005-9457

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