Software-based Border Router

Bret Clark bclark at
Mon Sep 27 21:14:33 UTC 2010

We use a mix of software and hardware based routers, have found little 
difference between the two platforms in terms of performance and 
stability. Our software base routers are serving a couple 100Mbps 
upstream links running on some HP Proliants with dual PS and dual HD's 
that we picked up on ebay for a $150 then loaded Quagga on them.

I actually have to give a little bit of a edge to the Linux based 
systems only because of all the all the other wealth of 
diagnostics/troubleshooting tools one gets with Linux in general...Its 
nice to be able to run Wireshark right on the systems if we need too.

As for troubleshooting, I've found the Quagga mailing list to be just as 
responsive (if not more responsive at times) as Cisco, but clearly your 
mileage will vary there.


On 09/27/2010 04:59 PM, Dylan Ebner wrote:
> We have looked at using open source routers for our border, but in the end we cannot make the numbers add up. Once Cisco released the x9xx ISR2 routers, the x8xx have tanked in price on the used market. So, for about the same as a vyatta router running on newer hardware that you can trust you can get a 28xx or 38xx. If you also want support, Cisco will support these at less than $100/month and that gets you access to the IOS upgrades and a 4 hr. replacement window. I know I sleep better knowing Cisco will drop off a router in less than 4 hours if one of mine fails.
> Dylan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nathanael C. Cariaga [mailto:nccariaga at]
> Sent: Sunday, September 26, 2010 4:42 AM
> To: nanog at
> Subject: Software-based Border Router
> Hi All!
> Just want to ask if anyone here had experience deploying software-based routers to serve as perimeter / border router? How does it gauge with hardware-based routers? Any past experiences will be very much appreciated.
> I wanted to know because we've been asked if we want to assume full control of the internet link (up to the router). By assuming control up to the router, we still want to configure iBGP with our parent network so that we can take advantage of some routes available to the parent network's gateway. The saddest part is presently we do not have the router to serve as our gateway this is why we are considering the use of software-based routers.
> Thank you.

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