The Making of a Router

Thomas York TYork at
Thu Dec 26 16:57:56 UTC 2013

On 12/26/13 11:33 AM, "Nick Cameo" <symack at> wrote:

>Hello Everyone,
>We are looking to put together a 2u server with a few PCIe 3 x8
>(recommendations appreciated). The router will take a voip transcoding
>line card, and will act as an edge router for a telecom company.
>For things like BGP (Quagga, Zebra, all that lovely stuff!!!), static
>routes, and firewall capabilities we are thinking gentoo linux
>stripped for sure however, what about the BSDs? FreeBSD or OpenBSD.
>Any comments, feedback, does, and don'ts are much appreciated.
>Kind Regards,

Depends on how skilled you are at maintaining Linux vs BSD, honestly.
Personally, I've accomplished something similar with great performance in
the past on Linux. I ran Debian 7 + latest compiled Quagga + latest
compiled Libreswan + Shorewall. If you're going to have a lot of different
people changing the rules, I would go with Shorewall. The syntax is
brain-dead simple, even though you're stuck with the network stack
limitations of Linux. A lot of my issues with doing this in Linux have to
do with distro's loading a bunch of net filter helpers by default, which
can be a major pain in the ass (I'm looking at you, SIP and SNMP modules).
I had to do a lot of tweaking to the conn track tables to make them large
enough to handle lots of traffic, but obviously YMMV.

Have you tried labbing BSD vs Linux to see which you like better? I'd
probably do that before throwing it in to production.
Thomas York
ExactTarget, a company <>
Network Engineer
tyork at
Office: (317) 832-4384
Mobile: (317) 660-5426

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