Low Cost 10G Router

Warsaw LATAM Operations Group gaswarsaw-latam at outlook.com
Tue May 19 23:25:56 UTC 2015

> > On May 19, 2015, at 10:22, Colton Conor <colton.conor at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 
> > What options are available for a small, low cost router that has at least
> > four 10G ports, and can handle full BGP routes? All that I know of are the
> > Juniper MX80, and the Brocade CER line. What does Cisco and others have
> > that compete with these two? Any other vendors besides Juniper, Brocade,
> > and Cisco to look at?

I have two ServerU L-800 boxes routing BGP and OSPF, one of those has 4x10G SFP+ port and the other box, the more interesting experience I had, has a 2x40G Chelsio expansion board. Both run FreeBSD, one of the boxes run a thing called ProApps which is a FreeBSD based system ServerU people offer to their customers, with a nice and easy GUI, but essentially FreeBSD. My experience with ServerU boxes started from security needs, for high performance firewall and IDP, and recently I started to try it as router. So far, so good.

The later box I started with BSDRP and later went for a default FreeBSD system. In this system I mostly run OSPF + BFD and stateles firewall, for a very critical customer site we have at Diebold. What we do in this ServerU L-800 + Chelsio card box is:

- We have BIRD doing the dirty work for OSPF + BFD- We have a trigger in BIRD wich updates Chelsio T5's Forwarding Table- We have stateless firewalling handled with cxgbetool on Chelsio directly

In this particular setup, with FreeBSD+BIRD+ServerUL800+Chelsio we handle every day, 4.2Mpps on 2x40G ports mostly on Chelsio ASICS, leaving most of ServerU CPU for BIRD and other FreeBSD features such as vlan, lagg, etc. Interrupt CPU usage is very low, since it's mostly handled on Chelsio board. 

So far I haven't tried adding a full BGP routing table to Chelsio, but the couple dozen routes we have demand this pps rate, gracefully handled by the box.

It's a 1,200 USD starting cost for a very decent router which promisses to delivery a good pps and bps rate specially when compared to Mikrotik's CCR and other Cisco/Brocade routers on this same grade. Add to it a couple hundred extra bucks to have a very decent Chelsio T5 ASICS expansion to L800 chassis and you pretty much have a system that, according to Chelsion data sheet, promisses to delivery 27 milion packets per second filtered and forwarded. Pretty much Line Rate for 10G ports.

I don't know about the expected 27Mpps per port, but I can confirm 4.8Mpps peaking / 4.2Mpps avging on my rack everyday, and for the price I pay on this ServerU + FreeBSD setup I can't avoid to suggest it worths pretty much a try!


If you buy a Chelsio card or already have it, or have it at a better price (sometimes we find very good 300.00 USD deals on chelsio T5, while their list price is ~900.00 USD) talk to 'em first, they have Chelsio front expansions by default but if you buy a Chelsio x8 PCIe card your own they need to arrange ServerU L-800 to have it perfectly fitted in their L-800 chassis, and usually it requires rear raiser replacement in their router, so talk to them first... I learned it the bad way ;] bought the chelsio card myself and found out I could not use it, since this L-800 router comes with raisers for front expansions. They were gentle enough to upgrade the raiser for free but I had to ship the box back to Florida. So talk to them...


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