Commodity routers/switches

Fredrik Korsbäck hugge at
Sun Nov 19 07:46:53 UTC 2017

On 2017-11-19 02:55, mike.lyon at wrote:
> Howdy!
> Looking to replace some edge routers for my small ISP. With all the various SDN platforms available along with various choices of bare-metal hardware platforms, im thinking i may go this route instead of going with Cisco/Juniper/Etc.
> I only need a handful of 10G uplinks. The SuperMicro SSE-G3648B and the Penguin Arctica Network switches appear to fit my needs.
> I am eyeing Cumulus Linux to run on these, but that isn’t set in stone.
> They’ll likely be getting 2 full tables along with some peers.
> Has anyone run SuperMicro or Penguin hardware with Cumulus in this type of scenario?
> What were your experiences? How is BGP convergence time on x86 hardware these days?
> Any insight would be appreciated.
> Thank You,
> Mike

Replacing a edge-router with a switch is nothing new, however make sure you actually replace it with the correct one.

The Supermicro looks like any generic Helix4-switch and is a ToR-switch for the datacenter. Its not very fitting for 
edge-routing. It does not have buffers at all and would make your sub-speed connections perform like shit, and also it 
has a tiny LPM table so you wont be able to fit anywhere near a full table in there

It seems that you want a cost-effective 1G solution given that you linked SSE-G3648B?

Merchant-switch silicon and edge-routing isn't very competitive on 1G/10G, both because traditional legacy-routers is 
somewhat cheap for 1G applications and also that 1G is virtually non-existant in datacenter enviroments these days so 
its hard to leverage the economy-of-scale from there on these swithces.

Look at Nokias portfolio for 1G/10G routers, they still care in that segment and is in Europe a very popular choice for 
broadband buildouts, as is Huaweis smaller NetEngines but that might not fly that well in the US. Juniper MX150 might 
also work depending on how much 1G you need, but you likely need more.

If you bump it up a notch to 10G/100G or 100G only the market for routing-merchant-silicon looks much better. I guess 
the most famous platform is the Arista 7280R that was the first Broadcom-based box that accepted 1M routes, had big 
buffers and didnt cost the equivalent of a bunch of new cars for a 1Tbit of capacity like J/C/N/H would charge you for a 
equivalent linecard to their edge-portfolios.

Cisco quickly released NCS550 productline as an answer, Huawei released CE6870-line (but didnt do the LEM/LPM hack that 
C/A did for full tables to protect NetEngine BU), Juniper pushes QFX10K which is somewhat equal to a Broadcom 
Jericho-based box. The only Whitebox-vendor i know off that actually has a Jericho (qumran) based box is Agema with the 
AGC7648S, not sure which stand-alone NOS that actually supports this box fully.

Now Jericho+ is also out and Jericho2 is around the corner so i guess we will see alot bigger and even more competetive 
switch-routers based on these chips. But it doesent really help much if you are operating in 1G/10G space.


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