North American Network Operators Group

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Re: 10GE router resource

  • From: Greg VILLAIN
  • Date: Tue Mar 25 13:21:55 2008

On Mar 24, 2008, at 10:23 AM, user user wrote:

Hi everybody!

I find myself in the market for some 10GE routers. As
I don't buy these everyday, I was wondering if any of
you guys had any good resources for evaluating
different vendors and models. I'm mainly thinking
about non-vendor resources as the vendorspeak sites
are not that hard to find.

Also I'd love to hear recommendatios for "budget" 10GE
routers. The "budget" router would be used to hook up
client networks through one 10GE interface and connect
to different transit providers through two 10GE

- Zed


When it comes to budget, force10 are good. I wouldn't be able to confirm if they're worth performance-wise.
I'd strongly suggest Foundry, I'm a big fan of their kits, price-wise and performance-wise, provided you do not need rocket-science features.
MLX/XMR models will surely do the trick perfectly.

When it comes to router purchasing habits, we all tend to get religious...
Bottom line is that most of the 'regular' vendors (namely Cisco, Juniper, Foundry, Force10, Extreme, Riverstone) implement pretty much the same set of features, which are all IETF/IEEE normalized, meaning if you don't need proprietary features (and you'll wish you don't), any router will be fine, the only difference will come from:
- the chassis being non-blocking or not (i.e. backplane design)
- the price per port
- the operating OS
- the feeling you'll get with the salesperson, and the reputation of their Support Teams.
- vendor specific features such as Flow Sampling
To make it simple, most vendors have an IOS like OS, except Juniper which has a really clever and elegant OS, but are very pricey.
Foundry and Force10 have the cheapest price per port
Cisco does only Netflow, Foundry & Force10 only SFlow (which is a true standard) and I think Juniper does JFlow
Cisco's kits are packed with proprietary protocols (HSRP and GLBP instead of VRRP, their own ethernet trunking, EIGRP as their own and yet extremely efficient IGP, TCL scriptable CLI...) , some of them are really good, some are crappy, but I suggest you'd stick with IEEE/IETF protocol to avoid future trouble.

One thing: RSTP/802-1w is very (very, very, very) not often interoperable between vendors who all have their own interpretation of the norm and can quickly turn into a nightmare.
I'd strongly suggest try&buys if (R)STP interoperability is required, but I'm a little paranoid :)

Independant Network & Telco Architecture Consultant