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Old 02-25-2010, 07:34 PM
Chris Adams
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

Once upon a time, Tom H <tomh0665@gmail.com> said:
> How about Vyatta? They are Linux-based and claim to have the same
> performance as Cisco routers. They started out as software-only but
> seem to be pushing "appliances" more and more, like
> http://www.vyatta.com/downloads/datasheets/vyatta_3500_datasheet.pdf

If I am buying a dedicated box anyway, what do I gain with buying Linux?
I have enough trouble sometimes getting good support for arcane bugs on
Juniper and Cisco; I really don't want to have to deal with a much
smaller company that didn't write (and may not understand) all the code.
While I can dig into the code to find bugs myself sometimes, I can't
always do that myself (and I can't afford to do that if it is my whole
network that is down).

A quick look at Vyatta compares their box to the Cisco software routers,
not the "real" hardware-based forwarding routers. They also have a
simplified feature set (no QinQ, MPLS, telco links over T1 speed, etc.).
The port density is also weak; I have a couple of hundred T1 customers
in just two slots of an eight-slot, 5U Juniper. Junipers can have
redundant routing and forwarding engines that switch in a fraction of a
second in case of failure (and also allow you to do software upgrades
with essentially zero downtime).

I run Linux everywhere it makes sense, and have for more years than most
(I've been running Linux-based ISPs for over 14 years and Linux on my
desktop for longer than that). It just doesn't make sense in an ISP
environment to run Linux on the routers.
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I don't speak for anybody but myself - that's enough trouble.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:29 PM
Marcel Rieux
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:41 AM, Tom H <tomh0665@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Servers don't really make good routers. *When you are talking about
>> traditional low- to mid-speed telco circuits (T1, T3), there have never
>> been good, well-supported, cost-effective solutions for connecting those
>> directly to Linux systems for routing that could compete with a basic
>> Juniper or Cisco (or Adtran or ...) on price and ease of use.
>>
>> When you start talking about SONET links (OC-3 and up), Linux AFAIK
>> doesn't handle things like protected paths and the like, and then you
>> also quickly pass the performance capability of commodity hardware.
>> Newer WAN circuits are using Ethernet, but you need OAM (which Linux
>> doesn't support) to properly manage them as a replacement for
>> traditional telco circuits.
>>
>> "Real" routers (aka Juniper and Cisco) use hardware-based forwarding
>> that can run at line rate for 1G, 10G, and 100G interfaces.
>>
>> Dynamic routing has always been pretty weak in Linux as well. *I have a
>> few systems running Quagga for various purposes, but it is not nearly as
>> powerful and flexible as a "traditional" router.
>>
>> Now, Juniper routers all run FreeBSD, but that's only on the routing
>> engine (where the management and routing daemons run), not the
>> forwarding engine (where the actual packet forwarding takes place).
>> Juniper wrote all their own routing, PPP management, etc. daemons from
>> scratch. *It is kind of funny when you spend $100K+ on a router that has
>> a Celeron 850 CPU and a whopping 20G hard drive. :-)
>>
>> I have lots of Linux servers, a few other old Unix servers, and a couple
>> of Linux firewalls, but all my routers are Juniper. *I've been working
>> for small ISPs for 14 years, and I've never really seen a time where I
>> would try to push Linux into serious routing. *It costs too much on the
>> low end and can't handle the performance on the high end.
>
> How about Vyatta? They are Linux-based and claim to have the same
> performance as Cisco routers. They started out as software-only but
> seem to be pushing "appliances" more and more, like
> http://www.vyatta.com/downloads/datasheets/vyatta_3500_datasheet.pdf

This looks like an interesting solution:

Vyatta Appliance, Vyatta 3520, Premium Subscription, H/W Expedited 4HR, 3 Years

Vyatta Appliance, Vyatta 3520, Premium Subscription, H/W Expedited 4HR
Parts & Labor, 3 Years (ships with US Power Cord as standard)
(Typically ships in 15-17 business days)
Price: $10,695.45

http://www2.vyatta.com/store/Vyatta-3520-Premium-with-4-Hour-Expedited-Service

But I have no idea of how it compares to other Cisco's or Junipter's.

They have a demo here:

http://www.vyatta.com/products/demos/introduction-to-vyatta/introduction-to-vyatta.html

For a know nothing like me it looks rather convincing but I'm a bit
sceptical when they talk about better performance without hardware
optimization. Then again, if they compare price for price, it might
very well make sense.

> (Your reply-to has users@lists.fedoraproject.org twice)

I see it only once here (Gmail)...
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:15 PM
Chris Adams
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

Once upon a time, Marcel Rieux <m.z.rieux@gmail.com> said:
> Vyatta Appliance, Vyatta 3520, Premium Subscription, H/W Expedited 4HR, 3 Years
>
> Vyatta Appliance, Vyatta 3520, Premium Subscription, H/W Expedited 4HR
> Parts & Labor, 3 Years (ships with US Power Cord as standard)
> (Typically ships in 15-17 business days)
> Price: $10,695.45
>
> http://www2.vyatta.com/store/Vyatta-3520-Premium-with-4-Hour-Expedited-Service
>
> But I have no idea of how it compares to other Cisco's or Junipter's.

It appears to be comprable to a Juniper J-6350, except that the J-6350
has more slots, no spinning drives to fail, more software functionality,
a compatible path to higher end routers, and costs less. That looks to
be the highest-end Vyatta, and the J-6350 is a very low-end Juniper.

The question started out about ISPs, and as even a small ISP, a J-6350
is a low-end, limited use router; we have one in a small remote POP.

Basically, there's nothing wrong with using Linux in a router, but it
needs to be a router first, not a server case with some router cards.
Junipers are built around commodity Intel CPUs running FreeBSD (the
forwarding hardware uses custom ASICs on the mid- to high-end routers).

--
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I don't speak for anybody but myself - that's enough trouble.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:24 PM
birger
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Thu, 2010-02-25 at 08:11 -0800, Don Quixote de la Mancha wrote:
> That's the whole reason that Red Hat actually does good business by
> charging such a collossal price for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

According to my boss the license costs for my RHEL servers are less than
the rounding errors in the other license costs. Mainly Microsoft and
Adobe. I wouldn't call RedHat licenses expensive.

If only linux had the collaboration features of LiveMeeting or the
upcoming Office 2010 suite... Apart from my inability to join
LiveMeeting meetings noone at the office would know that I am running
Linux.

Our annual license costs pr windows pc are 3 times the price of the PC
itself.

Have you seen the price tag on a fully redundant MS Exchange server? Not
only the price for the exchange software on the individual nodes, but to
run in a cluster configuration you *must* run the enterprise version of
the OS. And the enterprise version of windows server is *expensive*. Our
license guy chokes whenever someone claims they *must* have windows
enterprise on a server. You think SharePoint is cheap? Count in the
Client Access Licenses and you may change your mind. And then there is
Adobe software. Very expensive, and a hell to administer especially if
you use roaming profiles.

I am about to start 'upgrading' some of the servers doing automated PDF
processing using Adobe Indesign to CentOS servers running GraphicsMagic.
I expect the result to be faster, more stable, and a *lot* cheaper even
if we switch to RHEL.


birger


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Old 02-26-2010, 04:47 AM
Marcel Rieux
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 3:34 PM, Chris Adams <cmadams@hiwaay.net> wrote:

> I run Linux everywhere it makes sense, and have for more years than most
> (I've been running Linux-based ISPs for over 14 years and Linux on my
> desktop for longer than that). *It just doesn't make sense in an ISP
> environment to run Linux on the routers.

And, from what I can see, most people who have experience think like
you. (I'll of course be glad to hear anybody who disagrees with this.)
Over the last years, 2 providers, each competing agains the other,
also told me they needed hardware based routers.

As for running huge databases, I believe big corporations would go for
Oracle, maybe DB2, Oracle now supports both a version of /Unbreakable/
Linux*and Solaris.

Large scientific organizations -- the CERN, for instance -- seem to be
doing well on their own.

So where is Red Hat headed, in which field are they specializing?*I've
heard of cloud computing/virtualization. What else? What kind of
companies are they dealing with?

I*believe, for instance, that the NYSE*is with them. Who else? Isn't
this pretty much a database service? It seems the NYSE*is thinking
like me and decided they wouldn't get their OS*from a company that
calls "their" blindly copied OS "Unbreakable". Is it possible that
Oracle knows so much about databases and no so much about OSes?

Note: Please all, try not to phrase your answers in technical
mumbo-jumbo. I*get lost quickly. I'm just trying to get a general
overview. I'm not going to implement a large database or router on my
desktop and require Oracle's or Red Hat's services any time soon

Regards!
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:02 AM
Pasi Kärkkäinen
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 03:27:53PM +0000, Michal wrote:
> On 25/02/2010 14:00, Chris Adams wrote:
> > Once upon a time, Marcel Rieux <m.z.rieux@gmail.com> said:
> >> I was under the impression that, at most small ISPs, Linux had
> >> replaced Unix and played a central role in making things work. But
> >> today, I spoke to an ISP employee who told me that Linux was only used
> >> for Web servers and that, for routing and firewalling, nobody escaped
> >> companies Cisco and Juniper which provide "solutions" where part of
> >> the software has been integrated into hardware for efficiency
> >> purposes.
> >
> > Servers don't really make good routers. When you are talking about
> > traditional low- to mid-speed telco circuits (T1, T3), there have never
> > been good, well-supported, cost-effective solutions for connecting those
> > directly to Linux systems for routing that could compete with a basic
> > Juniper or Cisco (or Adtran or ...) on price and ease of use.
> >
> > When you start talking about SONET links (OC-3 and up), Linux AFAIK
> > doesn't handle things like protected paths and the like, and then you
> > also quickly pass the performance capability of commodity hardware.
> > Newer WAN circuits are using Ethernet, but you need OAM (which Linux
> > doesn't support) to properly manage them as a replacement for
> > traditional telco circuits.
> >
> > "Real" routers (aka Juniper and Cisco) use hardware-based forwarding
> > that can run at line rate for 1G, 10G, and 100G interfaces.
> >
> > Dynamic routing has always been pretty weak in Linux as well. I have a
> > few systems running Quagga for various purposes, but it is not nearly as
> > powerful and flexible as a "traditional" router.
> >
> > Now, Juniper routers all run FreeBSD, but that's only on the routing
> > engine (where the management and routing daemons run), not the
> > forwarding engine (where the actual packet forwarding takes place).
> > Juniper wrote all their own routing, PPP management, etc. daemons from
> > scratch. It is kind of funny when you spend $100K+ on a router that has
> > a Celeron 850 CPU and a whopping 20G hard drive. :-)
> >
> > I have lots of Linux servers, a few other old Unix servers, and a couple
> > of Linux firewalls, but all my routers are Juniper. I've been working
> > for small ISPs for 14 years, and I've never really seen a time where I
> > would try to push Linux into serious routing. It costs too much on the
> > low end and can't handle the performance on the high end.
> >
>
> People have had great success with OpenBSD on firewalls and routers with
> lots of traffic and 10GB NIC's etc
>

Yeah.. Linux also does OK on this front. Recently there has been reports
about pushing 70 - 80 Gbit/sec through a single desktop-class Linux box.
Yes, you read it correctly.

Also recently there has been reports of pushing 5+ Mpps through a single
Linux box.

You can do a lot of things with software routers nowadays.

-- Pasi

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Old 02-26-2010, 08:41 PM
Rick Stevens
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On 02/26/2010 03:02 AM, Pasi Kärkkäinen wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 03:27:53PM +0000, Michal wrote:
>> On 25/02/2010 14:00, Chris Adams wrote:
>>> Once upon a time, Marcel Rieux<m.z.rieux@gmail.com> said:
>>>> I was under the impression that, at most small ISPs, Linux had
>>>> replaced Unix and played a central role in making things work. But
>>>> today, I spoke to an ISP employee who told me that Linux was only used
>>>> for Web servers and that, for routing and firewalling, nobody escaped
>>>> companies Cisco and Juniper which provide "solutions" where part of
>>>> the software has been integrated into hardware for efficiency
>>>> purposes.
>>>
>>> Servers don't really make good routers. When you are talking about
>>> traditional low- to mid-speed telco circuits (T1, T3), there have never
>>> been good, well-supported, cost-effective solutions for connecting those
>>> directly to Linux systems for routing that could compete with a basic
>>> Juniper or Cisco (or Adtran or ...) on price and ease of use.
>>>
>>> When you start talking about SONET links (OC-3 and up), Linux AFAIK
>>> doesn't handle things like protected paths and the like, and then you
>>> also quickly pass the performance capability of commodity hardware.
>>> Newer WAN circuits are using Ethernet, but you need OAM (which Linux
>>> doesn't support) to properly manage them as a replacement for
>>> traditional telco circuits.
>>>
>>> "Real" routers (aka Juniper and Cisco) use hardware-based forwarding
>>> that can run at line rate for 1G, 10G, and 100G interfaces.
>>>
>>> Dynamic routing has always been pretty weak in Linux as well. I have a
>>> few systems running Quagga for various purposes, but it is not nearly as
>>> powerful and flexible as a "traditional" router.
>>>
>>> Now, Juniper routers all run FreeBSD, but that's only on the routing
>>> engine (where the management and routing daemons run), not the
>>> forwarding engine (where the actual packet forwarding takes place).
>>> Juniper wrote all their own routing, PPP management, etc. daemons from
>>> scratch. It is kind of funny when you spend $100K+ on a router that has
>>> a Celeron 850 CPU and a whopping 20G hard drive. :-)
>>>
>>> I have lots of Linux servers, a few other old Unix servers, and a couple
>>> of Linux firewalls, but all my routers are Juniper. I've been working
>>> for small ISPs for 14 years, and I've never really seen a time where I
>>> would try to push Linux into serious routing. It costs too much on the
>>> low end and can't handle the performance on the high end.
>>>
>>
>> People have had great success with OpenBSD on firewalls and routers with
>> lots of traffic and 10GB NIC's etc

So long as the firewall doesn't have to handle too many rules and the
routing decisions are minimal. At those traffic levels, the system
would be swamped with interrupts anyway. I think there's some serious
measurement issues here.

> Yeah.. Linux also does OK on this front. Recently there has been reports
> about pushing 70 - 80 Gbit/sec through a single desktop-class Linux box.
> Yes, you read it correctly.

Well, THAT I don't buy. I've not seen a 100Gbps or 1Tbps PCI-slot
NIC. I suppose you could put in an adequate number of 10Gbps NICs in a
box...assuming you have enough slots, and I don't think the internal
bus on any desktop is capable of moving that kind of data that fast.
Not to mention the interrupt storm that'd ensue.

The reason there are things like Foundry and Cisco and Juniper is
because much of the heavy lifting is done by bitslice engines and
dedicated hardware, with a supervisor doling out the jobs and watching
over the operation.

It's rather irrelevant what the supervisor is...Linux, BSD, OS/2,
Plan9, Winblows, whatever. The real grunt work is done by the
dedicated chips. This is one reason Cisco has been able to push IoS
out to product lines they've acquired so fast. It's easy to port.

When you ask a CISC to do the work that a RISC or bitslice does, you're
going to get performance issues.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
- Rick Stevens, Systems Engineer ricks@nerd.com -
- AIM/Skype: therps2 ICQ: 22643734 Yahoo: origrps2 -
- -
- I don't suffer from insanity...I enjoy every minute of it! -
----------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:47 PM
Marcel Rieux
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM, Rick Stevens <ricks@nerd.com> wrote:

> So long as the firewall doesn't have to handle too many rules and the
> routing decisions are minimal. *At those traffic levels, the system
> would be swamped with interrupts anyway.

Err... I*believe we're though with this discussion *Firewalling,
routing, all except web servers,*you need hardware implemented code.

Regards!
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:36 PM
Pasi Kärkkäinen
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 01:41:11PM -0800, Rick Stevens wrote:
> On 02/26/2010 03:02 AM, Pasi Kärkkäinen wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 03:27:53PM +0000, Michal wrote:
> >> On 25/02/2010 14:00, Chris Adams wrote:
> >>> Once upon a time, Marcel Rieux<m.z.rieux@gmail.com> said:
> >>>> I was under the impression that, at most small ISPs, Linux had
> >>>> replaced Unix and played a central role in making things work. But
> >>>> today, I spoke to an ISP employee who told me that Linux was only used
> >>>> for Web servers and that, for routing and firewalling, nobody escaped
> >>>> companies Cisco and Juniper which provide "solutions" where part of
> >>>> the software has been integrated into hardware for efficiency
> >>>> purposes.
> >>>
> >>> Servers don't really make good routers. When you are talking about
> >>> traditional low- to mid-speed telco circuits (T1, T3), there have never
> >>> been good, well-supported, cost-effective solutions for connecting those
> >>> directly to Linux systems for routing that could compete with a basic
> >>> Juniper or Cisco (or Adtran or ...) on price and ease of use.
> >>>
> >>> When you start talking about SONET links (OC-3 and up), Linux AFAIK
> >>> doesn't handle things like protected paths and the like, and then you
> >>> also quickly pass the performance capability of commodity hardware.
> >>> Newer WAN circuits are using Ethernet, but you need OAM (which Linux
> >>> doesn't support) to properly manage them as a replacement for
> >>> traditional telco circuits.
> >>>
> >>> "Real" routers (aka Juniper and Cisco) use hardware-based forwarding
> >>> that can run at line rate for 1G, 10G, and 100G interfaces.
> >>>
> >>> Dynamic routing has always been pretty weak in Linux as well. I have a
> >>> few systems running Quagga for various purposes, but it is not nearly as
> >>> powerful and flexible as a "traditional" router.
> >>>
> >>> Now, Juniper routers all run FreeBSD, but that's only on the routing
> >>> engine (where the management and routing daemons run), not the
> >>> forwarding engine (where the actual packet forwarding takes place).
> >>> Juniper wrote all their own routing, PPP management, etc. daemons from
> >>> scratch. It is kind of funny when you spend $100K+ on a router that has
> >>> a Celeron 850 CPU and a whopping 20G hard drive. :-)
> >>>
> >>> I have lots of Linux servers, a few other old Unix servers, and a couple
> >>> of Linux firewalls, but all my routers are Juniper. I've been working
> >>> for small ISPs for 14 years, and I've never really seen a time where I
> >>> would try to push Linux into serious routing. It costs too much on the
> >>> low end and can't handle the performance on the high end.
> >>>
> >>
> >> People have had great success with OpenBSD on firewalls and routers with
> >> lots of traffic and 10GB NIC's etc
>
> So long as the firewall doesn't have to handle too many rules and the
> routing decisions are minimal. At those traffic levels, the system
> would be swamped with interrupts anyway. I think there's some serious
> measurement issues here.
>
> > Yeah.. Linux also does OK on this front. Recently there has been reports
> > about pushing 70 - 80 Gbit/sec through a single desktop-class Linux box.
> > Yes, you read it correctly.
>
> Well, THAT I don't buy. I've not seen a 100Gbps or 1Tbps PCI-slot
> NIC. I suppose you could put in an adequate number of 10Gbps NICs in a
> box...assuming you have enough slots, and I don't think the internal
> bus on any desktop is capable of moving that kind of data that fast.
> Not to mention the interrupt storm that'd ensue.
>

See here:
http://groups.google.com/group/linux.kernel/browse_thread/thread/70e62d8a85cd3241

"We've achieved 70 Gbps aggregate unidirectional TCP performance from
one P6T6 based system to another. We figured out in our case that
we were being limited by the interconnect between the Intel X58 and
Nvidia N200 chips. The first 2 PCIe 2.0 slots are directly off the
Intel X58 and get the full 40 Gbps throughput from the dual-port
Myricom 10-GigE NICs we have installed in them. But the other
3 PCIe 2.0 slots are on the Nvidia N200 chip, and I discovered
through googling that the link between the X58 and N200 chips
only operates at PCIe x16 _1.0_ speed, which limits the possible
aggregate throughput of the last 3 PCIe 2.0 slots to only 32 Gbps. "

and

"This used 4 dual-port Myricom 10-GigE NICs. We also tested with
a fifth dual-port 10-GigE NIC, but the aggregate throughput stayed
at about 70 Gbps, due to the performance bottleneck between the
X58 and N200 chips."


> The reason there are things like Foundry and Cisco and Juniper is
> because much of the heavy lifting is done by bitslice engines and
> dedicated hardware, with a supervisor doling out the jobs and watching
> over the operation.
>
> It's rather irrelevant what the supervisor is...Linux, BSD, OS/2,
> Plan9, Winblows, whatever. The real grunt work is done by the
> dedicated chips. This is one reason Cisco has been able to push IoS
> out to product lines they've acquired so fast. It's easy to port.
>
> When you ask a CISC to do the work that a RISC or bitslice does, you're
> going to get performance issues.
>

Yeah.. of course there's the need for those special ASICs, but the point
was the latest x86 hardware is capable of a LOT.

And here's the link for the 4.7 Mpps (million of packets per second)
benchmark:

http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.network/151396

-- Pasi

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Old 02-27-2010, 03:08 PM
Marcel Rieux
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 8:36 AM, Pasi Kärkkäinen <pasik@iki.fi> wrote:

Ooops! Maybe the discussion is not over

I*understand not much of this, so let me try to sum this up in a
know-nothing friendly way.

They use nvidia multi gpu video cards for routing. Hence, they don't
face the interrupts problems so soon.

I*suppose this is pretty experimental at this stage, though. How many
cores are they using?*I*believe the plans are for 64 in the near
future.

Now, this is interesting... I believe. Good thing Huang pretends he's
not after Intel's skin
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