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Old 02-25-2010, 03:33 AM
Marcel Rieux
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

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.

Is this correct?*Are there more explanations you can provide to make
the picture clearer?

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:46 AM
Michael Cronenworth
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On 02/24/2010 10:33 PM, Marcel Rieux wrote:

Is this correct?*Are there more explanations you can provide to make
the picture clearer?




Cisco has been allowed into the classroom in many high schools here in
the USA. They teach you to use Cisco, and only Cisco, for all your
networking needs. It's the only thing most IT people know about and the
only vendor they will 'trust' all the way to their grave. Not that I
agree with that. Juniper is a close second.



IT people usually have very lax budgets (at least the one's I've known)
and can afford to blow $5k-$10k on a single router for a small
department. The most coveted excuse for using Cisco over anything else
is their [Cisco's] "instant" turn around to customer support problems.
They [IT] could care less about Linux because they know nothing about
it.




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Old 02-25-2010, 05:12 AM
"Marcus D. Leech"
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On 02/25/2010 12:46 AM, Michael Cronenworth wrote:



On 02/24/2010 10:33 PM, Marcel Rieux wrote:

Is this correct?*Are there more explanations you can provide to make
the picture clearer?




Cisco has been allowed into the classroom in many high schools here in
the USA. They teach you to use Cisco, and only Cisco, for all your
networking needs. It's the only thing most IT people know about and the
only vendor they will 'trust' all the way to their grave. Not that I
agree with that. Juniper is a close second.



IT people usually have very lax budgets (at least the one's I've known)
and can afford to blow $5k-$10k on a single router for a small
department. The most coveted excuse for using Cisco over anything else
is their [Cisco's] "instant" turn around to customer support problems.
They [IT] could care less about Linux because they know nothing about
it.



At the low end, performance differences between a "Linux box configured
as a cheap router" and a

* several $K Cisco/Juniper/Whatever router doing the same job are
practically non-existent.



But the Linux box will likely require a little more baby-sitting, a
little less "plug n play" that a comparable

* router "solution".* The cost of that babysitting, unfortunately, does
need to be factored in.



At the high end, there's generally no comparison--for high-end routing,
you *need* hardware-based routing

* to keep up with the "fat pipes".



Funny story.* In the lab at work, we have a Cisco switch, and a several
$15.00 switches from a

* "off shore" manufacturer.* The $15.00 switches slightly edge out the
$800.00 Cisco in switching latency

* and jitter.* Not by a huge margin, mind you, but it is rather funny
that a consumer-grade $15.00 8-port

* 10/100 switch competes very favourably with a much more expensive one
from a "big name".











--
Marcus Leech
Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium
http://www.sbrac.org



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Old 02-25-2010, 01:00 PM
Chris Adams
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

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.

--
Chris Adams <cmadams@hiwaay.net>
Systems and Network Administrator - HiWAAY Internet Services
I don't speak for anybody but myself - that's enough trouble.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:17 PM
Bill Davidsen
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

Michael Cronenworth wrote:
> On 02/24/2010 10:33 PM, Marcel Rieux wrote:
>> Is this correct? Are there more explanations you can provide to make
>> the picture clearer?
>>
>
> Cisco has been allowed into the classroom in many high schools here in
> the USA. They teach you to use Cisco, and only Cisco, for all your
> networking needs. It's the only thing most IT people know about and the
> only vendor they will 'trust' all the way to their grave. Not that I
> agree with that. Juniper is a close second.
>
> IT people usually have very lax budgets (at least the one's I've known)
> and can afford to blow $5k-$10k on a single router for a small
> department. The most coveted excuse for using Cisco over anything else
> is their [Cisco's] "instant" turn around to customer support problems.
> They [IT] could care less about Linux because they know nothing about it.
>
Trust me, response time and lack of hardware problems are worth a lot of
$$ at most ISPs, and the larger the ISP the more important. Remember
that staff are paid, and someone looking at a router issue is not doing
something else. fact of life, when you get larger than "mom and pop" ISP
operations Cisco or similar is cheaper than Linux.

When I worked for SBC downtime was measured in sec/yr, or at least
reported to us in that unit.

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Old 02-25-2010, 02:27 PM
Michal
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

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
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:11 PM
Don Quixote de la Mancha
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 7:17 AM, Bill Davidsen <davidsen@tmr.com> wrote:
> Remember
> that staff are paid, and someone looking at a router issue is not doing
> something else. fact of life, when you get larger than "mom and pop" ISP
> operations Cisco or similar is cheaper than Linux.

That's the whole reason that Red Hat actually does good business by
charging such a collossal price for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

When a big company depends critically on the correct functioning of
some piece of infrastructure, whose downtime would bring the whole
business to a dead stop until it's fixed, all of a sudden it becomes a
priority to pay whatever is required to ensure that "It Just Works And
Always Works" and if it ever doesn't just work, there is a
knowledgeable, experienced expert on call 24/7/365 who will come right
down to the data center but quick and fix whatever is wrong.

Microsoft has just the same kind of business with some manner of
Enterprise Windows Server. A typical Windows user would be OK paying
$150 or $200 for a copy of Windows 7, but would never pay tens of
thousands of dollars for a single copy of Windows 7 Server. But there
are plenty of businesses for which paying all that money for
reliability is actually saving them money.

Don Quixote
--
Don Quixote de la Mancha
quixote@dulcineatech.com
http://www.dulcineatech.com

Dulcinea Technologies Corporation: Software of Elegance and Beauty.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:41 PM
Tom H
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

> 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

(Your reply-to has users@lists.fedoraproject.org twice)
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:52 PM
Jake Peavy
 
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



According to this recent post on LinuxDevices, there's also a commercial Linux middleware called ZebOS* which performs carrier-grade routing:

http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/IP-Infusion-ZebOS-78/

--
-jp

I bet for an Indian, shooting an old fat pioneer woman in the back with
an arrow, and she fires her shotgun into the ground as she falls over,
is like the top thing you can do.

deepthoughtsbyjackhandey.com


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Old 02-25-2010, 04:19 PM
Seann Clark
 
Default OT: ISPs: Linux's role nowadays

Jake Peavy wrote:
On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 11:41 AM, Tom H <tomh0665@gmail.com
<mailto: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


According to this recent post on LinuxDevices, there's also a
commercial Linux middleware called ZebOS which performs carrier-grade
routing:


http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/IP-Infusion-ZebOS-78/

--
-jp

I bet for an Indian, shooting an old fat pioneer woman in the back
with an arrow, and she fires her shotgun into the ground as she falls
over, is like the top thing you can do.


deepthoughtsbyjackhandey.com <http://deepthoughtsbyjackhandey.com>

Have to add in my 2cents. Cost of putting a linux solution for
networking in place, for anything other than a service position, time to
research(or time to find a vendor to do that research for you), time to
cobble a solution together (Compare a chassis based Cisco switch with
your run of the mill COTS linux box, if you are requiring port density,
last time I checked network cards don't come in 24/48/96 etc port
densities) plus cost of building the software and possibly the drivers
for the particular variant of linux you choose to use. Then, as someone
else mentioned, baby sitting the linux box (patching, tuning, hard drive
maint. SSD replacement if that solution is used) hardware downtime in
the case of a device failure (If one of your NIC's goes dead, the box
most likely needs taken offline, and possible reconfigured to accept the
new NIC in the routing table) plus possible training other people on
what you did to build that (Sorry, job security isn't fun when you are
on call 24/7 for 200+ devices) support commercially for any problems
that arise and feature requirements that may come down the pipe (being
told to sod-off, ignored, or given potshots as to how to fix it, at best
from any OSS group I have ever seen, but then again that is volunteers
for you).



In my time working with ISP's, working with Fortune 500 companies
networks, and military networks, I have never even once thought that
setting up a *nix box for a core network service anywhere by a SOHO
environment as being a good idea. An IOS based system that is tailored
for the hardware is a lot easier to replace, to reduce uptime, and has
the benefit of commercial support when the thing is doing stuff you just
have never seen before (like http coring on a reload command on 64 bit
Fedora 9 that automagically fixed itself on an update of Apache from Yum
7 months after I asked about it and was told I was obviously doing
something wrong).


I have a 1750 doing VPN, that nothing in the *nix world I had found can
do, in terms of set up, configuration, and remembering what the heck I
did to make it work. Troubleshooting is cleaner, more concise and most
definitely easier to sort (show log versus searching through all the
daemon log files for Pluto, and/or whatever other program you are
using) and it is most definitely not going to lock you out of the device
on daemon startup, because it doesn't require the VPN to be configure
before you start the process.


Finally. erase start reload is so much faster than rm -rf /etc or dd
if=/dev/zero of=dev/sda.




I also think it boils down to the idea of why would you want to use a
swiss army knife in order to unlock your front door instead of using the
key? Even the most tuned and trimmed Linux kernel has too much bloat to
compare to the entire IOS of most commercial grade networking devices,
and the IOS based systems usually don't need csh/ksh/ash/bash (pick your
poison) installed along with the OS core in order to be functional.





~Seann
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