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Re: [News] Will Cisco Be a Linux Victim?

  • Subject: Re: [News] Will Cisco Be a Linux Victim?
  • From: Mark Kent <mark.kent@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 15:12:16 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • References: <1161243451.774447.46390@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com> <20061019105937.69ef81c1@ed-desktop> <i03k04-bs6.ln1@ellandroad.demon.co.uk> <20061019124353.6e656819@ed-desktop>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1172300
begin  oe_protect.scr 
ed <ed@xxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> On Thu, 19 Oct 2006 12:09:38 +0100
> Mark Kent <mark.kent@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> begin  oe_protect.scr 
>> ed <ed@xxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>> > On 19 Oct 2006 00:37:31 -0700
>> > "Roy Schestowitz" <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > 
>> >> Dumping Cisco for open-source
>> >> 
>> >> ,----[ Quote ]
>> >> | Open-source networking trend is limited so far, but it
>> >> | could grow fast
>> >> |
>> >> | The open-source movement, which has long made inroads
>> >> | into corporations via Linux and other enterprise-level
>> >> | software, now has a potentially bigger target in its
>> >> | cross hairs: the PBXs and network routers from companies
>> >> | such as Cisco Systems Inc. that form the basis of
>> >> | networking infrastructure.
>> >> `----
>> >> 
>> >>
>> >http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBa
>> >sic&articleId=9004223 > http://tinyurl.com/t8cfw
>> > 
>> > we did that a long time ago. cisco routers are made of lawyers and
>> > fbi agents.
>> > 
>> > cisco routers will always be around though. cisco routers dont offer
>> > the same utils as a linux/bsd box when traffic monitoring. so much
>> > more can be done with mrtg and tcpdump that it just makes no sense
>> > to use a cisco.
>> > 
>> > on average the cisco routers suffer problems by way of unreliable
>> > flash mainly. an average uptime of 270 days before an issue with
>> > flash memory occurs when using filters.
>> > 
>> > ide disks are much more reliable than flash which has very limited
>> > read/write counts. that said, there is nothing stopping one from
>> > getting a soekris box and booting from network. i prefer the £
>> > 199(ukp) commodity hardware.
>> > 
>> > there are some limitations of pc hardware:
>> > 
>> > 1) limited pci network interfaces due to limited irqs
>> > 
>> > the highest network card count i have achieved is 4. this could
>> > quadrouple if i were to get 4 port network cards, however, that one
>> > card has just one irq which could hamper performance.
>> > 
>> > 2) pci bus
>> > 
>> > the south bridge is limited bandwidth. this isn't really noticeable
>> > on the 10/100 networks, but ive not done sufficient testing on
>> > gigabit networks. although, i don't know anyone who has a gigabit
>> > internet connection, other than those in the data centres, where,
>> > i'm not aware of anyone with gigabit links past the tiers.
>> > 
>> > 3) network operations on the interface itself
>> > 
>> > ciscos do a lot of packet filtering at the network interface, rather
>> > than letting the packet get to the cpu of the router, it is handled
>> > at the furthest point. this makes a lot of sense. and i'm sure soon
>> > people will be making network cards were one can put some of the
>> > operations on the interface. but currently only cisco/juniper do
>> > this to the best of my knowledge.
>> > 
>> > for carrier grade operations cisco hardware does have many
>> > advantages, but it's only at the carrier grade (such as super janet
>> > n (whatever n happens to be these days) that i'm sure you know of
>> > :).
>> > 
>> > pc hardware just isnt capable of competing against cisco hardware.
>> > no matter how advanced it might be, network interfaces just cannot
>> > currently do what cisco hardware does. their software sucks big time
>> > though, from that point of view it's not able to compete with gnu
>> > tools.
>> > 
>> You need to be looking at Atca chasses and blades to get around the
>> basic PC architectural problems, in that you use network processor
>> blades with dedicated devices to handle the complex stuff;  one
>> example would be Cloudshield.  You can do almost anything on their
>> card at any bit rate you like.  You'd put that in with a standard
>> processor blade, and off you go.  Even Atca has some limitations, but
>> it's much better than standard PCI.
> a blade is not really comparable to the 2600, which is a nice 1u rack
> case. blades are way too big and draw way too much power. but the 2600
> is not really carrier grade with its limited interface count. blades
> look to me as a huge power drain. i'm not sure what the annual cost of
> keeping such a thing powered is.

A blade is just one blade to fit in a shelf, that's all.  Cisco kit is
renowned for having enormous power consumption!  The advantage of Atca
is that it's a standard, so you can get blades from a range of vendors,
and also that it's truly carrier-grade, so it'll run on -48V, has dual
power and so on.  Obviously, the power drain is only that of the blade
itself, plus anything else you put into the rack.  You could easily build
a local system on it - a blade for high-speed router, another one for
a PBX, another one for a file server, and so on.  Drop linux on them,
and off you go.

If you're after something small, it might be over specced, though, as
you hint.

>> Cisco are also being hit very hard by Asterisk, though, as their CCM
>> has always been priced to undercut traditional NEPs, not on a
>> cost-plus basis, so VoIP is not exactly cheap if you use the Cisco
>> route.  They have some very big media gateways, but then so have a lot
>> of other vendors, and the media gateway is a transitional technology
>> anyway.
> yes asterisk is great. we use it at work. i wanted to do the job
> inhouse but we decided on getting a specialised company to do that.
> wasn't my choice.

Setting up PBXs is non-trivial, but if you're a none-too-large shop, or
you've a /lot/ of time to do reading and integration, you can certainly
do it yourself.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
Department chairmen never die, they just lose their faculties.

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