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Ask Slashdot: Enterprise-Grade Linux Networking Hardware? 140

An anonymous reader writes "In spite of Linux's great networking capabilities, there seems to be a shortage of suitable hardware for building an enterprise-grade networking platform. I've had success on smaller projects with the Soekris offerings but they are suboptimal for large-scale deployment due to their single-board non-redundant design (eg., single power supply, lack of backup 'controller'). What is the closest thing to a modular Linux-capable platform with some level of hardware redundancy and substantial bus/backplane throughput?"
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Ask Slashdot: Enterprise-Grade Linux Networking Hardware?

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  • Server (Score:4, Informative)

    by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:53AM (#40243689)

    Try a Dell server.
    Official Linux support - check
    Redundant power supplies - check
    Remote LAN console - check
    Server-class motherboard with loads of bandwidth - check
    Rack-mountable - check

    • Yeah, a remote LAN console that is atrocious if you want (god forbid) use something other than their toy web-GUI to admin it, buggy as hell (prone to lockups), plus it shares the main ethernet port, making out-of-band management impossible (a right PITA if you lose network at the link level).

      I've worked on a mix of DELL, HP, IBM, and Sun hardware, and DELL's were by far the most problematic and difficult to admin, but they were a lot cheaper than the others. I guess you get what you pay for...

      Oh, and I thin

      • Re:Server (Score:4, Insightful)

        by djsmiley ( 752149 ) <> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:11AM (#40243917) Homepage Journal

        If they want networking hardware, linux *ISN'T* the way to go.

        Juniper, Cisco, others.... (I dunno anymore but there is I'm sure).

        As you said yourself, you get what you pay for. If you buy crap, you'll get crap throughput.

        • Re:Server (Score:5, Interesting)

          by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:17AM (#40244019)

          Cisco is crazy overpriced for the throughput you get. A cheap linux server acting as a router can easily beat many cisco devices.

          Trying to compete with switches on the other hand is crazy talk.

          • Are you talking Layer 2 or Layer 3 switches?
            • Re:Server (Score:5, Informative)

              by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @12:41PM (#40246049)

              Layer 2 is switching. Layer 3 is routing.

              No matter what the marketing morons say.

              • That's the classical definition but the meaning is evolving, these days I would say it's more accurate to consider hardware forwarding decisions is switching and software/CPU-based forwarding is routing.

                As for the original question, lots of networking kit uses Linux behind the scenes. Checkpoint splat platform is Linux (IPSO is FreeBSD), I think Mcafee Sidewinder is too, Cisco ASA was a Linux kernel with an IOS-like shell stuck on it (not sure about the new ones). Bluecoat SGOS is very Linux-like but not su

              • Layer 2 is bridging. Layer 3 is routing. Switching used to be doing bridging fast and cheaply using specialized hardware, but if they want to throw in routing features in the same box, that's still fine. And usually the routing in a Layer 3 switch is dumber than the routing in a router, though that's usually deliberate marketing (leaving out BGP so you still get to buy a Real Router.)

          • by Anonymous Coward

            2nded, 3rded and 4thed.

            The Cisco 800 and 1800 series can easily be replaced with a linux box. The 800 is just a SOHO router and the 1800 has 2 EHWIC slots for various WAN cards.

            The 2800, however, has 4 EHWIC Slots, and going up from that you have the 3900, 4500 series and 7200 which do different things. The 3900 has lots of EHWIC Slots, the 4500 is a 10-slot backplane router designed for telco systems (e.g. you want 2 backplane computers, then you want 6 backplane cards with 10, T1 ports apiece and 2 back

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            On the low-end, you are right. But anywhere that you actually use the features that set a Cisco router apart (enterprise-scale redundancy, failover, etc) you will be glad you bought Cisco. Plus, with dedicated hardware, I can take a failed device, pull the config from backups, drop it on the new device and be back up and running in minutes.

            In the sub-$1000 market, there are plenty of better options than Cisco. I'm a big fan of Fortinet; their cloud management features are pretty slick, and their devices off

          • But not on a cost per watt, up time and space taken up enterprise networking is serious business if you design it right you should be able to power it up and the only time you would power it down would be to replace it at EOL (Asuming no act of god power outages)
        • Re:Server (Score:5, Interesting)

          by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:27AM (#40244147)

          If they want networking hardware, linux *ISN'T* the way to go.

          Juniper, Cisco, others.... (I dunno anymore but there is I'm sure).

          As you said yourself, you get what you pay for. If you buy crap, you'll get crap throughput.

          Actually, that isn't true at all. Linux can compete toe to toe with Cisco, Juniper, Big Iron, and others. This is specifically why Vyatta [] has so much invested in it. Vyatta has come up with a Linux distro that is designed to replace this proprietary hardware. To boot, Vyatta has scored several major Fortune 500 players. Additionally, OpenBSD [] has routing facilities that are a force to be reckoned with. Several of my clients use Lenovo M71e's with OpenBSD as routers that I built. I replaced the traditional HD with an SSD and bought high-end intel networking boards. Contrary to "conventional" wisdom, these have been near perfectly reliable. They use BGP and IPSEC to interface with my Amazon VPC.

          • Want to use anymore buzzwords in what you just said.

            I do need to look into Vyatta...... but my point is the questioner doesn't know wtf they want. They don't specify. If they want switches. HAHAHAHA. We know thats laughable.

            I did forget the BSD's, but thats because I rarely use them. I use linux alot at home and at work, and yes my home router runs linux and so will my new one (which happens to be a Alix board similar to those that were linked in the summary.)

          • by 0racle ( 667029 )
            It's not the reliability that is the issue, you can get very reliable server machines. It is the benefits that the ASIC's bring to the various platforms from Cisco, Juniper, HP and whatnot. You can get away without them because for a great number of usage scenarios you don't need them, but when you do, the dedicated hardware will reliably out perform a general purpose OS on a general purpose machine. There is also the benefit that a Juniper router or a Cisco switch use a whole lot less power then that tower
          • You're seriously using a consumer-level desktop chassis for enterprise routing? You're not doing enterprise *anything*. See the title of this post. If you showed up with anything except a 1U rackmount machine, I'd show you the door.
        • Cisco's IOS is based on Linux, while Juniper's OS is based on BSD. So if the OP buys CISCO, he gets what he was asking.
        • If they want networking hardware, linux *ISN'T* the way to go.

          That depends on what you want. The most useful part of having Linux on my router is that I can make it do what I want it to do. QOS, firewalling, those just scratch the surface. Someone who knows Linux networking well, or is willing to put a little work into it, can make a router that does virtually anything.

        • Well that all depends on where you want it and what functionality you need. I know I've deployed fleets of WRAP PCs running LEAF that have simply blown away the Cisco hardware at a fraction of the cost. Below is a summary of how I saw them stacking up.

          The LEAF on WRAP PC advantages were:
          More secure: SSH access and serial console, latest strong encryption included
          More reliable: especially if the Cisco devices were running any network server functions like DHCP, fanless, all solid state
          More complete:
        • by rjr3 ( 658693 )

          You must not interact with Cisco gear.
          The Nexus 7000s run Linux as their Supervisor OSes
          The Nexus 5K .... ditto,
          Storage platforms .....

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I run a 50/50 mix of Dell and HP Proliant servers. About 30 of each brand. All of these are fairly new, within a few years of age.
        By far, the Dells do break down more often. The HPs seem to only lose hot-pluggable hard drives every now and then, but the Dells lose drives, PSUs, cooling fans, RAID controllers and even had a motherboard fail. However, the latest batch of Proliants I bought seem to not be built as good as in the past either. We'll see how well they hold up. It's all Foxconn junk nowadays. The

      • Actually, all the DRAC Enterprise cards that I've worked with (say the last two or three generatios) have a dedicated ethernet port. The whole management card functions separately from the server, as it should. Sure, the remote console works through a Java Web Start application which seems kludgy but it has never failed me (much like pretty much all Dell server hardware we operate over here).

        However I agree with you that a complete server would be a waste of resources for this scenario so it's kind of a m

      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        plus it shares the main ethernet port
        Huh, that is an option but on almost all models you can set it up on a separate physical port, for some models you do have to buy an additional widget to get that functionality but it's generally not expensive.
    • I'll need to echo this. They also have Broadcom NICs with TOE + iSCSI offload. I use some Dell blades with a dual head Sun 7410 system and that runs Citrix XenServer running Debian squeeze VMs plus some windows VMs. The blades are built to have redundant NICs and room for up to two more network types. Whether it's ethernet, fiber channel, ininiband, etc. Plus the network modules in the blade chassis can be switches themselves. Plus the range of product options is pretty good too.
    • by SaDan ( 81097 )

      Or just get a Power Router running Mikrotik OS (Linux based) []

    • Try common of the shelf PC hardware. We have been running OpenBSD on old AMD dual core MBs for quite some time now. The machines are fitted with an intel quad port GB adapter. but otherwise there completely standard PC's. We have a bunch of these MB's and every component is easily replaceble. We have two identical machines running side by side, so when its time to upgrade, we yank the cables from one box to the other. We have been contemplating to use CARP for failover, but i'm a firm beliver in simple thi
    • Try common of the shelf PC hardware.

      We have been running OpenBSD on old AMD dual core MBs for quite some time now. The machines are fitted with an intel quad port GB adapter. but otherwise there completely standard PC's. We have a bunch of these MB's and every component is easily replaceble. We have two identical machines running side by side, so when its time to upgrade, we yank the cables from one box to the other. We have been contemplating to use CARP for failover, but i'm a firm beliver in simple thing

  • checkpoint, xangati and a bunch of others i've seen use linux. have you even looked?

    • Of course they haven't. Ask Slashdot is the place for incompetent IT monkeys to get told how to do the basic tasks of their job.

      • by Skapare ( 16644 )

        I've looked around widely for what I want. Several companies come close, but each has one or two issues that are show stoppers and they won't budge on them. For example, I want my 16 port gigabit layer 3 v4/v6 switch based on Linux with all open source drivers to be in a 1U form factor, like normal switches are. A multi-core big-endian processor would be a plus.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @09:59AM (#40243751)
    • Mod parent up! Vyatta CLI is very much like the other big network vendors as far as configuration goes. The hardware is the choice, however they do actually provide appliances. Vyatta is excellent for both routing and firewall purposes. Above link points local, here is actual link: []
      • by bandy ( 99800 )
        "Like" but isn't really. Most of the commands my fingers remember from not only using IOS, but from having added new features and fixed bugs in it, don't work. First stumbling blocks: conf t and wr t. They're definitely trying, and if you fiddle with it long enough, you can actually get a pair of tunnels to an AWS VPC with "redundant" BGP up.
        • Yes. Exactly the definition of "like". This is exactly why I chose the word. I'm sure CISCO's intellectual property goons would take issue if it were EXACTLY IDENTICAL (why I did not use the words 'exactly' or 'identical' in the original comment). Good for you with your mastery of IOS. I've had no troubles with BGP or any tunneling/VPN I've had to set up with Vyatta, we use it extensively in a very large virtualization environment. The original posted question was asking if there was any enterprise grade ha
      • by Skapare ( 16644 )

        How about some hardware in the "16 ports in 1U" class machines on which Linux can run and use all parts with only open source drivers? I can make my own customized system to do what I want it to do once there is an open hardware platform to do it on. But that needs to be a company that is not dedicated to pushing their own software. It needs to be a company that is smart enough to make money selling hardware.

  • Supermicro (Score:4, Informative)

    by BaronAaron ( 658646 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:00AM (#40243761)

    I've used Supermicro equipment for years. Their 1U Atom based systems work great for firewalls, routers, or any other kind of Linux network device. Low power, mostly fanless (power supply has a fan), expansion slots, decently priced. You can go up the line to full blown Xeon based systems with all the redundancy you need.

    Their support is good also. You get to talk to knowledgeable people who speak English.

    Supermicro website []

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Dude said enterprise. Supermicro does not provide enterprise support, they have fine phone support but replacements are slow to arrive and unreliable. Hell their build quality is dodgy at best. (Stuff may not fit identically unit to unit, poorer quality fans, etc) I like them a lot, used them for a 400 server build a couple years back, the cost/value is fantastic, but they are not "enterprise" by any stretch. Just reasonably priced Chinese server gear.

    • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
      Looking at their website, I don't see any pricing or suppliers that actually sell the atom servers, but they l look interesting.
    • by Skapare ( 16644 )

      Supermicro does make great stuff. But I haven't found anything they make do be suitable for a network switch. The standard model here is 1U rack space, flash device for the OS (preferably internally removable, like maybe CF or SDHC on the board inside), and 16 gigabit ethernet ports (a couple of them being ten gigabit a plus, and being fiber a plus-plus). Also, a leaner CPU that runs cool, like ARM, MIPS, or PPC, would be great (but this is outside Supermicro's current area of expertise). So we are talk

  • by acoustix ( 123925 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:01AM (#40243793)

    I have a friend who operates a small ISP in rural Iowa. I believe he's using ImageStream [] routers. Just a quick look at their lineup and I'm guessing that they can cover small to mid size businesses. They claim to be able to replace Cisco 3945 and 7206 routers. I'm not sure about hardware redundancy though.

  • Try ALIX? (Score:4, Informative)

    by guises ( 2423402 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:09AM (#40243903)
    ALIX boards can run Linux or FreeBSD (Monowall, pfSense) and support PoE, so you can set up your own redundant power system. For board redundancy, just use two routers.

    Actually, the Soekris boards seem to be similar - they both use x86 CPUs.
    • ALIX boards are nice but they're a step back from the soekris in terms of performance.
  • by laptop006 ( 37721 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:09AM (#40243905) Homepage Journal

    Pretty most software devices I've seen have either been a rebadged Dell or Supermicro, with the top end running custom cases, and the low end doing whitebox.

    In terms of "real" networking kit though, there is a bunch of switches that run linux:

    Arista (everything)
    Extreme (everything running XOS, which is all current models)
    Cisco (everything running IOS XE, the only switch being the 4500-X)

    All Juniper devices that run JunOS are FreeBSD, this includes both the EX and QFX switch lines, as well as their SRX firewalls.

    Also most of the openflow-aimed switches run Linux, eg []

    • by Hydrian ( 183536 )

      Just as a point of reference, the Juniper Secure Access (SA) switched from BSD to Linux in firmware >= 7.x.

    • by ( 760528 )

      while this is true, theres a fundamental difference between a linux box with a 4-port quad card and say a cisco or juniper with 4 1 gig network ports. The primary purpose of the OS (bsd or linux) on these devices is to:
      1) store configuration
      2) provide a management interface
      3) program asics

      if, for example you took a whitebox, shoved two quad-port 1gig network cards in it and installed junos on it, it would be nothing like an srx210 - same port count, even same capabilities, but what you dont have is a bunch

      • by ( 760528 )

        actually this is even true on the general consumer focused firewall/routers you get down the shop for $50. Take the tp-link tl-wr1043nd ( internally its a 6-port switch, entirely asic driven, and programmed from the os (if your running openwrt you can run swconfig and play with the switch config). the switch does vlaning, and everything you expect from a basic switch. So everything layer 2 is done in asics...

        One of the ports on

    • /* Please don't comment out words such as FUCK as this fools the curse / swear filter */
  • There's plenty of options, but relatively few that an individual might be able to purchase for a pet project or for a small number of prospective clients.

    Off the top of my head, Dell offer an OEM scheme [] whereby they'll rebrand one of their servers with your logo and install your software on it before shipping it out to your customer; another company called NEI [] will do something similar. I've actually got an NEI box right next to me now - I'm the customer of a company that uses them.

  • Their Proliant line is still pretty good and supports *nix.
    • It seems the OP was talking about networking gear. But if he was talking about servers as well, then HP's Integrity servers would be even better, since one knows that they are enterprise class and would scale well. Granted, the options of OS are pretty thin here - on Linux, there's only Debian, and on BSD, there's only FreeBSD. But the good thing about that it that it forces the company to stick to FOSS like ProgreSQL, which in the long run, ensures that it will be around regardless of support. The temp
      • You can use a server as network device, just setup routing on it or a firewall.We used to do this with CheckPoint 4 and earlier based on a windows platform. Not ideal compared to some high end equipment but if you need something quickly and rather inexpensively it's doable.
  • We've had good results with boxes from Penguin Computing. We get boxes with redundant power supplies, redundant NICs, and RAID. We've spent a lot of time qualifying these boxes before deploying them to our customers and currently have a lot of them in the field.

    • I need to qualify this as our needs may not be yours so their offerings may not be suited to your task.

  • by multipartmixed ( 163409 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @10:28AM (#40244161) Homepage

    ...but I use Sun Microsystems hardware for this task.

    The X2100, X4100 series servers more than meet my needs, and are available on the used market for a song these days.

    The lights-out management works great, the rackmount kits and cable management arms are first-class, the hardware is well-made, and they look cool. Heck, they're even certified to run RHEL 5 or so.

    Best of all - buying used Sun gear and putting Linux on it pisses off Larry Ellison. What more could you ask for?

    • Would putting Oracle Linux on it piss off Larry? Since Oracle Linux is rebranded Red Hat Linux. Or does Oracle Linux not support Sparc, even though Red Hat does? That would be too funny.

      Or were you talking about putting a non-Oracle Linux, such as either Red Hat itself, or something like Debian or something else? If you put on it BSD flavors like OpenBSD, pFSense or Monowall, that would be like dragging it from its SVR4 roots back to its BSD roots, and would be even funnier.

      • Not sparc, for Linux I use AMD Opteron Suns. These are very high-quality rackmount PCs.

        And I put CentOS on 'em.

        That oughta get Larry steaming.

  • My Day Job. (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheetah ( 9485 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @11:00AM (#40244625)

    Ok first thing first, I work for ImageStream as the Technical Support manager. So I might have a slightly biased viewpoint when it comes to the place I have been working for the last 16 years... But we have been doing Linux Based networking for the last 14 years.

    What the OP wants to do is rather difficult for a few reasons. First, after shipping thousands of Linux based routers I can tell you that redundant power supplies that fit into standard PC hardware have a much higher failure rate than a standard Power Supply. Granted, if you have a failure you still have a functional power supply(which is now working twice as hard and is even more likely to fail).

    Second, standard PC hardware just doesn't support multiple redundant components. Sure you can get redundant power supplies, but redundant buses or Cpu's your talking different about a totally different class of hardware(see below).

    Third, If you truly have an Enterprise application, and your asking about hardware to support your application you are already in over your head. Sorry it's just the truth. The OP is talking about building a custom solution for a mission critical application and they have to ask on slashdot about hardware solutions. What happens when(not if) the OP has a problem. The real reason that many people buy our(ImageStream's) hardware is for the support. If something doesn't work they don't have try and troubleshoot a strange Pci bus condition or an obscure Linux Kernel issue that you only see when you have +5,000 networking interfaces in a system. It's one thing if your a Google and you want to build something that just doesn't exist like the OpenFlow switches they are using in their Gscale network. But for a normal organization you are going to spend money and time to develop your custom solution and in the end if anything doesn't work, you will spend more time fixing it.

    Now if the OP still wants to do this... I would look at an ATCA (AdvancedTCA ) chassis. You can get support for a redundant dual loop back plane, multiple CPU cards, redundant power supplies and in most cases a out of band management module for the chassis. But this is VERY costly hardware. If your not budgeting at least $20k in hardware your likely not going to end-up with anything that had real redundancy.

  • Current state-of-the-art in off-the-shelf ATCA gear (chassis, switch cards, compute cards, etc.) provides redundant 40-gigabit backplane connectivity on the data fabric. It's available with linux support.

    It's telco-grade stuff, so redundant power supplies, redundant fans, redundant networking, redundant shelf management, etc.

    You're going to pay for it though.

  • Arista Networks. 10GbE, insanely low latency, insanely low per port cost and last I checked was running a Fedora kernel and userland.
  • You don't define precisely what you mean by these things.

    * If we're talking about switches, forget it. Cisco does it better and faster, easier to manage, with more robust hardware and a better service plan (limited lifetime warranty on all fixed configuration switches!). A non-Cisco switch doing anything of value on your network is a surefire way to convince me that you are bush league.

    * Routers - it really depends. What are you going to do? Just route traffic between LAN interfaces? A Cisco L3-capable

  • by Quick Reply ( 688867 ) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @11:48AM (#40245331) Journal

    Here is something different to all the other experts.

    It is absolutely useless to have redundant hardware, eg: Dual PSUs, Dual CPUs, Dual Motherboards, etc. on the same computer. You will never be able to 100% protect against a hardware failure as they will invariably share hardware to allow the interconnection between the redundant components to occur, it is unlikely to protect from things like a short circuit/power surge which would take out everything until the UPS. Then if a component does fail, to repair it your are going to have to take it offline to restore that redundancy anyway.

    You are far better off getting two (or more) completely separate servers, geographically diverse if possible, which uses software to provide redundancy. If one goes down, the other(s) would be powerful enough to handle all the load, and when everything is rosey, it just load balances.

    The real world difference is you are looking at a $5000 server with identical specs as a $20,000 but without all the redundant PSUs, etc. but you would be better off buying two $5,000 servers ($10,000 total), set them up to have redundancy of each other (So you truely have two COMPLETELY separate sets in redundant hardware of all components, and geographically separate too if possible), and as a bonus you have twice as much computing power (or scale down power draw when not needed) for when both servers are working. If you need to pull one down for maintenance, you don't need to shut off the whole thing.

    If you are into Dual PSUs, etc. equipment in addition to also load balancing/fallover between other servers which also have redundancy, this is pointless because you should have ability to cope with the complete failure of a "redundant" server anyway, for the time it takes to replace the defective part the window that the other server(s) will have a failure in that time is not very high.

    The only exception to this is Hard Drives, Hard Drives make sense for redundancy, not just because of their high rate of failure, but the fact that if there is a failure, it is a lot more work to recover from (Whereas other components are just a straight hardware swap) so it is saving extra work in the long run.

    For a smaller environment where a small amount of downtime would be acceptable, You can even have a Cold Server, an exactly clone of the Main Server ready to go with all the software setup but powered off until needed if there is fault with the main server, the Cold Server can then be powered on to take over. There is no redundancy or fall over with this, but then again, in a smaller environment, your app might not support any kind of redundancy. With a Cold Server, just turn off the faulty server, switch on the cold server, restore the latest data set, and off you go. Microsoft doesn't require that Cold Servers hold a separate license either.

    • You nailed it Sir
      I am running a lot of services of standard PC hardware. Modern PC's are insanely highpowered. Im running a fair amount of AMD t1100 (6 cores and 16 GB DDR3 RAm with ECC) with SSD disks in a mirror as DB servers. Off course this kind of setup requires extra care to test backup/restore procedures.
      On the positive side any component in these boxes are extrremely easy to replace.
      No "4 hour, on site" service contract beats the ability to pull a standard PSU, motherboard or RAM stick of t
    • Yeah, I was wondering where this was going to be in this thread. Linux isn't the right software for a switch because the right hardware doesn't exist. But it's good software for a router. A router is usually a good candidate for duplication and hot failover, as opposed to a switch, so this is perfectly good advice.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      In principle I agree with you, but take exception to your dismissal of dual PSUs.

      All our servers run affordable dual PSU units, with single backplanes and modular PSU trays. These fit into standard ATX PSU bays so special cases aren't needed. These weren't purchased due to anticipating PSU module failure, but upstream power source failure. We can power down any one UPS in our server room without affecting any servers. Given the reliability of UPSs and the occasional need to move cables, etc, this is a d

  • However, the company used FreeBSD, not Linux.

    Still, it was one of the best routers the company I worked for (100.000+ employees hi-tech company) ever installed. We had mostly Cisco gear, but the FreeBSD-based routers (they used some special motherboards) were a pleasure to admin and came with some service-level routing capabilities as added bonus. Performance was stellar for the time.

  • These guys make the hardware that $VENDOR rebrands and sells as an appliance. []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Go with the cheap router and buy TWO or more.

    Deploy using VRRP or other active/standby or active/active configuration.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This probably isn't the right path for the OP, but throwing this out since this is an option that might be suitable for some readers.

    More "industrial grade" than "enterprise grade", but if you need a flexible high-slot-count solution you may want to look into PICMG 1.3 (System Host Board) based hardware. Instead of a motherboard with PCIe expansion slots, there is a passive backplane consisiting for a system slot and some number of PCI and/or PCIe slots (anywhere from 1 to 20 depending on the particular bac

  • Hover over the Products tab. You get choices for the various product line numbers. But this is obscurity for the public market. The marketing director might know exactly what all those numbers mean. But those who are new to this company will not. That's not to say they must not list their products by number somewhere. But I am saying they need to list their products by what functions they do and what problems they solve, so that new customers can go right to the correct pages. Potential customers won

  • Dont try and beat companies for switching with linux grade equipment - there just isnt a good reason to. I love junos, screenos and ios - they kick arse... I also like what huawei do (they are a little cheaper, but at the switching side, they're very good). I've been doing networking for 15 years as a job and i've been doing linux since '92.

    However, im also very VERY keen on linux at the routing side... I've even written my own firewall/routing software for linux. At the layer 3, linux has one advantage cis

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court