North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: using gated for multi-home BGP

  • From: Alex P. Rudnev
  • Date: Mon Oct 18 11:35:53 1999

> Major caveat: I haven't used gated in about six months and haven't
> used any version of gated released since say, 1997.
I too, but I have (yet) two or tree PC routers (working as the console
servers mainly) in our network, and there was years when PC was the base
routers here in Russia (about 4 - 5 years ago).

> The advantage of PC routers is that they are so cheap, you can have
> complete redundancy.  This will allow you to do things like rotate in
> during off hours, your spare router, which has the latest version of
> the OS or gated or whatever, without causing significant downtime.
No only. Last year we see a lot of new, very insteresting features
supported by the base PC-router-capable system, Free BSD (why FreeBSD?
- it's free, not as the BSDI
- it have classical IP stack, not as the Linux  
- It have a lot of packages and ports, not as NetBSD or OpenBSD), 

Modern PC-based systems have:
- firewall features
- NAT features
- traffic control features (even traffic shaping does work)
- it's safe (if use ssh and remote-authentication and Security-Level and
don't use the services opened by default)
- and of course they cheaper.

I think we are facing to the next wave of PC-based access routers in a few
next years, because this year is the first when the network features
became very stable in the modern Free system (just as the Free systems
themself became stable about 2 years ago). The world when 99% of the
routers are CISCO can't live forever, even if we like CISCO very much -:).

> > All of the routing daemons I know of lack features that you will end
> up wanting at some point.  You gotta know what is there, what will be
> there and what is missing.  MLPS, high quality multiple path load
> balancing, OSPF NSSA, etc.  You may not need any of these features
> now, but when conteplating future designs, you need to know when to
> swap out other technologies.
Quite agree. Or you should use commercial software. This was just the
primary reason why we dropped out the customers from the PC a few years
ago. Another reason was the stability - the piece of hardware withouth the
disks (Cisco) seems to be just more stable than PC with (often) badly
designed fans, power supply and rotating disks...

On the other hand, firewalling and NAT and traffic control seems to became
a good designed and written features of the modern FreeBSD system (and it
seems of the Linux, too).

A little about configs... (may be not interesting here, but). Gated config
is just more readable and more understandable, it's logical (CISCO config
does not have any logic at all). It could be easily generated and
collected from the pieces. On the other hand, CISCO's config is almost
100% stable against the mistakes or errors, and GATED's config is just the
strict language. And they use the different principals in

> Unix based routers are really a great tool to have in your toolbox.  I
> have basically been using them on and off for 15 years.  No matter
> what size your network, there are definitely jobs for which they make
> sense.  There are a much greater set of jobs for which they make no
> sense at all....  It is great to be able to understand the
> advantages/disadvantages and optimally deploy them.  Good luck!  Have
> fun!
> regards,
> fletcher

Aleksei Roudnev, Network Operations Center, Relcom, Moscow
(+7 095) 194-19-95 (Network Operations Center Hot Line),(+7 095) 230-41-41, N 13729 (pager)
(+7 095) 196-72-12 (Support), (+7 095) 194-33-28 (Fax)