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RE: 10GE router resource

  • From: Fred Reimer
  • Date: Wed Mar 26 13:47:12 2008

The PIX are EoS.  Yes, they were white boxes when Cisco bought out the
original company.  The ASA's, however, are not white boxes.  That said, it
is notable that Cisco is now running their latest announced hardware,
primarily the Nexus 7000's and ASR's, run a Linux kernel and IOS on top of
that.  That doesn't make them white boxes either though.

Senior Network Engineer
Coleman Technologies, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of
Lamar Owen
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 12:20 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: 10GE router resource

On Tuesday 25 March 2008, Aaron Glenn wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 6:15 PM, Patrick Clochesy <[email protected]>
> > Very interesting study I had not seen, and a bummer. That really puts a
> > cramp in my advocation of our CARP+pf load balancers/firewalls/gateways.
> > Than again, what's a PIX box capable of?

> I'd rather tweak a whitebox than pay through the nose for a PIX.

But aren't PIXen whiteboxes internally?  I know the PIX-like LocalDirector 
that was donated to us makes a very nice nBox deployment for us.

Lots of these sorts of boxes are internally whiteboxes (I'm using that term 
loosely to mean an Intel-based box that could potentially run something like

a Linux or *BSD).  The second-hand Content Engine 565 I got on eBay that had

a fried power supply was just a Cisco-labeled IBM eServer xSeries 305, and 
was loaded with WindowsXP when I got it.  It's running CentOS 5 now, with a 
new IBM power supply in the box.  The two earlier Content Engines and two 
even earlier Cache Engines I got second-hand are likewise custom Intel 
hardware; PIII 800's, to be precise.  Now, they DO use ECC RAM, which most 
whiteboxes won't have.  But otherwise they are customized whiteboxes, and 
you're paying for the software and support.

But cisco is not alone in this.  Nomadix gateways, to use one example, are 
built on custom embedded x86 systems.

What I'm waiting on is someone to take a system like a Xilinx ML410 dev
and use the FPGA to do hardware-accelerated forwarding/filtering.  See for info on the 

As to PIXen performance, see the charts in
Lamar Owen
Chief Information Officer
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1 PARI Drive
Rosman, NC  28772

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