North American Network Operators Group

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Re: 10GE router resource

  • From: Sargun Dhillon
  • Date: Wed Mar 26 18:56:18 2008

    I wonder how difficult it would be to integrate such a device on to
an x86 board cheaply. Something like NetFPGA ( would
be an interesting place to start. The board has on board SRAM, a bit of
DRAM, an FPGA, and 2 GigE interfaces.
    I know it definitely isn't  normal for Network Operators to fund
research like this, but it would still be fairly interesting if there
was an Open Router  Consortium (something for Vyatta to start?) with
hardware acceleration to X86 routers. Possibly even making Quagga a
mainstream control plane. Right now Quagga is controlled by a few
engineers from Sun. This nearly produces a conflict on interest (Sun
used to have their own routing platform). Anyways, to end my rambling...
As network operators would you finance a low, medium end router with
decent ROI.  The question for developers (Vyatta primarily), could you
do what Digium did for Asterisk--become business front, and provide
platforms for Asterisk deployment in the enterprise--for Quagga, Linux,

William Herrin wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 4:26 PM, Sargun Dhillon <[email protected]> wrote:
>>  from a viewpoint of hardware,
>>  x86 is a fairly decent platform. I can stuff 40 (4x10GigE multiplex with
>>  a switch) 1 GigE ports in it. Though, the way that Linux works, it
>>  cannot handle high packet rates.
> Correction: The way DRAM works, it cannot handle high packet rates.
> Also note that the PCI-X bus tops out in the 7 to 8 gbps range and
> it's half-duplex.
> High-rate routers try to keep the packets in an SRAM queue and instead
> of looking up destinations in a DRAM-based radix tree, they use a
> special memory device called a TCAM.
> Regards.
> Bill Herrin

Sargun Dhillon
[email protected]