Ascend GRF

Anyone care to share their experiences with the GRF? I am interested in
hearing some real world opinions on its ease of use, stability,
compatibility, and realiability. Private emails are fine if you don't
want public.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Mark Tripod
Senior Backbone Engineer
Exodus Communications

First let me state that I know more Cisco IOS than GateD. Secondly, I was
REALLY interested in the GRF, and I had heard great things about it, so I
went into trying out the GRF without prejudice.

Now, we got our GRF 400 from Ascend in the middle of August of this
year, and It was an impressive piece of equipment. My first problem with
it out of the box was the "The GRF for Dummies" instruction manual. The
docs on setting up the ATM interface were inaccurate, and after 3 calls to
their technical support we were able to get the OC-3 ATM interface to
work. After that, I had OSPF working on it in under 5 minutes, and was
seeing routes in the IP table acquired via OSPF, so I was confident.
Getting BGP configured in any sort of usable state was a different story,
but after a few days it was set up and working. After all of this, I was
losing confidence in it's ability to work reliably.

After we let it run for a while, we noticed the GateD daemon would just
die at weird times with no error messages. So, we tried changing the
config, looking for any sort of misconfiguration, and found none. We also
had a problem with the GRF not acctepting all the routes from our
upstream, but when I tried to use their monitoring utility to see the
routes, it was missing a key feature; the pause after it showed one
screens worth of data. Nothing like seeing a full routing table flash
before you, and if you tried to ctrl-c out of it, you killed gated. It
was just really frustrating, and we decided to send it back for a Cisco
7200. The GRF has great potential, but the monitoring tools, SNMP daemon,
and documentation need to be completely redone. Not to mention that
looking on their web site for technical information or setup help on a
product is pointless. Even though it was a brand new product and we were
supposed to get immediate support on it for the first 30-90 days, it took
between 2-6 hours to get a call back from Ascend tech support for
configuration help. At least with Cisco, if I have a question or a
problem, I can usually check out their web page or the cd-rom and get the

Your network and needs may vary and the GRF may work great in your
situation. For mine it did not.

Joe Shaw -
NetAdmin - Insync Internet Services
"Learn more, and you will never starve." - Paraphrase of Lee