Brocade MLX Feedback

We are looking at Brocade MLX routers to act as Internet edge routers. They will initially handle two to four full tables, plus peering on an IX. The price is certainly attractive. We are coming from Cisco 7600 series devices. Can anyone comment about their use of them? Are you happy with them? Any gotchas? Particularly we are interested in convergence time to full FIB population.

Graham Johnston
Network Planner
Westman Communications Group
P think green; don't print this email.

These are great routers. I used the MLX16s in the same capacity, before the newer model MLXe with upgraded management card specs. Should work just fine for that.

Thank you,

Jordan Medlen
Network Engineer
Bisk Education, Inc.

Hi Graham,

Do you have any special features you need? MLX-e's are great and fulfill
most standard environments fine. Full table convergence time is pretty fast
on MLX-e's. Be sure to pick the right modules, switch fabrics and
management blades (or contact a partner to do it for you) when you go for a

You may want to consider the CER-RT (fixed 1U box) if you dont need a
modular chassis.


the devices are good.
Just read up about gen 1, gen1.1 and gen 2 modules in regard to
backplane mode. Afaik Gen1 Modules are discontinued now so all modules
should work in turbo mode.
I don't know which cam profile is the current default so that needs
repartitioning and default values adjusted if you run full table IPv4.

SNMP for IPv6 BGP neighbors is still missing in software version 5.6
so monitoring these sessions is not possible.

Best regards


We have several Brocades - including XMR, CER, and CES devices. Their convergence is excellent, even with several full v4 and v6 tables, and was much faster than other platforms (I'm looking at you MXs...). In terms of TCAM and convergence, best bang for the buck as they say.

One 'gotcha' we discovered: Brocade does not have, as per our last discussion with them, BGP FlowSpec on the road map. That was a problem for us, but YMMV.


I got a few CERs and 7600's
You will not notice the CPU lag anymore like in the 7600's
Extremely fast and puts the 7600's to shame


I've been running NetIron (MLXe + CER-RT) for quite some time, mostly happy
with the products.

Of course, there are always some unforseen / silly / nasty things that
still turn one's mind upside down. What we noticed so far :

    - ISSU / hitless protocols upgrades : we have been pounding them to get
it right, an RFE has been submitted for quite some time now but it's not
there yet,

    - Support of route reflection for VPLS auto discovery : same as above,

    - Adding packet capture (PCAP) capabilities : newly submitted RFE,

    - Adding BGP flowspec support : same as above,

Also, BFD is always a little sensitive when the routers' CPU spike even if
it's supported in hardware.

All in all, and from a price/performance perspective, I would still
recommend them if they match your business case (especially CER-RT for
small colo / IP transit / IXP PEs and/or BGP route reflection).