cheap MPLS router recommendations

Hi folks,

I’m looking for recommendations on a cheap MPLS router (L3VPNs RSVP-TE and BFD).

Around 60G throughput would do , heck even 30G.

Few 1/10G ports.

But netconf yang is almost a must.

You know something like asr920 or juniper equivalent, but something that that is not EoS or EoL

Oh and something not from China (you know, bad PR)…

Any pointers much appreciated.


If cisco, I wouldn’t consider 920… I think NCS540 is better option.

XR based, feature rich and here are different models supporting different BW, different port density…

I think price/performance ratio is superb!

For better evaluation you should be more specific about scale, precise about required features……

Disclaimer: cisco employee……



Yeah the XR thing would be great but NCS540 would be too expensive and too much throughput meaning draws too much power,


Juniper MX204, easy

For this particular gig even the MX204 would be overkill in terms of price as well as performance.

Ideally something like 204 but with only those 8 10/1G ports (i.e. without the 4x100G ports)



Juniper ACX710. Yes it also has more ports, but you only pay for the capacity you need (100G minimum). So you could buy a license that would allow you to enable 10x 10G with the 100G ports dormant.

Most Arista boxes can do pretty much full MPLS (with appropriate honor-system licensing) as long as you don't need full-table Internet PE capabilities. At those bandwidths, you could easily get a used box off eBay and put it back under support (for more than you paid for the box) if you wanted to save some $$$.

Extreme SLX is essentially the same thing with a different badge and a different licensing structure.

An old Brocade (now Extreme) NetIron CER-4X (which is still supported and sold but nearing end of useful life for most providers) might even meet your needs. You wouldn't need the enhanced route scale hardware which makes them cheap on the secondary market. Avoid the CES even though it ostensibly does what you want. The MPLS signaling on this platform is probably a bit more mature but also perhaps lacking some modern niceties. Cost is probably not compelling if buying new, but IDK what they're actually selling them for these days.

Don't expect high-touch features like you might get from an ASR or MX, but if you just want to push/pop labels, signal L2/L3VPNs, participate in IGP with on-net routes, and move data around, they'll do the job with decent North-America facing sales and support facilities.

At those bandwidths and low port counts, you can also potentially use FRR or Quagga on Linux or *BSD on a suitably sized PC platform. Linux has usable MPLS support these days, though documentation is a bit lacking. One of the BSDs has had it longer and may be more thoroughly documented.

Well, there is always the MX104 (if you want redundancy) or MX80 if you don’t. That will give you 80gig wire speed just don’t load it up with more than one full table.

It can handle a few full tables, but the performance of an MX80/MX104 is nearly the same as the EX4200 switch.


I’m using a pair of MX104’s for 10 gig and a MS-MIC-16G for CGNat integrated with L3VPN’s (LDP for label distro), just fine. About 5,000 DSL broadband customer behind them, on a /24 public ip nat pool. Some nice IP savings there.

Can’t speak to your BFP, RSVP-TE requirement as I never needed that on mine.


Bear in mind that the MX80 is now in the EoL process, you have <4 years of support left. Depending on your expected life-time / depreciation rules, buying one new right now might be unwise.

Do *not* throw a full table at it (or any of the PowerPC Junipers) unless you have a lot of patience for reconvergence, and black-holes while you wait.

MX104 is a nice box for getting dual-RE in something relatively compact and cheap, and has environmental hardening if that matters to you, but is still not best pleased with full tables.

OP could do with clarifying "cheap" :slight_smile:


I haven’t tried one myself, but Dasan Zhone has the M2400 and M3000. Basically, a whitebox with IP Infusion code on it. New, I think the price point is sub $2000 to $4000 new. That’s a ton of ports for that price point. Anyone tried these yet?

Just to clarify what cheap means, ideally -$2000 to $4000 new

-new is preferred as buying used kit on second hand market one is at the mercy of the price fluctuations and availability.

And the likes of the M2400 looks good 4x10G plus some 1G, unfortunately there are no details on the webpage (and the datasheet can’t be downloaded… )

Are there more folks out there bundling open NOS and white-box HW along with the support for the whole thing?


Well then Adam I would say the Dasan Zhone fits the budget. The M3000 seems like a real beast for the price point with 100G ports.

Yes, other whitebox vendors are doing this, but they seem to want 2-4k for the whitebox, and even more for the operating system, making it more expensive that Juniper from what I have seen.

Right, well in that price/performance range you either “roll your own” or this is your best option IMHO - and I’d pick the Mikrotik every time.

Do you want SFP or BASE-T on the 1Gb ports?

Does this device have deep buffers?

If we’re talking about whitebox router and ipifusion, what we’re really talking about is vyatta/vyOS and the linux foundation DANOS stuff on an ordinary x86-64 server that has a weird shape.

In which case it really comes down to how comfortable you are with the feature sets of the individual daemons contained within Vyatta/VyOS derived products (FRR, etc), and then your trust level in the hardware. Typically something such as a Taiwanese industrial/embedded platform manufacturer such as Lanner:

If you look at the results of a linux kernel boot on a Lanner appliance running VyOS, or a lspci -v, they’re not significantly different than taking a Dell or Supermicro rack server and sticking a whole bunch of Intel or Chelsio 2 or 4-port 10GbE cards into it. It’s just a weird shaped motherboard, but ultimately derived from an Intel or AMD reference design, and shares a lot in common in a block diagram with a 1U dual socket server motherboard from a company like Tyan or Supermicro. You’ve got ethernet NICs attached to the PCI-E bus the same as if they were slotted into cards.

Aside from the big names like Quanta, Compal and Clevo who will manufacture these things for you in a bespoke fashion if you’re a big cloud scale operator, if you google “taiwan embedded industrial motherboard” you’ll find the companies that make most of the x86-64 whitebox router hardware.

I guess the point I’m trying to make above is that if you’re confident in both the SW and HW, you can disaggregate your choice of software (vyatta/vyos/DANOS etc) from your own choice of hardware to best fit your needs, rather than purchasing it together as a package.