experience with BGP on Extreme's Alpine

I know ExtremeNetwork's high position in L2, but don't have any idea how they
perform on L3. Now an Alpine3804 might the right solution for a customer as
he needs a loadbalancer, switch and router which also should do BGP.

Any experience and hints welcome!


Personally, I'm a purist. I say use something like an Alteon AD3 or
ACESwitch 180e for a loadbalancer, $favorite_vendor_kit for router, and
the alpine for a switch.


My experiences with Extreme equipment at both L2 and L3 has been extremely
pleasing. We done Black Diamonds talking BGP to Junipers and found no
problems save for lack of ATM legacy support on the Extreme gear (I'd love
to cleanly map PVCs into an 802.1q VLAN). We've not done BGP from the
Alpines, as we use them primarily for 10/100 to Gig aggregation to BDs at
the core, but its the same software on both platforms so I don't imagine
any problems would crop up specific to the Alpines.

As for the load balancing aspect, we've been less giddy. It's functional,
especially if you are balancing basic HTML/SSL type traffic, but tends to
break down when you try to get more creative (such as DNS caching servers,
for example). If your client needs basic TCP load balancing for http,
smtp, etc (which will suffice for many people), you should still get
excellent results from the 380x line.

I have had very good experiences using Extremes BGP
implementation on The SummitI and Black Diamond L3
switches. I ran EBGP and IBGP (no sync) with full
internet routing tables, interoperating with Cisco and
Riverstone equipment and had no major problems.
Extremes BGP implementation is identical to Cisco's in
most respects. It provides good support for BGP
reflection and uses the same route selection criteria.

My only complaint is Extremes implementation Cisco's
"Administrative Distance", known as "Route Priority"
there is little documentation (both inside and outside
of Extreme) on how the values are determined and how
they can be adjusted.