Failover how much complexity will it add?

> > Basically the organisation that I'm working for will not have the skills
> > in house to support a linux or bsd box. They will have trouble
> > with supporting the BGP configuration, however I don't think they will be
> > happy with me if I leave them with a linux box when they
> > don't have linux/unix resource internally. At least with a Cisco or
> > Juniper they are familiar with IOS and it won't be too foreign to them.

> What does your budget look like? A pair of Cisco 7246vxr's with G1's
> sitting on the edge of the network would be very effective and still allow
> expansion. Or you could go up to the 7609. However this gear may be
> slightly overkill. You might be ok with a 3660 enterprise and a ton of
> ram. I have done single sessions on them but not with the level of HA your
> looking for.
> Just my 2c

You will laugh, but the budget at the moment looks like £13k.
Impossible? Do only linux and openbsd solutions remain in the mix
for this pittance?

No, you have the buy-it-off-eBay solutions as well. "Beware the

If they're familiar with IOS, then they can be familiar with Quagga
about as easily as they could be familiar with a switch or other
network gizmo that had a Ciscoesque CLI but wasn't actually Cisco.

You've painted yourself into a corner. I have a word for you:


I don't care what you reconsider, but reconsider something. You can
reconsider taking BGP with a full table. You can reconsider Quagga.
Or you can reconsider your budget. This is the end result of the
"pick any two" problem.

Most end user organizations have no need of full routes in BGP. To
try to take them dooms TCAM-based equipment at some future point,
though if you have a lot of money to throw at it, you can make that
point be years in the future. It is essentially planned obsolescence.
If you discard the requirement for full routes, you open up a bunch
of reasonably-priced possibilities.

Finding someone knowledgeable in BSD or Linux isn't that rough.
Unlike a Cisco 76xx router, the hardest part of a Quagga-based
solution is finding the right mix of hardware and software at the
beginning. PC hardware has a lot going for AND against it. There is
no reason you can't make a good router out of a PC. If you buy the
Cisco software-based routers, you're essentially buying a prepackaged
version, except that it'll be specced to avoid any real competition
with their low-end TCAM-based offerings. A contemporary PC can
easily route gigabits. Vyatta makes what I hear is a fantastic
canned solution of some sort, for a reasonable cost, and they will
sell just software or software/hardware. If you really can't put
it together yourself, there's someone to do it for you.

Reconsidering your budget is probably the most painful thing to do,
but also opens up the "just buy big Cisco" option. I think my point
here would have to be that what you're looking for would have needed
big Cisco... ten years ago. Now, dealing with a few hundred megs of
traffic, that's not that big a deal, the thing that's killing you is
the BGP table size.

Your best option may be to see if you can settle for partial routes
plus a default.

... JG