GigaRouter (Was Re: Cisco as Big Brother))

Jim Dixon writes:
> > Gated IMO is a good thing. The problem is the OS/hardware that it
> > runs on top of. I would dred having to install something that needs
> > a hard drive to route packets in a light-out POP.
> You don't need a hard drive. Use some of the money you saved by not
> buying C***o to buy lots of DRAM. Boot from floppy.
> Or even buy a flash-based hard drive emulator. Or combine the two
> solutions.

I've been thinking about this. A while ago I saw a product that emulated
dual 1.4MB floppies in flash on an ISA card. This seemed like a good way
to start. Has anyone actually tried this? What flash product did you use?


Alexis Rosen Owner/Sysadmin,
PANIX Public Access Unix & Internet, NYC.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while now. The only product
that I've found so far is made by a company called MCSI ((619)
598-2177) , but the only thing I've been able to get out of them so
far is that the darn thing emulates a DOS filesystem through the bios,
though they referred me to another company that does the firmware for
their card, and claimed that this company could do custom firmware for
me. I think MCSI has a card that emulates a dual floppy as well.

I'd love a card that just provided a single raw drive emulations, even
IDE would be fine, so I could just copy a whole bootable file sytem
image into it, but I guess 2 floppy images would suffice.

The card that emulated an 8mb DOS filesystem was only around $300.


Linux has support for all PCMCIA SRAM cards. The improvements made between
the 1.2 and 2.0 versions of the kernel should allow it to handle packet
forwarding for large numbers of routes now.

FreeBSD may have similar PCMCIA support but I haven't come across any
information on that yet.

You can also try building a machine with a boot device like the 2.88
megabyte floppies. Using the same techniques FreeBSD uses for their boot
disks, you can decompress the boot floppy into a large RAMDISK and run
that way. Or simply use a ZIP drive for the boot device but run from RAM
as before. It's not as good as 100% solid state but it comes pretty close.

There is also at least one company that makes Linux Boot ROM's so this is
also a possibility to explore.

Michael Dillon - ISP & Internet Consulting
Memra Software Inc. - Fax: +1-604-546-3049 - E-mail: