is there a market for this?

Uhh, then you'd have backups, I know of several largish networks using PC's
as routers, I personally have put in a PC router topology and never had a
single hard disk failure, the drives are not very active, only really
at boot time, and another point is that whilst doing this I never had
the problems that a lot of ISP's with Cisco routers where having...


We ran PC routers in our network for a few years. I had one at MAE-East
and MAE-West. I at one point had around 20 in my network, and never had a
hardware problem. We started using Cisco 4000s, but with a vary limited
amount of RAM they did not last long. We then looked at upgrading to the
4500, and also at the 7000. The cost was to much for us at the time. Our
problem was we needed more RAM and processor for BGP, but did not need DS3
speed bandwidth. The PC routers work great, but we eventually needed DS3
and we found that it just would not work well a PC.

We now use the GRF, it was vary easy for us to make that move, all our
gated configs were just copied over. With the GRF we have the same type
of look and feal of our PC routers, but we now can do OC12.

Nathan Stratton President, NetRail,Inc.

Funny that you would say how great PC based routers are and then in the
next paragraph state that you've had to move away from them to the GRF.
The GRF is a PC based router (P-166 running BSDI and an optimized GATEd).
The GRF's strength is not it's routing, it's still a PC router, it's
strength comes from combining a good switch, alot of buffer space, and
the use of an route engine that is familar. It will be very interesting
to see a production Cisco 12000 to compare performance on PC vs dedicated
when an IP switch is in use.

Tim Gibson

Sorta, the GRF has a embedded P166 with 256 Megs of RAM. The GRF uses the
P166 for routing, it dumps a routing table on each card. The cards then
switch port to port without touching the P166. We have a few old
Gigarouters, and they have a external P133 connected to them. You can pull
the connection from the P133 (RMS) and the Gigarouters, and it will still
switch packets.

With our old PC routers, all packets were switched over the CPU, the cards
could not switch port to port and did not have cool things to speed it up
like hardware assisted route lookups. They GRF is not a PC router, it is a
IP switch that has a internal P166 for routing. The switch can function
without the P166.

Nathan Stratton President, NetRail,Inc.