Non-Routing BGP Speakers

I recommend <URL:> to anyone considering the
BSD/Gated solution, either for a conventional router (which is what I
use for my Alternet/BARRnet connectivity and it works quite well) or
for a discrete routing protocol machine where the switching machine is
elsewhere (as is being discussed here presently.)

PC hardware can be made as reliably as any other kind, but you can't
buy the cheap stuff -- my www page above has some recipes that are
known to work. Buying something off the shelf somewhere won't work.

A 66MHz PC running BSD/Gated fills its routing table (thus completing
the initial phase of a 27,000 route BGP4 session) in about 1/3 the time
a Cisco 7000 does it. On the flip side, it can only route about 600
packets per second (quite adequate for my T1 line but obviously woeful
if put into an Ethernet or T3 path). 600/sec is with "screening" turned
on, it's more like 1,000/sec if you don't need any forwarding security,
which is to say never. Port density isn't very good, either -- I can
only put about 8 T1's into a box before I have to start a new box, which
is a lot less than what a Cisco 7000 can do. On the other hand I can
buy new boxes for less than the fractional cost of that 7000, and then
tie them all together with an Ethernet. That comes down to a matter of
taste, and most people (myself included) prefer the no-moving-parts angle
of the Cisco, even if its higher horsepower isn't always called for.