RE: Ascend GRF400

As an almost customer of Netstar, and a long time one from Ascend, I have
watched the product get integrated into what it is today. The original
point of these boxes was HIPPI. HIPPI over WAN. Hmm. Well, "I have no
supercomputers", as they say - so I waited for other cards. When Netstar
was acquired I remember that the cards available were HIPPI, HSSI, FDDI and
ATM. Ethernet was on the way (100Mb was talked about, then switchable down
to 10Mb) by end of 1996.

The interesting products now are the IP/SONET OC3c card and the OC12 card
that should turn up one day.

The attraction to us for buying this product is the BSDi OS used at the
management controller. We have somewhat unusual requirements, including our
own internal protocol for dynamic routing of dialups, and the availability
of the BSDi environment behind Ascends new CLI makes this one of the few
real routers that works off the shelf.

We currently have one in house, and once some SNMP issues are fixed we will
be able to complete testing and then maybe buy some.

As to who is using them in a production environment, I understand from
colleagues that a recent "supercore" upgrade that PSI did in NY (where we
peer with them) was to roll out one or more GRF's. This is of course
unconfirmed rumour until someone from PSInet speaks up.