Route reflector/server appliance for access router aggregation


I working on a solution to offload my current internet facing, and soon
to be backbone, routers from terminating IBGP sessions from aggregation
network routers. I currently have 4948s (pizza box version of the
cat4500) in place, mostly bridging traffic, but some routing (OSPF,
couple dozen SVIs with HSRP). The 4948s surpasses all solution
requirements (I think) except when it comes to scaling the number of BGP
sessions to 80-100. The obvious solution is to replace with a much
larger platform (ASR1k, etc), which I am consider as an option but
capital is the killer. A more economical idea is to pair the 4948s with
a route reflector or server. I am looking for recommendations on
platforms that I should consider. I have seen the presentation from
NANOG48 on open source route server applications (Thanks!), and I am
considering a home grown solution, but I want to also consider any other
commercial appliances that we can drop in (with some lab work of course)
and buy support services on. I looked at a Vyatta appliance (2500 looks
good, but single power supply is disappointing). At each PoP I would
plan on having two reflectors/servers clustered, each paired with one
4948. I have 7206 NPE-G2s coming out of service in the future that could
perhaps be used, but the timing wont work.

If anyone has a recommendation on a platform, or general criticism of
the idea, please advise. Feedback, positive or negative, is always

Thanks in advance

Eric RR Morin

On the subject of route reflection, I've run into a few people happy with
Quaggo or openBGPd on intel hardware. You can throw a 1U box together with
dual PSUs, a bunch of ram, and SSD/CF disks for far less than a C or J setup
and won't be wasting money on ASICs you aren't using. If I recall correctly
this is what Any2 was using when I spoke to them some years ago, but
perhaps someone here can offer more specifics.

-Jack Carrozzo

I use these:

I just toss the Mikrotik CF card aside, and replace it with a USB thumb
drive running FreeBSD/Quagga.

For upgrades/testing, I just dd one stick to another, and load up the
system in a lab box, do my work, and then reload the router with the
upgraded, known working stick.


A side note - There is not a total commonality of behaviour/featureset between a reflector service at an IXP, and on a single AS. IXP route-servers tend to be deployed on pc servers, because the C and J units don't have features required[1] for IXP operation (unmodified AS-path, filtering between participants, multiple RIBs for shadow-free filtering.)

That's not to say that white-box solutions wont work well on your network. It's easy to make the reflector highly available too - just run multiple reflectors, and build multiple adjacencies on your forwarding routers.


[1] Some slides on this topic should you be interested :

General explanation :

Further reading on specific implementations: