Router Choice

Hello fellow nanogers,
I am a long time user of Cisco gear and currently evaluating an alternative
for my network expansion. currently the one that looks like it will be able
to do the job iare Alcatel-Lucent 7710/7750 service routers.
I am looking for real life experience of those who have used it and what I
may need to watch out for (if anything) I have seen in some of their
documentation features like Non-stop Services (NSS) and Non-stop Routing
(NSR). are these features real world deployable.
oh, just to add I want to use the routers as P routers in my IP/MPLS core


I've deployed hundreds of these boxes as PE devices and they work _very
well_ indeed. Not sure specifically about the non-stop part of it other
than we have some of this deployed and it seems to work but is an area I
think ALU could expand upon (and I believe they plan too). The
ALU-Trimetra chaps based in San Jose and in Belgium are superb to work
with also.

I think that the 7750SR routers are great and you won't be let down. We used to have an all Cisco network and I was skeptical at first but they have been great.

As for nss and nsr when we tested this by failing a cpm we saw less than 50 ms of traffic loss. I would see if you could go to either California or Canada to one of ALUs labs and have it demonstrated for you.


I guess they have good lab in Plano, TX also!!!I worked on the same routers
for IPTV deployment and really they are best!!!

Devang Patel

Whoa, excessive use of "!"...this isn't IOS ICMP output.

For those of you who want to have a chuckle, grep the word "exit" on
any of these fine 7750/7450 router configurations. Seeing a router
configuration that contains 10,000+ instances of the word "exit" makes
me recall the fine book FINAL EXIT. Seems like a poor mans version of
nesting with { }'s in JUNOS.

Some of my gripes on the Timetra (whens the last time Alcatel built
something themselves instead of acquire it?) box are that it really is
catered to installs where Alcatel is running the design side of the
network as well. The CLI is somewhat non-intuitive for IOS, IOS-XR or
JUNOS operations staff. Here are some examples:

Here in 2008, why are people buying boxes that do not support
candidate configuration or commit/rollback? The only thing you can
"commit" on the box is routing policy changes. I thought this was a
service provider box?

For years (this might not be the case anymore), any time you attempted
to use the short-form of the "show" command by typing "sh", you
received a syntax error. This is because there were two commands that
began with sh: show and shell. The problem is that the shell command
prompts you for a password that only Alcatel knows (and won't share
with any customers that I'm aware of). So, if your own customers cant
run the command, why give users a headache?

Its a router, why do I have to do "show router route" to see a routing
table entry? For years, you also had to suffix the command "exact" on
the end of every command as well.

Pricing wise...they're way above other boxes that you can find
elsewhere that can do the jobs you need. Both the Cisco 7600 and the
Juniper MX line both have a way better CLI and employ a knowledgeable
staff of seasoned former service provider engineers. Alcatel seems to
be comprised of failed router startup guys from Caspian or Chiaro.
Feature wise, they're behind the curve when it comes to competing with
Cisco and Juniper. I think this is also shown in how they name their
software releases as "Feature Groups" (telco-speak, anyone?).

The main thing I want to speak to is that this box is not made for
your clueful IP operator. Alcatel is very insistent that the customer
use their UNIX/Windows NMS (I believe they call the SAM) to interface
with the routers. Sorry but...that might fly in telcoland where
executives ooh and ahh over point-and-click network management, but I
think most operators are going to find it a tad bit useless.

Sure, they do have NSR, but so did Avici. Does NSR make up for the
lack of features, high pricing and being stuck at 20Gbps per slot?
Yes, they do have 40Gbps per slot on the way, but who doesn't support
40Gbps per slot today?

Why bother stepping back a few years in development when if you want a
solid P core box, Foundry MLX/XMR, Juniper MX, Cisco 7600s and CRS-1's
are ready now and at prices that really aren't all that bad. Oh yeah,
you wont scratch the hell out of your finger nails when removing the
compact flash on those boxes.

Drive slow, pinging 10(!!!!).

Hello,I appreciate all your feedback. I have also recieved more research
material from independent research institutes that give the products thumbs

Best regards


Raymondo .....

I guess you are bringing everyone together on the achieving resilience and "efficient" Load Balancing just in case the one path is temporarly unavailable ...... :slight_smile:

save a configuration to the NVRAM with the copy running-config startup -config command

You just have to send you syslog messages to /var/log/messages to a central point of management and avoid /dev/null :slight_smile:
The best practice would be to follow the same in all Cisco devices Catos or IOS based ones.

And again that is why management tools have their relevance and have cron jobs in place to keep the latest changes -accounting included)
but yes you are right we can always "grep" something out and find what has changed.

The commit concept is an interesting one and bring us back to the way they have compiled and allowed us "users" to fiddle around w/ the OS. Some versions not mentioned here
require the word "comit" to be typed after a stop/start of some services-PID. Let us say a gracefull reestart of the process ......

And yes the "old batle" ethernet vs ATM interfaces ....gosh ATM just had a "credit crunch" for the past years and ETHERNET standard knocked it down big time! Yes, the argument still standands ....if we want to take this further to the QoS/reliability ....I bet a lot of consultants would love an payed argument on this :slight_smile:

As far as I am aware there are still a few interopability issues going on w/ some vendors and Eth-IEEE P802.3ba 40Gb/s, specially w/ having features available such as 802.1q/vlans etc ...but the card is there and available for everyone to work on ....

And the world is moving to the 100 Gb Eth .....and so does IPv4 to IPv6.


Try out the GUI thing.

I know people will go "GUIs are for idiots!" and all that.

Seriously, try it before you knock it, it's really very very good, and doesn't try and hide things from you like traditional GUIs do. You can do XML stuff in to it for automated service provisioning etc. etc. etc. with templates, and so on. I've done quite a lot of this for lawful intercept, automated debugging of VoIP stuff, service provisioning, etc.

Switch out the hardware, and the GUI/mgmt system will give it the config it should have. This is all configurable, so it doesn't annoy you if you don't want it to.

Make changes in the CLI, and the GUI knows about it within a second or so - it gets an SNMP trap or something and updates accordingly. None of this periodic scan rubbish that you get with Dorado RMC etc.

The GUI product name is 5620SAM.

Also, before you try 7x50, do a training course so you understand how things work - thinking is quite different to Cisco/Juniper.

For example, in the 7450, VLANs:
- VLANs are specific only to a physical port, they are not per-box like Cisco etc.
- To build a L2 VLAN, you create a VLAN on each port that you want to hook up (numbers can be whatever you want, do not have to be the same on every port) and then create a L2 service[1], and add the VLANs on each port in to the L2 service.
- L2VPNs

Because of this, VLAN tag re-write is not an extra feature - it is a core component of how switching works across the platform.

They really seem to have thrown away a whole bunch of conventional thinking, and the result is, in my opinion, really quite good.

Try out the GUI thing.

I know people will go "GUIs are for idiots!" and all that.

Agree, the SAM is excellent, esp the XML interface to it.