Routers vs. PC's for routing - was list problems?

And that's MY real question. Who has actually done this in a production
environment that can speak with some real experience on the topic? What
can you replace with a linux box to route and run BGP for you in real
life? A 7200? Bigger.

I don't have the facilities to try these things out for real, and
frankly would be worried about the uptime and finding the RIGHT PC
hardware that isn't complete junk.

So I guess it's really two questions: what is a PC capable of replacing
as far as throughput goes, and just how reliable can a clone (or pick
your manufacturer) be compared to a unit that was designed by electronic
engineers to function as a 24x7 mission critical box?

I've done it in a production environment and unless money was
extremely tight I wouldn't consider doing it again. You will
save on capital expediture but you need an army of resources
to support it. When I did it, it was on NetBSD running GateD 3.x.x.
And it supported in both cases two of the largest ISPs in Europe.

There are more options now with Linux and Zebra etc but don't
underestimate having to deal with PC issues and Unix issues.
If your running LINUX you have to be subscribed to a million email
lists to get an idea of issues etc and that takes up time. Anything
above 200M-300Mbps then forget it, but as a cheap ethernet router
its fine, and if it doesn't work you can always reuse the machines.

I strongly recommend using an AWARD bios machine - everything else
that I used had PCI bus timing issues. [ASUS motherboards were a good
choice also].


Good point, I also did this for cash reasons and would just buy hardware
on the used market today. As far as OS, I was using stripped down FreeBSD.
I started with Linux, but at the time they did not support radix trees so
routing tables killed the box. If I HAD to do it again I would still say
away from Linux.