What routers do folks use these days?

We're a service provider, and we have a network full of Cat6509's. We are finding that we are outgrowing them from the standpoint of their ability to handle lots of large routing tables. Obviously their switching capability is still superb but one of them with 20 peers is starting to groan a bit and RAM is going to be an issue soon.

What do people use these days? Our backbone needs in the next 2-3 years are going to be sub-100Gbps.


Look at Juniper, MX Series.


If you're staying Cisco, probably the ASR1000 series, or the ASR9K,
depending on needs.

You probably don't need CSR routers if you're not going to 100Gbps.

Cisco ASR 9000, Juniper MX, Huawei NE40E, Alcatel-Lucent 7750, those kinds of routers are the ones I hear people using. Some go for the new Sup2T for the 6500, but I don't know how much more CPU it has compared to your SUP/RSP720, perhaps someone else knows?

Make sure you get something that, unlike the pre-Sup2T 6500/7600, has operationally useful NetFlow, ACLs, and uRPF.

Hi Mikael,

Some go for the new Sup2T for the 6500, but I don't know how much more CPU it has compared to your SUP/RSP720, perhaps someone else knows?

The Sup2T I worked on has:

CPU: MPC8572_E, Version: 2.2, (0x80E80022)
CORE: E500, Version: 3.0, (0x80210030)
CPU:1500MHz, CCB:600MHz, DDR:600MHz

Compared to a Sup720:

SR71000 CPU at 600Mhz, Implementation 0x504, Rev 1.2, 512KB L2 Cache

Needless to say, working on the Sup2T is wonderful compared to the Sup720 :slight_smile:


Check the Brocade MLXe series. We (Init7 / AS13030) are using them and
the previous XMR series for years and are happy with it. CLI is
Cisco-look-and-feel, the software tree has a clear structure (unlike
Cisco with hundreds of versions) and the TAC is willing to ssh into your
gear to assist.

If you are looking to stay with Cisco, and depending on features you want, you'll be interested in the ASR1ks and ASR9ks.


We are using Juniper MX and Brocade XMRs for our P and PE routers.


Juniper throughout on our side now … former Cisco shop. Overall, quite happy …. MX,M,E,EX,SRX etc…


We use Juniper, Cisco, and ALU in different roles. All of them have their
quirks and bugs but none have been a big enough issue to seriously look at
moving away from them. We use the MX, PTX, EX, SRX on the Junipers and
mainly 7600/ASR9K/Nexus for Cisco and 7750 for ALU.

What are you doing on your network today with regards to routing protocols
and services? Chances are the 9K/MX/7750 could work in your network fine.
The 7750 doesn't easily support the notion of a SVI if you make extensive
use of those. The 9K didn't at FCS but does now. The OS is completely
different for all three so there is some learning curve.

The MX and 9K both have new generations that just came out with the
MX2010/2020 and ASR99xx boxes, but for your needs the older chassis would
work fine.


+1 for Brocade MLXe. Good Price. Good stuff. Good TAC.

+1 for Brocade MLXe. Used on our edge and *knock on wood* have not had any issues with it ever. Full BGP routing table, multiple VRFs, QoS / bandwidth management.

We also have a few Brocade CER series routers, which are awesome as well for metro edge. And for political reasons a bunch of Cisco Nexus/Cat4500 gear in the core...



+1 for MX or ASR 9000.

Cisco ASR 9000, Juniper MX, Huawei NE40E, Alcatel-Lucent 7750, those kinds
of routers are the ones I hear people using. Some go for the new Sup2T for
the 6500, but I don't know how much more CPU it has compared to your
SUP/RSP720, perhaps someone else knows?

Cat6500 Sup720 was a platform that used two separate processors; 1 Switch
Processor CPU at 600mhz managing Layer 2 services, and 1 Route processor
CPU at 600MHz on the MSFC to run the Layer 3 services. these were MIPS
CPUs --- sr71000.

Cat650 Sup2T is shown as a single Dual core, 1.5GHz per Core cpu. There
is one processor stack on the 2T, instead of two separate CPUs; since
route processor and switch processor are now combined into one shared
processing unit under the new "merged" architecture that runs only one IOS
image, that controls both RP and SP features ---- Layer 2, Layer 3, and
management services do not run on separate processors, with their own
separate hw anymore.

So the CPU is beefier --- but it is also now shared by multiple functions
that previously had separate, isolated processing from one another.

I believe the Sup2T are using a E500 PowerPC chip.
In any event, neither old nor new are based on x86 architecture --- keep
in mind, that comparison of MHz or GHz CPU frequency rates is only
meaningful within the same CPU architecture.

There are not significant increases in FIB TCAM, or other important memory
capacities from RSP720, that you would expect to need for scalability to
larger tables.

Even with 2T I would still describe the 65xx as largely a great switching
platform, for 10/100/1000 aggregation -- due to limited chassis
bandwidth: its days would seem to be numbered once desktops are sporting 10
gigabit links: definitely not (IMO) the best hardware router platform
for carrying large routing tables at the ISP edge, anyways.

+2 for Brocade MLXe we use them globally now for almost 3 years and are very happy with them !!

Brocade Rocks !! period !!

Kindest Regards

James Braunegg
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Same here using MX routers and Brocade
+1 for MX due to the "unix" shell =)

Med vänlig hälsning
Andreas Larsen

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-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----

Brocade MLXe with the XMR cards is a good choice, yes, but -1 for
"What do you mean that this feature isn't fully implemented yet?? It's
been in common use among other vendors for better than 10 years!"
They're a lot better than they were but still a bit lagging.


Even with a single chip architecture the overall scale performance is WAY
better than Sup720. Hell, even RSP720 was a huge improvement in scale

I know the question was specifically about CPU but Sup2T is also a
different forwarding ASIC allowing it to do natively things Sup720
couldn't, like VPLS and EVC

I would agree that Sup2t wouldn't be my first choice in ISP Edge. From
Cisco, ASR9k or ASR1k depending on bandwidth needs.


disclaimer: I work for Cisco.

Based on what?