[c-nsp] Experiences with the performance of Foundy Bigiron 8000 VS a Cisco 12000 & redundancy question

Gunther Stammwitz gstammw at gmx.net
Tue Nov 30 19:53:58 EST 2004

Hello my dear colleagues,
first of all let me say: yes - I know this is a Cisco-only mailing list but
my question is directly connected to Cisco so please give me a chance.
I'm CCing the foundry-nsp list here and hope that my cross post doesn't
disturb anyone but will help to find people who have experience with cisco
as well as foundry gear.

We're trying to increase our redundancy and I'm trying to decide whether it
is better to buy a Foundry Bigiron 8000 in addition to our existing Cisco
GSR8/40 or if - maybe - a second Cisco would be the better choice.

At the moment we have a GSR8/40 that is full redundant and utilizes 2 GRPs
with 256 MB ram and we're using GE-GBIC-SC-B line cards and they match our
requirements which are to handle about 200 megabits of traffic AND to
sustain a hard (d)dos-attack which might be up to a gigabit of fragmented
traffic. I'm talking about ipv4 traffic of course which will be routed in
hardware. I know that ipv6 is a software-only thing on our "old" line cards
but for the moment that's okay.
Regarding the current discussion of the growing bgp tables: I know that we
will sooner or later run into problems regarding the memory.. but that's not
the topic right now.
In order to increase our redundancy we'd like to install a second router.
My first thought was to buy another GSR 8/40 but this time with a GRP-B that
has 512MB of ram but in connection with the required line card(s) this will
be pretty expensive.
A colleague just showed me his Foundry BigIron that was equipped with a
B4GMR4 M4 Management Module that carries 512MB ram and 4 gigabit ports.
[by the way: with 4 full feeds only about 40% of the memory are in use.
Looks like they have a better software than Cisco]
>From the economic perspective the bigiron 8000 is very interesting: costs
only about a third of the Cisco and does even have 4 Gigabit ports!
He told me that the router does "line speed" and can sustain dos-attacks of
more than a gigabit without any problems but that was all he knew. The
datasheets on Foundry's website are more the marketing like stuff.

by the way: the gsr as well as the bigiron can both do VRRP. Will both
implementations work together in one vrrp-installation?
==> Does anyone have a real experience with Foundry Bigiron-gear and know
how good/bad it runs compared to Cisco.
I'm asking myself right now whether to buy another Cisco which is good since
I know how to administer the gear and you can find a external technician
easily. We could also exchange line cards between both routers. A big CON is
that it is exactly the same gear we have right now and if there's an ios
fault most probably both machines will fail.
What do you think?
First of all: can the foundry handle the load and second: what's the better
solution in order to increase our redundancy?
Thanks for your help in advance,

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