[j-nsp] MX104 capabilities question

James Jun james at towardex.com
Tue Jun 7 19:37:56 EDT 2016

On Tue, Jun 07, 2016 at 10:56:23PM +0000, Adam Vitkovsky wrote:
> >
> One thing I'm not clear about MX104 and MX80 is, are there two TRIO chips or just one?

There is only 1 NPU on both platforms.

My problem with MX104 is the same 'practical-use-case' scenario and port economics you described.

While MX104 provides simpler design and less things to potentially fail, when I need to deploy a peering router with acceptable 10G port density, ASR 9k tends to be more cost-effective and useful IMO; and then, there is that slow BGP performance issue on MX104, which does not exist on ASR9001.

Saku did raise one important point though a few weeks earlier in c-nsp regarding ASR 9001 -- it is 32-bit; and with IOS-XR moving to 64-bit architecture, the future of 9001 as a platform is questionable when making new purchasing decisions.  It certainly is something to think about.

But let's talk price here, specifically port costs.

To achieve 8x 10GE on MX104, you need built-in 4x10GE unlock port license, and then you need two MIC-3D-2XGE-XFP, which by themselves are priced like licenses (router ports aren't cheap).  By the time you're done pricing out an MX104 loaded up to 8x 10GE interfaces with just single RE (but two PSUs), you might as well pick up an ASR 9006 with a single MOD80 card to match the configuration as closely as possible to a loaded MX104.  This is what we ended up doing to replace an aging MX80 router doing peering.  Plus, on 9006, you get a real control-plane that is directly comparable to that of MX240/480 (RSP440 or 880) that has no problems doing heavy BGP work.

Given that MX104 only has half the NPU of what 9001 offers, plus lower bandwidth, plus craptastic convergence speed, I would expect the price to be competitively lower, not exactly same or slightly higher than that of comparable ASR9k box, which in practice functions just fine doing heavy BGP.  We don't need GRE tunnels on our peering routers, we just need MPLS 1-label imposition/disposition, IGP, fast BGP convergence, and acceptable 10GE port costs--that it.. it's not too much to ask for.  For us at least, ASR9K meets that; MX104 does not.


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