Cat 4500 or 7200 w/ NPE-G2 for Gb+ Internet traffic

Unanswered Question
Apr 30th, 2009

Hi,

We have a client who is looking at potentially doing 1+Gb Internet traffic - We are considering dedicated hardware for the upstream feed, and back to client hardware.

Would like opinions on the most cost affective hardware for this solution.

Upstream would provide default route only via eBGP, and we would only advertise single /24.

Would port-chans(Multiple Gb ports) be best option to upstream, and back to client hardware?

Thanks in advance for suggestions.

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Giuseppe Larosa Fri, 05/01/2009 - 00:53

Hello John,

if you need to receive only a default route on the eBGP session a multilayer switch can be a better choice.

Be aware that a C4500 has less features and that for example doesn't support NAT (only C6500 with sup720 can support NAT).

on the other hand a C7200 with NPE-G2 has more features (including NAT) and can handle a bigger BGP table but you cannot expect it to be able to support multiple GE line rate bidirectional.

It is still a software based router even if the main cpu is powerful

if you are concerned with traffic volume as I see you think of GE port-channels C7200 cannot handle this level.

Hope to help

Giuseppe

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 05/01/2009 - 03:59

Assuming Ethernet handoff for the gig, the most cost effective solution would likely be a small L3 switch, either a LAN oriented switch or a Metro Ethernet L3 switch.

A 4500 could certainly handle gig, although much more expensive than a smaller L3 switch. A 7200 with G2, I believe, is borderline. For gig, better router choices might be a 7304 with NSE-150 or an ASR.

johnelliot6 Fri, 05/01/2009 - 14:05

Thanks - So a 3560 would be suitable?

Would Portchans(2 x Gb Ports) -> Upstream, and -> Client be the best option?

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 05/01/2009 - 16:50

"So a 3560 would be suitable? "

It might. Much depends on your feature needs.

"Would Portchans(2 x Gb Ports) -> Upstream, and -> Client be the best option? "

Port channels might work okay too, however keep in mind channel hashing, insure an algorithm is supported for your traffic (both directions).

johnelliot6 Fri, 05/01/2009 - 18:13

Thanks Joseph.

Features - eBGP to upstream, only receiving default route, and only advertising single /24, and L3 Link to client equipment.

Without going to a 10Gb interface, what other options do you suggest to achieve greater than 1Gb?(i.e. What would best practice be in this circumstance?)

Could you please also elaborate on the shortcommings of PortChan

Thanks again for you feedback.

Joseph W. Doherty Sat, 05/02/2009 - 03:51

"Features - eBGP to upstream, only receiving default route, and only advertising single /24, and L3 Link to client equipment. "

For just those features, alone, a 3560 with advanced IP services IOS might be sufficient.

"Without going to a 10Gb interface, what other options do you suggest to achieve greater than 1Gb?(i.e. What would best practice be in this circumstance?)

Could you please also elaborate on the shortcommings of PortChan "

If you really need to provide more than single gig, you don't have many options beyond multiple links or a higher bandwidth link (e.g. 10 gig). For multiple links, they could be bonded somehow, e.g. MLPPP or port channel, or separate routed links.

Best practice varies on the circumstances (often what's available). If you're working with a ISP, often you might route across multiple links. With CEF, you might achieve a better static load balancing vs. a port channel. With routing and OER/PfR, you can also achieve dynamic load balancing (feature not supported on most L3 switches).

Another option, instead of having 2x bandwidth, might be to better manage your 1x bandwidth with QoS. However, most ISPs want to provide (sell) you bandwidth.

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