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jmoore78
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Hardware Specs for Router

Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:26 pm

We are a wireless ISP that is currently running a switched network. At our NOC we have a tower with 9 Backhauls that currently connect to a cisco 2950 switch. We have a enough customer's now that it is time to look at routing to solve the common issues with broadcasts, port blocking, etc.... The issue is that I have never used MikroTik and have no idea what type of hardware I would need to perform the job.

The way I see it is that I would need 8 Ethernet Interfaces for the BackHaul Connectivity and 1 Ethernet Interface to connect to my Internet Router, preferrably all GigE interfaces. This router will be performing basic firewall rules, routing, DHCP relay, and may soon use OSPF when I put more routers at the tower locations in attempt to build redundant links.

We are currently pushing about 40M Down and 10M up bandwidth usage with all the links combined. I would like the ability to have mrtg or some type of bandwidth usage graphs running on this router too, if possible.

What type of hardware would you recommend to handle the job? CPU, RAM, Drive Space, Ethernet Card?


Thanks,

J
 
jmoore78
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:50 am

Anyone?
 
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Letni
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:55 am

If it were me in the same situation I would:
Build a PC to act as the core router.
Intel chipset board like this X7DBE-X
Dual Core Xeon Processor
3 x Intel Pro/1000 GT Quad Port Ethernet Server Adapter
Cheapest/reliable Sata drive
512M Ram

Something like this will give you some room to grow.
I use a PC as our core router. I can _not_ guarantee any of that equipment that I recommended will work.. but it is the most reasonable to work.

Would probably need to use MT V3 to even boot off of a SATA drive. Good part is you can put it together and install a trial MT OS on it and test it... If the OS won't work you can then reuse the hardware somewhere else or sell it off.

For a pre-engineered box you can try http://www.mikrotikrouter.com/ His stuff is a bit out of my price range but he boasts "Industrial Grade"...

-Louis
 
0ldman
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:06 am

I agree for the most part, but the performance difference between a Xeon and any desktop chip by Intel is small, to say the least, especially when compared to the price.

You could take a good board (MSI, BIOStar, Abit, DFI) with a basic Core 2 Duo @ 1.6GHz and do the same for a few hundred less. The Xeon has little to offer that the Core 2 Duo can't match, and most boards require ECC memory, to further push the price difference. Even at 1.6GHz, the Core 2 Duo is a monster. Aside from the socket and motherboard support, the only real thing the Xeon has over the C2D (assuming the same generation) is more advanced prefetching, which I don't think will enter into the situation often when used for bandwidth management and routing.

As a matter of fact, if heat is a concern, get a board that supports a Pentium M Core Duo or Core 2 Duo Mobile chip. The mobile chips are better steppings and handle the heat far better while running on lower voltage.
 
jmoore78
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:54 pm

As far as the drive is concerned I have read where a lot of people are using the SATA CF Drives? What are the advantages/disadvantages of this compared to just an SATA internall?

Also when you say V3, I am assuming you mean V3 minimum?


J
 
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Letni
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:38 am

A SATA CF would be fine. The downside of CF is that it does not like a lot of writes.

I still use 2.9 on all of our production gear. My understanding is that 2.9 only has support for IDE devices. If your motherboard _only_ has sata drive ports you will need to use v3 or higher.

-Louis
 
0ldman
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:55 am

I'm speaking from PC experience here, not ROS, but quite a few motherboards with SATA show SATA devices as an IDE bus in XP. No further drivers required.

It may depend on the board itself. It certainly does in XP.
 
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roadrunner
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:06 am

Mikrotik RouterOS includes MRTG style graphs for Interfaces, Queues & Resources (CPU,Mem,Disk).

For 40M down & 10Mbit up, you could use a routerboard. It would use less power than a PC router for longer UPS runtimes.
A rb600 & rb564 daughterboard would give you 3 Gigabit & 6 10/100 ethernet ports.
Or you could use a rb1000 and your Cisco 2950 for the better performance.

If you would prefer to use a PC based router here are my recommendations:
I am assuming you don't need wireless directly on this machine, just ethernet ports.

Use a server quality motherboard from Tyan, Supermicro, or Intel.
I haven't used them but ASUS also has server motherboards.
If you use a consumer board from DFI, BIOStar, etc. the onboard ethernet may not be supported in RouterOS.
The Server boards normally have Intel or Broadcom Gigabit chips.
For Intel processors, use a board with one of these Intel chipsets: 3200, 3210, G33, G35, Q33, P35 or even X38, these all support 1333 FSB.

For the CPU either use Xeon 3000 series or Core2Duo Series for a good price/ power/ performance balance.
One CPU that would be nice, if you can find it, is the Core2Duo E8400, it runs cool and fast.
Don't use a quad core processor, RouterOS doesn't need that much power.
Mobile processors may be lower power, but they are not easily found in socket 775.

128MB of RAM might be plenty, but it might be cheaper to just get 512 or 1024MB.
For storage space 64MB should be enough unless you are running UserManager or Caching Proxy.
If you want flash storage use one of these: IDE DOM, Compact Flash on IDE adapter, or CF on SATA adapter.
USB Flash should work on RouterOS v3, but I would avoid it until there is more feedback from others with success using it.
If you use a hard drive, don't use a used spare hard drive that you have laying around the office.
Buy a new quality hard drive that should last longer than that used drive you have laying around.
For the lower power either use a flash drive or a 2.5" laptop sized hard drive.
For the highest durability in hard drives look at the Seagate EE25 series.

You were asking for Gigabit ports, but with 40/10Mbit, do you need Gigabit on all ports? Would Gigabit uplink be enough?
If you just want a lot of 10/100 ports add 3 x rb44 4 port 10/100 cards. Or perhaps the rb44GV 10/100/1000 gigabit versions.
Intel also makes a nice 4 port gigabit card.
 
ste
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:50 am

Hi,

I would go with RB1000. This device is more than
fast enough to do the job. Included is a ROS licence
to do BGP. And it´s small and does not carry the
unneeded PC stuff onboard
Using Vlans you get more flexibility and you need only
one port of the RB1000. I would invest the saved money
in a Gbit switch. Linksys does a great job for me.

Stefan
 
rboerom
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Re: Hardware Specs for Router

Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:29 pm

I agree with the RB1000 or get a small Dell Server with good warranty and same day service.

use all CF no harddrives.
and the RB44G 2 of them.

This should get you going.

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