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nkourtzis
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Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:39 pm

Dear Mikrotik,

As market is slowly moving towards 802.11ad (60GHz) for indoor use, 4x4 802.11n/ac implementations and the availability of FTTH becomes broader, dual-core CPUs clocked up to 1.4GHz are also increasingly used in Home and SOHO routers. I just got my hands on a hAP AC and I can't help feeling that Mikrotik is kinda falling behind in the hardware department, at least CPU-wise.

C'm on guys, single-core 720MHz MIPS overclocked to the max? How much REAL TCP traffic can this chip handle before maxing out, with a few packet mangle rules and filters into play? Ok, I realize that the ARM version of RouterOS is far from ready for serious production use, but you already have a dual-core PPC platform out for a couple of years now, why haven't you invested more in it?

I absolutely love your work on RouterOS; you rock, you are kings, there is absolutely no contest there, even with the occasional glitches. But the awesome power of your software begs for respectively high power in the hardware (CPU) department. I kinda feel you have neglected that. Maybe you are being held back by specific alliances. If this is the case, you may need to reconsider.

Sincerely
Nicholas Kourtzis
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:57 pm

IMHO, you're failing in the nets of typical SOHO marketing selling tactics.

Have you actually tested the Hap AC instead of comparing specs?

The proof is in the puddle: to provide an example based on the same device you mentioned, Hap AC, four of them were deployed on last Ljubljana MUM conference hall, and each averaged 150 registered stations.

Now try the same with one of those "super-duper" SOHO market routers that will be phased out in three months. Not to mention reliability and stability, firmware continued support, features, etc.

Regarding real TCP throughput you have the results of Xena2544 tests on each routerboard product page, see http://routerboard.com/RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT

Have in mind MIPS is probably the more optimized hardware platform RouterOS runs on.

ARM platform was probably picked out to be able to compete in the CPU department, Routerboards are aimed at the "Disruptive Technologies" segment, and ARM is clearly the platform with greater mass production (i.e. lower prices) and better projection forecast; Do you really think PPC has any future from this point of view?
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:28 pm

Let's not forget that powerpc is alive and well in other domains, like automotive, where arm and mips have not penetrated yet. So that platform is far from being dead, and more and more powerful cores are available. So I would not dismisst powerpc as a possible midrange platform.
On the other hand, multicore intel atoms with dedicated networking and routing support are also out there, and others are on the drawing board...
I would say, this segment certainly will become more interestig in the near future.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:02 pm

I agree, not saying than PPC is dead, but prices and lineup variety in its offer (also continuous improvements in performance) are driven by actual and prospective sales; and the market ARM is ruling (mobile, etc) isn't comparable with the rest, let alone automotive which I'd say is on the opposite side: used to incur in costs for components which would be plainly outrageous for the general computing industry; the final price and profit margin are night and day.

One of the starting criteria for Mikrotik when planning for a new product is price; some PPC models price range/features etc will be suitable for mid-line models, and as you both point out is an optimized and stable ROS platform, but I think it will depend on PPC market offer vs ARM and Tilera alternatives.

Supporting two new platforms (Tilera and ARM) implies a huge effort for an embedded device hardware/software manufacturer in this price range market segment, so no doubt Mikrotik has a vested interest on PPC suitability for its lineup; if it's not happening isn't due to some sort of conspiracy but lack of suitability and projection.

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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:51 pm

When I look at the hAP AC, everything about it tells me that its primary intended function is as a simple, but robust access point. As a bridging access point, it has what it needs to forward full-speed AC wireless to/from the wired network. I don't think it was built to be an all-in-one box that is a FTTH router + access point + fancy firewall + + + + +

It's the community that looks at the feature set of ROS and thinks that this must mean that this box should be able to work with all of the features turned on. I see the SFP port and 5-port switched ethernet group as "useful in some situations" - not as an open invitation to load this sucker up with as much as possible.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:42 am

@ZeroByte: couldn't agree more...

Residential Lines bandwidth is no longer 2 figure numbers, Wireless bandwidth is also increased, rendering the "one router/AP does it all" approach less effective than ever.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:21 pm

Even taking that argument into account, the hAP AC becomes bottlenecked by CPU in AP only mode. The SOHO hardware is definitely lagging behind the competition, the fact that the software is so stable is the only thing that keeps me coming back :D.
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:35 pm

Bottlenecked in AP only mode? What do you mean?
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:47 pm

The proof is in the puddle: to provide an example based on the same device you mentioned, Hap AC, four of them were deployed on last Ljubljana MUM conference hall, and each averaged 150 registered stations.
Has MikroTik shared the configuration and RouterOS version they were using on those Hap ACs? I am interested in using the same model for an upcoming conference but am a bit nervous about using such a new device for such an important crowd.
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:15 pm

The proof is in the puddle: to provide an example based on the same device you mentioned, Hap AC, four of them were deployed on last Ljubljana MUM conference hall, and each averaged 150 registered stations.
Has MikroTik shared the configuration and RouterOS version they were using on those Hap ACs? I am interested in using the same model for an upcoming conference but am a bit nervous about using such a new device for such an important crowd.
I used the same setup in Bangladesh MUM with 650 people. We had one hAP ac, simply enabled Guest Mode in the Quickset. Basically default config. Worked very well. We had a flawless live video stream though the same device.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:44 pm

I used the same setup in Bangladesh MUM with 650 people. We had one hAP ac, simply enabled Guest Mode in the Quickset. Basically default config. Worked very well. We had a flawless live video stream though the same device.
Impressive! Were you using the wireless-cm package?
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:55 pm

I used the same setup in Bangladesh MUM with 650 people. We had one hAP ac, simply enabled Guest Mode in the Quickset. Basically default config. Worked very well. We had a flawless live video stream though the same device.
Impressive! Were you using the wireless-cm package?
Yes, of course. Surely not all people were connected at once. The hAP ac is dual band, so some 70% were using 2GHz, others used the 5GHz. Around 100 were connected at the same time.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:35 am

Bottlenecked in AP only mode? What do you mean?
The CPU becomes maxed out before the 802.11ac interface reaches maximum throughput. There's several reports in the hAP AC announcement thread. Hopefully the upcoming newer wireless drivers will improve efficiency.
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:22 am

Bottlenecked in AP only mode? What do you mean?
The CPU becomes maxed out before the 802.11ac interface reaches maximum throughput. There's several reports in the hAP AC announcement thread. Hopefully the upcoming newer wireless drivers will improve efficiency.
I'm also hoping that there will be driver and efficiency improvements, especially since upload and download seems to generate a different amount of CPU load.

But as it currently stands, these limits only occur around 500 to 550Mbit of AC wireless throughput, something I've only been able to achieve in "lab" conditions. So I do not believe it's something to worry about. Actual radio connections will almost never be able to reach that limit anyway.

Also, while testing NAT and AC wireless throughput it turns out that even while doing NAT the hAP AC was still capable of doing the 550Mbit AC traffic.

In CAPsMAN mode a bit more CPU would have been nice, using CAPsMAN it's limited to ~300 to 350Mbit because of CPU.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:40 pm

When I look at the hAP AC, everything about it tells me that its primary intended function is as a simple, but robust access point.
i guess wAP ac will be the robust AP, and hAP ac will remain the universal workhorse for many.
it performs really nice with 3 figure bandwidth as well.

on the other hand, the up-to-1gbps access speed must be somehow supported by the ISP's backbone as well.
we do some serious stuff here (with other vendors boxes though) the external links carry 600+gbps peak traffic, but the averaged speed per active customer is still below 1Mbps. :-)

ok, there are bursts, and the device must support it. soon my access will be upgraded to 24ch DOCSIS3.1.
but i think my trusty old RB2011 can handle it. but i'll have a hAP ac around to see some comparison.

if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:06 am

if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
This +

- 802.3af/at PoE out models
- Full Size USB port with proper 5volt output

Something to compete with the Juniper EX2200-C-12P-2G, and the Cisco 3560CX-12PC-S from Mikrotik would be awesome!

We could deploy a single unit to branch offices for routing, LTE failover, switching and powering of access points, phones and IP cameras.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:48 pm

Regarding real TCP throughput you have the results of Xena2544 tests on each routerboard product page, see http://routerboard.com/RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT
And throw a few firewall rules on there, and watch what happens then...

Even the CCR with 10G interfaces, *battles* *severely* to do more than 4Gbps....

On paper these devices looks very good, in practice, I'm sorry to say I'm with the OP - it's an COMPLETELY different ball game.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:14 pm


ok, there are bursts, and the device must support it. soon my access will be upgraded to 24ch DOCSIS3.1.
but i think my trusty old RB2011 can handle it. but i'll have a hAP ac around to see some comparison.
I think you mean 3.0. 750/75 should be about the maximum for RB2011 with fasttrack.
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:39 pm

Regarding real TCP throughput you have the results of Xena2544 tests on each routerboard product page, see http://routerboard.com/RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT
And throw a few firewall rules on there, and watch what happens then...

Even the CCR with 10G interfaces, *battles* *severely* to do more than 4Gbps....

On paper these devices looks very good, in practice, I'm sorry to say I'm with the OP - it's an COMPLETELY different ball game.
Tests include different packet sizes done with several rules...

So far, even on a device like RB951G it actually exceeds those Xena tests in combination with fasttrack, this on a 60 rules firewall ruleset.

That being said, ROS still needs optimizations to reach CCRs full potential, which ROS v7 will hopefully bring.

Can you provide specific routerboards models / rsc / tests / situations you have done to be able to emit such a taxative conclusion? so far published Xena tests have been very useful for me to size in advance...

And speaking of the CCR1072, 4Gbps you mentioned is even more than the worst-case scenario published figure (64byte packets w/ 25 ip filter rules between 2-3Gbps), those are synthetic tests that need extrapolation for your usage scenario and traffic patterns, just don't look at the highest number you can locate and hope for the best...
Last edited by pukkita on Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:05 am

Well I also have problem with maxing out CPU in RB2011 below gigabit - around 68 MB/s, something like that - during NAS access and it's quite meh but on the other hand... I don't think it's that bad for 120$ swiss-knife router+wifi+10/100 switch+everything with touch screen, sfp usb, super-duper OS... so on so on... I'll probably consider upgrading to some entry level CCR1009. On the other hand I think it's quite weird that I need to get such tough router for home usage just to reach gigabit to NAS :D because 3011 is not available in desktop case. Yeah i know i could use switch chip but nah I'm using NAT and firewall between various subnets at home just in case home server would get compromised, so in some places i do have gigabit but not everywhere. So i think CPUs in RB could be a liiiiiitle bit better. Still in love with 2011 as it was my first MT :P
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:20 am

Well I also have problem with maxing out CPU in RB2011 below gigabit - around 68 MB/s, something like that - during NAS access and it's quite meh but on the other hand... I don't think it's that bad for 120$ swiss-knife router+wifi+10/100 switch+everything with touch screen, sfp usb, super-duper OS... so on so on... I'll probably consider upgrading to some entry level CCR1009. On the other hand I think it's quite weird that I need to get such tough router for home usage just to reach gigabit to NAS :D because 3011 is not available in desktop case. Yeah i know i could use switch chip but nah I'm using NAT and firewall between various subnets at home just in case home server would get compromised, so in some places i do have gigabit but not everywhere. So i think CPUs in RB could be a liiiiiitle bit better. Still in love with 2011 as it was my first MT :P
Just to clarify 68MB = 544 Megabits or Mb

Also, are you using the highest L2/L3 MTU possible on the LAN segment? It makes a big difference and if you're only using 1500 bytes, that's probably why you're stuck at half of a gig.

You can raise the MTU on the LAN segment for higher LAN speeds and still use 1500 bytes for the Interwebz :-)
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:08 am

Just to clarify 68MB = 544 Megabits or Mb

Also, are you using the highest L2/L3 MTU possible on the LAN segment? It makes a big difference and if you're only using 1500 bytes, that's probably why you're stuck at half of a gig.

You can raise the MTU on the LAN segment for higher LAN speeds and still use 1500 bytes for the Interwebz :-)
Oh that's interesting. I have 1600 something L2 MTU. I didn't notice option to change it anywhere I thought it's device dependent, as in static, but I'll try to find something about it. Thanks for head up. :)

[EDIT:] Aw snap, interface is bridged with wifi for ARP (for WOL) so bridge L2 MTU is capped at 1600 :C
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:26 am

When I look at the hAP AC, everything about it tells me that its primary intended function is as a simple, but robust access point.
if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
definitively

it never rains to everyone's taste

some say that hap ac cpu is not enough for an ap with 6 gigabit Ethernet ports

and now you say you think is powerful enough for a device with 10 or more gigabit Ethernet interfaces

i think you guys are asking for a very difficult situation where vendors offer a device perfectly fitted for your very specific and unique niche requirement

i think that will not happen, because vendors have to design a finite model quantity to cover the most important selling points without leaving spot without cover.

There is no the perfect device for an implementation because there is impossible, if a device is perfectly enough for a requirement, just in 6 months this device will be overloaded.

In networking is normal to have to buy a 24 port switch if you need only 17 ports, not request a vendor to make a 17 port Ethernet switch which fit yo your specific requirement

Networking devices are very integrated to make it viable and cheap to manufacture because that any modular device in the market is very expensive

You want cheap devices? that will be fixed and fully integrated

You want flexibility and modularity? well you will have to pay for it
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:09 am

if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
- CRS125 should be more or less enough for a 750/75 connection with fasttrack.
- hAP ac is a bit below 1000, so it is not really interesting for CRS
- 850Gx2 can handle 1000 for a bit more, so it's good
- 3011 ARM is a bit expensive. Power is wasted without SFP+ WAN
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:29 pm

if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
forgot to add, wAP AC is in the way... http://mum.mikrotik.com/presentations/E ... 407120.pdf
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:46 pm

if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
- CRS125 should be more or less enough for a 750/75 connection with fasttrack.
- hAP ac is a bit below 1000, so it is not really interesting for CRS
- 850Gx2 can handle 1000 for a bit more, so it's good
- 3011 ARM is a bit expensive. Power is wasted without SFP+ WAN
Scratch that. USB 3.0 is a must.
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:52 am

if i could ask something for the so-ho segment, it would be the CPU of hAP ac in a CRS. or a dual core arm in a CRS.
then throw in som wAP acs, and call it a day.
forgot to add, wAP AC is in the way... http://mum.mikrotik.com/presentations/E ... 407120.pdf
wAP AC is cool. When is it planned to arrive? Will wait for it as a replacement for crappy Unifi AP AC I bought a year ago. Btw, why Mtk uses such design for AP and not common UFO like?
 
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:58 am

Btw, why Mtk uses such design for AP and not common UFO like?
why try to do the same as others? wAP is smaller.
wAP ac will ship to distributors in second half of april, approximately
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:05 pm

wAP AC is cool. When is it planned to arrive? Will wait for it as a replacement for crappy Unifi AP AC I bought a year ago. Btw, why Mtk uses such design for AP and not common UFO like?
wAP also has a nice touch as they come from factory: anti-tamper torx screws, protecting access to the ethernet cable.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:09 pm

Btw, why Mtk uses such design for AP and not common UFO like?
why try to do the same as others? wAP is smaller.
wAP ac will ship to distributors in second half of april, approximately
Good News. What is the estimated cost?
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:45 pm

Btw, why Mtk uses such design for AP and not common UFO like?
why try to do the same as others? wAP is smaller.
No offense. Just asking. :)
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:21 am

Been begging for waps for years now.

I am constantly asked to compete against ubnt in bids. Enough competition in my area that users are "requesting" it. Meaning they have received the same hardware on multiple bids.

With the UAP AC Pro being indoor/outdoor 3×3 AC @US $150.

I need the mAP AC to beat this.

We don't sell the UniF__k line. Tik for routing and Ruckus for wireless, has been our policy for a few years now. But ruckus pricing and that odd promo they ran, is really going to "mess with the brand."

We couldn't use Tik for wireless because of the lack of dual band support. Been waiting years at this point, to have a solution we didn't have to cobble together.

Would love a spec sheet and price please.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:08 pm

@gotsprings: why don't use a Hap AC housed on a RF Elements StationBox InSpot? (indoors)

Budget would be slightly more if not the same or even less depending on quantity bought, radio specs are much better, plus you have poe-out which can be really handy on restricted cabling scenarios.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:26 pm

Have had a hAP AC on order for a while now. My usual suppliers don't seem to have received them yet.
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Re: Some sincere thoughts about Mikrotik hardware...

Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:58 pm

Have had a hAP AC on order for a while now. My usual suppliers don't seem to have received them yet.
Everyone is about a month out it seems.

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