Friday, April 07, 2006

Old Intel server means a new router

I've been hearing about a lot of people taking our software and putting it on an old Intel-based server for trials and demos. In our minds, this is a great use of a server that may have reached the end of it's usefulness as a compute platform. As our performance tests have shown, you don't really need a high end CPU to get good routing and forwarding rates using commodity hardware. In fact, as many of you have pointed out, you don't need any proprietary hardware at all!

Thanks to Derick Winkworth who ran a series of performance tests on commodity Dell boxes and posted the results here.

This reuse of older Intel-based servers has me thinking about how service provider could cycle their old compute platforms to new network infrastructure and get more life out of their investment. A 20th century 1Ghz Intel-based server with 256MB of RAM would serve nicely as a Fast Ethernet/DS-3 router and firewall. New sites and services could be deployed for practically no capital expense! And, when you combine running the Vyatta OFR with a XenSource/VMware environment, you can deploy multiple virtual routers using old hardware. George Ou at ZDNet has been building this test setup as he explains here.

Old Intel hardware with Vyatta is your new router! Your thoughts?


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