[K12OSN] Linux Router

Josiah Ritchie jritchie at bible.edu
Fri May 28 20:23:47 UTC 2004

> I'm hearing a yes it is possible, but it would be a nightmare. What I'm
> unsure of is the nightmare part.  
> Configuration: I had to put the one I have here together in an afternoon
> with parts I had lying around the office when the Cisco that was here died,
> so I'm not overly concerned about this.  Once it's configured, you just
> have to monitor and tweak it from time to time.  Running it as a switch
> would be more planning on the config side.
> Manageablilty: I find linux boxes very manageable, and I do need some
> management capabilities in whatever solution I use.  
> I also want to implement some form of vlan (or subnet) for each classroom
> and some QoS would be nice at that level too in the MDF closet.  In the
> classroom I would be fine with dumb switches, except some of the older
> equipment in the classrooms do not like autosense.
> Stability(Hardware):  A concern.  Finding quality 4port nics is one
> concern.  By removing the harddrive and using a boot cd should improve
> uptime, but hardware can always fail. Having a spare machine built and
> using a floppy or network for the  site specific configs should minimize
> downtime in case of failure.  Or use a usb pen drive. 
> Stability(Software):  It's Linux, nuff said :-)  I know even linux crashes
> from time to time and Software patches would be an issue somewhat, but the
> fewer things installed, then fewer patches, fewer glitches.  Just reburn a
> new cd every 6-12 months for updates, or use a usb pen drive. 
> Diagnosis and Repair:  It's Linux, nuff said :-) I've had "firmware"
> problems with some switches in the past that required I ship it back to the
> vendor and pay them to fix it.  I've had ports die on hubs before.  Granted
> I may have more things break on a Linux box, but at least it is fixable.
> Performance:  My #1 concern.  In monitoring my linux router, I haven't seen
> any major performance issues or any significant packet loss, even during
> saturation of the connections.
> I guess ever since the 4port cards came out I've been wondering about this.
>  I look at a switch, much like I look at a Tivo, and I've almost finished
> building that thanks to mythtv :-).
> Thanks for your advice.

Sounds like you at least understand the process well enough and are
willing to take on the trouble it may incite, so good luck and let us
know how it works out. It seems like something that would be a lot of
fun to implement. :-)


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