This question comes to my mind every time we are faced by choosing a new device for our network or whenever I read about hardware architecture of networking devices. However, when the time comes for choosing routers for a large network migration I thought it will be wise to have a checklist or a model for comparing and evaluating the different options. I came out with the following list to start with, read it and let me know us your ideas.
My Core routers evaluation checklist:
Packet forwarding capacity:
The main function of routers in the core network is to forward packets, nothing else matters when the router is not able to handle packet forwarding requirement in your network. Know all the numbers.
We buy new routers to upgrade our networks to meet market demand for new traffic and features. You have to know your current network capacity and your expected growth rates and select routers that meet that demand for growth in terms of capacity, forwarding capability and services delivery.
Services and features:
Here lies the real money, make sure that the router you selected is capable of providing all your current services and the services you may be providing in the near future. Know the road map of your boxes. Another important factor here is to understand how different services affect your router’s performance.
High Availability Features:
If you are using the best router in terms of performance, scalability and services your customers will never be satisfied if they are facing lots of outages or down times. Make sure your routers provide the level of availability that suits your customers’ business needs. Availability is achieved by features like redundancy, hot swappable hardware components, ISSU and modular operating systems.
You will also need to consider security the features of your router. How are you going to mitigate different types of attacks against your router, control plane security, forwarding plane security and I think the availability and releasing speed of patches for operating systems bugs.
Power consumption, chassis footprint and heat dissipation can be another factor in choosing your routers.
What do you think about those factors? lets know your own selection criteria.