Linux WAN Routers

Here's another great use for Linux; Mr. Mancill tells us why his company picked Linux routers over the big names.

The intent of this article is not to say that Linux routers will make traditional routing hardware obsolete. When considering routing hardware, make sure that the tool fits the job at hand. If you have a T-3 to the Internet or want to tie together remote sites with ATM, you probably need to be shopping for equipment designed explicitly to switch and route packets at those speeds. By the same token, why go to the extra expense and trouble to deploy a special-purpose piece of hardware, along with all of the inconveniences that come with it, when you only need to route 128Kbps or even 1.5Mbps?

Because no one can foresee all of the demands that will be placed on their routing environment, flexibility and expandability are desirable in any solution. The Linux kernel is rapidly supporting increasingly more sophisticated types of traffic-shaping and packet monitoring. Routing hardware, including the processor, can be upgraded inexpensively. Furthermore, this same hardware can provide additional functions. Finally, a Linux router comes equipped with a complete set of familiar tools for monitoring and customization.

For a minimal investment in hardware and time, you can try a Linux router for a new link or to act as a backup for your current link(s). If you are new to data communications or need support, you are more likely to find a Linux hacker who can read (which is all it takes to get a Sangoma card running) than to find a BigName router guru. Typically, Linux folks are pretty friendly and willing to help. After all, some of this stuff is just neat. For business environments, the availability of Linux talent is increasing, and training for this environment is substantially less expensive than for closed-systems. Because Linux is open, your investment of time and capital is better protected. Give it a try. You will not regret it!


Tony Mancill spent a lot of time studying Electrical Engineering before graduating from Georgia Tech, only to end up playing with computers all day. When he's not working at LHS Communications Systems, he divides his time between playing the drums, home-brewing his own beer and trying to teach his dog new tricks. He has recently volunteered for the GNU/Debian Linux project as the maintainer of the wanpipe package. You may contact him via e-mail at



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sparc86's picture

Awesome Ass-Kicking article! :D

I will definitely try it someday!


unixbhaskar's picture

Thanx a ton man.You r in the same brace like us.thankx again

Re: Linux WAN Routers

Anonymous's picture

Did you know you can disable Ctrl+Alt+Supr in /etc/inittab ? :-)

Re: Linux WAN Routers

matias's picture

just an excellent article.


Anonymous's picture

well this one is just the thing i wanted.An excellently written article.
superb one.well supported with examples truly bringin the true picture to ppl.
keep it up!!