Category Archives: hardware

CRS Basic Vlan Configuration

I’ve been playing around with v6.13rc12 over the last week on a CRS125-24G-1S and have put together a an example script for provisioning the unit with a user-vlan and an admin-vlan that are trunked back via the SFP port.

I’ve been waiting for a long time to have a usable and readable switch chip config on the CRS platform, so I hope this is useful for some of you guys too.


Continue reading CRS Basic Vlan Configuration

Pokethernet – The swiss army knife of cable testers

Thanks to Mike Hammett for Sharing this with me.

For anyone dealing with lots of ethernet connections, be that PoE runs up towers or 48 port switches providing to office desks, hotel rooms etc, we’ve all had to test and troubleshoot connection issues.

These can range from physical connectivity problems like:
– Cable run too long
– Pair shorts
– PoE voltage drop
– Broken wires/cable

Then there’s the connectivity tests after you fix and test the wiring:
– Does auto-negotiate work?
– Do you get DHCP or can you see other IP’s on the network?
– Does the port show any CRC errors?

Which in total normally require a whole bunch of tools to run through (or a super expensive fluke network tester) to test wire pairs, use TDR devices to determine if a wire is broken and if so how far along, then test physical port connectivity and errors.

So in come the guys from Pockethernet, with the following solution:

(youtube link here if embed doesn’t work.)

They’ve combined all of the features listed above and made it simple to use by connecting it via Bluetooth to your smartphone. Then on top of that they’ve made it incredibly cheap in comparison to the alternatives.

At present they are shipping to the US and EU only, but using a service like shipito you can have it forwarded anywhere in the world, and as they’ve already reached the minimum contribution amount it’s safe to say this project will be going ahead.

I’m really glad to see a useful project like this take off, it is an excellent innovation and is going to be a very useful gadget for network techs to have in their tool bags.

Routerboard 10Gbps capable hardware coming soon?

This was spotted today in the Mikrotik Wiki’s supported hardware list.

Brand Model Rate Connector/Cable Type Wavelength Tested with Works/Doesn’t
MikroTik RB SFP3401 10/100/1000 RJ45, Cat6 RB2011LS-IN Works. Available in Q3!
MikroTik RB SFP5602D-53 155M~2.63G Bi-Di LC, MM 1550/1310 RB2011LS-IN Works. Available in Q3!
MikroTik RB SFP5602D-35 155M~2.63G Bi-Di LC, MM 1310/1550 RB2011LS-IN Works. Available in Q3!
MikroTik RB SFP3420D 1,25G LC, MM 1310 RB2011LS-IN Works. Available in Q3!
MikroTik RB SFP3903D 10G LC, MM 850 RB2011LS-IN and TBA Works. Available in Q3!

.. wait what?

RB SFP3903D listed as 10G and working in a yet to be announced product (TBA).

Are they  referring to another as yet unannounced model of the CCR or something entirely new? More info here as we find it!

Update: Relevant reading from Tilera – 

This would lead us to believe the SFP in question is a 10Gig SFP+ module intended to work in an as yet unannounced CCR model,  joy to the routing world!

MikroTik Cloud Core Router: CCR-1036 (Updated)

Announced less than 24 hours ago at the Warsaw MUM, comes the first (and hopefully not the last) MikroTik shot at high end routing.

Update 2012-07-16: Tilera has made a press release confirming their processors will be used in the CCR-1036. You can read the full thing here.


Mikrotik CLOUD CORE Router CCR-1036

  • 36 core networking CPU (1.2Ghz per core)
  • New 64bit processor – assuming this one
  • New Future models will support 10Gig SFP+ configurations
  • 12 Mbytes total on-chip cache
  • High speed encryption engine
  • 4 x SFP ports
  • 12 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Colour Touchscreen LCD
  • 1U Rackmount case
  • 16 Gigabit throughput
  • 15 Million+ Packets Per Second on Fast-Path
  • 8 Million+ Packets Per Second on Standard-Path
  • All ports directly connected to CPU (We assuming this means no switch chips will be present)

The release date is said to be sometime this summer however given previous releases the authors opinion is to take this with a grain of salt. A redundant PSU version is also said to be planned for those requiring higher reliability given the high performance/throughput of the device.   The router is suspected to be based of the TILE-Gx8036 processor, a 36 core beast built for networking applications.

Here’s Gregs take on it all:


My Opinions (Andrew Cox / Omega-00)

While I’m super excited about the prospect of something that’s able to handle routing at wirespeed + likely a bunch of firewall, filter and QoS settings; I’m also a little concerned about how the CPU loading will take place and if there will be any additional failsafes put in place to make this product as reliable as it needs to be.

Given we’re still at a place where we can’t get support and maintenance contracts from MikroTik, the platform needs to be as stable as a rock and while I find this is pretty much the case with all basic features there’s still some overlooked issues that pop up over time with specific features causing memory leaks and the like.

At present I’ve taken a liking to running systems either with:

a) a remote access card allowing direct console input and the ability to power cycle the router independently of it being responsive.

b) ESXi as the base OS and RouterOS running on top of this to allow an extra layer of protection and management (also gives the ability to backup and restore in the event a version upgrade goes bad) c) Dual boot loader, allowing fallback to a previous working version in the event of some sort of bootup failure. My guesstimate on pricing: $1500-$1800USD


My Opinions (Andrew Thrift):

This is a move in the right direction for Mikrotik.  The Cloud Core product line will provide a viable alternative to the Juniper MX5 and Cisco ASR-900x series of routers for ethernet based enterprise and small ISP networks. It will also provide users with a Mikrotik supported platform that can provide over 10gigabit of throughput, where previously they were forced to use a 3rd party x86 server.

Based on the information released so far, this product appears to be:

– Using the new Tilera GX8036 processor

– Using the 6windgate software  a replacement for the Linux networking stack Confirmed false by 6windgate. 

These will allow Mikrotik the following features

Edit: While 6windgate software is not being used for this, it is likely we may see some of these features regardless from MikroTik direclty.

– Allocation of Tiles to different functions e.g. 1st tile can be used for “Control” while next 6 tiles are used for packet processing

– Fast Path packet processing, on the first pass packets are inspected (slow path), while subsequent flows do not need to be inspected so do not reach the CPU. This will boost raw throughput, and will integrate with Queue Trees, allowing for very efficient traffic shaping systems.

– Hardware based “virtualisation” – Multiple instances of RouterOS will be able to run on a group of Tiles at native speed, no hypervisor required. This allows for native performance as there is no hypervisor.


A design change with the new Cloud Core Routers, Mikrotik look to have FINALLY moved to using a standard metal casing with a printed plastic sticker with cutouts for the connectors.  I hope this is adopted across the RB2011 line, it makes the products look far more professional, and will of course lower manufacturing costs due to not needing to retool for different model variations.


In the future I hope to see a modular Cloud Core Router product that can take two PSU’s, either AC or DC and has flexible module bays, with options such as 2x SFP+, 8x SFP, 8xRJ45 this will allow providers to build resilient MPLS networks on modern high speed links, find use in the modern data centre, and allow use for Metro Ethernet applications.