Long Day's Journey into <Bleep>

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Fri Jun 10 17:11:39 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 08:34:06AM -0400, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
> I wouldn't think the OP was interested in saving money, there are
> other reasons for building your own switch. For example, there is
> a famous article "Tricks you can do if your firewall is also
> a bridge":
>   http://www.usenix.org/events/neta99/full_papers/limoncelli/limoncelli_html/

I'll read that.  Sounds interesting.

To be perfectly clear, the reason I'm looking into this is that I tend to
like to understand how things work, and to know how to build things I
need (most of the reason I got into programming in the first place).
Toward that end, I've decided to look into how one would build a switch,
and discovered that -- for the most part -- it seems one *wouldn't* build
a switch, so I decided to ask here since the subject of switches came up.
Obviously, a switch needs some kind of software running on it; it seems
reasonable to me that FreeBSD should be able to serve as the necessary
software, if only I can figure out how to build a switch from commodity
parts without completely breaking the bank.

In addition to that, it would be kinda nice to have a switch whose
internals I understand so that port-by-port failure of a switch will not
occur as a mysterious process I don't quite grasp, as so often occurs
with dedicated switches.  The fact any switches built after the turn of
the century seem to start dying within three years seems like a big
problem (I have one 10/100 Linksys switch from before the turn of the
century that still works great), after all.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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