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How to compare router performance between vendors

How can we compare a router's performance from different vendors?

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Vendors benchmark their own equipment, but generally their goal is to guide you within their own product lines. Getting the information you need to compare across vendors can be a bit challenging.

IETF has a Benchmarking Methodology Working Group (BMWG) among the goals of this group is overcoming a phenomenon they call "specsmaship" engaged in by vendors in the network marketplace. RFC 2544 describes the benchmarking methodology that vendors should use so that apples-to-apples comparisons can be made by technology buyers. RFC 2544 and an IPv6 supplement provide guidance about how to evaluate routers.

Reviewing vendor-provided benchmarks that reference RFCs can give you the common ground you need to compare performance side-by-side. Some independent testing labs publish information that does the side-by-side comparisons for you.

This was first published in November 2007

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