Readers of my blog have probably noticed that I’m occasionally documenting the shortcomings of DNS and DHCP servers built into Cisco IOS (I will not even mention the HTTP server, this one gets constantly degraded). On the other hand, although you could centralize all these services, the centralization makes the branch offices completely dependent on the availability of WAN uplinks; without a working uplink, a branch office stops completely.
When Cisco introduced AXP (Linux blade for the ISR routers), my first idea was: “now, that’s a platform on which you could implement proper DNS and HTTP server”. Not surprisingly, I was not the only one with the “brilliant” idea: Infoblox has partnered with Cisco to offer the set of IP servers one might need in a branch office on the AXP.
The only problem bugging AXP is its price: the low-end model costs $3500 (list price, without the Infoblox software). Cisco and Infoblox have flashy whitepapers “documenting” huge TCO savings, but both of them failed to share with us the input parameters, assumptions and calculations. All that’s left is a small graph showing the desired results. I’m not saying AXP is not more cost-effective than the alternative; I’m just not easily persuaded by nice-looking colorful horizontal bands. What’s your perspective? Would you replace branch servers with AXP?