Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by John Hodg » Sat, 13 Jan 1996 04:00:00



I've seen many post concerning the pipeline 25, many of them negative.
I have not seen much on the Gandalf 5242 which seems to be a comparable product.

Does anyone have any experience with the 5242?

How does it perform and is there anything I should look out for?

Any information is appreciated.

John

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Danny Coope » Tue, 16 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>I've seen many post concerning the pipeline 25, many of them negative.
>I have not seen much on the Gandalf 5242 which seems to be a comparable product.

>Does anyone have any experience with the 5242?

>How does it perform and is there anything I should look out for?

>Any information is appreciated.

>John

I have and use Gandalf products, and have been VERY pleased.  I believe that
there are a lot of happy Gandalf users out there (and I am also sure that there
are some number of unhappy ones somewhere <<nobody is perfect>>).

Yes, the features of the 5242i are similar to the P25, only IMHO better!.
One of the best examples of the superior design of the 5242 over the Pnn units,
is that instead of having to design multiple hardware variations to support
whatever flavors of features that Ascend thinks the users want, the 5242 is a
common hardware base, and is just a flash firmware download to change its
feature set to meet user needs.  POTS, internal NT-1, and ehich ethernet
interface are all options.  With the POTS option, initial setup is as simple as
plugging in the unit, plugging in a standard POTS phone, and keying in a few
number sequences thru the phone keypad, and you are up and running.  Even if
you
use the "console" option to manage the unit, it is extremely simple (for the
standard BRIDGE version) and comes with WINDOWS sw with the Edge Router version
(a dumb terminal command line mode is also always available with the Edge
Router
version for those not on a PC).

The Edge Router version is RFC1717 compliant and interoperability tests have
shown it to be very interoperable.  Unlike the P25, there are no lan load
problems with the 5242, which makes it a PRIME candidate for SOHO use.

Gandalf does have their proprietory value-added features, which are fantastic
(and IMHO well worth considering a complete Gandalf solution), and are totally
commited to standards.  While Gandalf may initially appear to be a little
behind
some vendors offering of what are supposed to be standards; Gandalf does not
offer anything related to interoperable standards UNTIL the standard is
APPROVED.  Thus, they do not offer MP? and then have to come back and change it
once the standard is approved, they sit on the standards boards, and offer the
STANDARD asap after it is approved.  I prefer that.

I prefer to use the bridge code, but plan to look at the Edge Route code as
soon
as I can get the later version, so that I can connect to a local ISP who was
sold an Ascend bill of goods.  The Edge Route management is much more involved
than the bridge management, but worth it if you need interoperability.

--------------------------------SC PAWS Team-------------------------------

SC ProActive Workstation Support Team    TI MSG ID: DANC
Texas Instruments Incorporated           Voice: 214-917-3924
PO Box 650311, MS 3937  (PPC5)           Beep:  214-581-4956
Dallas, TX 75265                         Fax:   214-917-7966

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Floyd Drenno » Tue, 16 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:> One of the best examples of the superior design of the 5242 over the Pnn units,
> is that instead of having to design multiple hardware variations to support
> whatever flavors of features that Ascend thinks the users want, the 5242 is a
> common hardware base, and is just a flash firmware download to change its
> feature set to meet user needs.  POTS, internal NT-1, and ehich ethernet
> interface are all options.  With the POTS option, initial setup is as simple as
> some vendors offering of what are supposed to be standards; Gandalf does not
> offer anything related to interoperable standards UNTIL the standard is
> APPROVED.  Thus, they do not offer MP? and then have to come back and change it
> once the standard is approved, they sit on the standards boards, and offer the
> STANDARD asap after it is approved.  I prefer that.

In the first paragraph, you say that all features are implemented with flash rom.  If that's the case then  
there is no reason they can't go with the "standard" as it develops then finalize upon approval.  In other  
words they have to ability to offer the best of both worlds, yet from what you say, they don't do it.

Any comments?  

Floyd Drennon

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Danny Coope » Tue, 16 Jan 1996 04:00:00


BTW:

Gandalf support has been GREAT!!!!!  When I was evaluating whether to go
Ascend or Gandalf, that was a major factor.  Whereas Ascend has an email
input (which only took two weeks to reply to my question) and phone support
which was useless when they did finally return my calls; Gandalf only had
phone support, but they promptly returned my calls, and either answered my
question quickly, or continued working on the problem until they did come up
with a solution.

They do have a web site at:
http://www.gandalf.ca

--------------------------------SC PAWS Team-------------------------------

SC ProActive Workstation Support Team    TI MSG ID: DANC
Texas Instruments Incorporated           Voice: 214-917-3924
PO Box 650311, MS 3937  (PPC5)           Beep:  214-581-4956
Dallas, TX 75265                         Fax:   214-917-7966

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Paul Wils » Wed, 17 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>In the first paragraph, you say that all features are implemented with flash rom.  If that's the case then  
>there is no reason they can't go with the "standard" as it develops then finalize upon approval.  In other  
>words they have to ability to offer the best of both worlds, yet from what you say, they don't do it.

>Any comments?  

You have a point, but we've been burned before.  Sometimes aspects of
a proprietary standard are not well document outside the originating
company (take the controversy over Windows 3.1 and the "hidden" calls
therein).  An outsider can have a hard time conforming to such a standard
in this case.  I don't know how thoroughly documented the Ascend MP
is, or whether I'm giving a bad excuse.  It has caught us at other times.

A second reason for us to not do this is that this form of engineering
can be quite costly.  We have to reverse engineer, and then if a standard
is approved, and it's not the method we adopted, then we have to again
re-engineer, and it costs bucks.  As well, their protocol isn't perfect,
it's just popular.  We're pretty popular too :-)  Take their compression:
it is good, but ours is consistently better.  WHy don't they adopt ours?
It is registered under the CCP standard, and we'd sell our code in much
the same way that STAC did.  It's a competition thing.

BTW, the original poster stated (I think) that the 5242 could be either
S-interface or U-interface, depending upon software.  This isn't the case -
they are distinct hardware variants, as is the optional POTS interface.
An optional coax interface is just a snap-on thingey which anyone with
a screwdriver could add.

Paul
--

Not speaking for - Gandalf Data Limited - Toronto - 416 491 6070 x237
"Baldrick, do you know what irony is?"
                         "Isn't it like bronzy or goldy?"
"I thought as much."

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by John Hodg » Wed, 17 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:>   Danny Cooper <dcooper> writes:
>  BTW:

>  Gandalf support has been GREAT!!!!!  When I was evaluating whether to go
>  Ascend or Gandalf, that was a major factor.  Whereas Ascend has an email
>  input (which only took two weeks to reply to my question) and phone support
>  which was useless when they did finally return my calls; Gandalf only had
>  phone support, but they promptly returned my calls, and either answered my
>  question quickly, or continued working on the problem until they did come up
>  with a solution.

>  They do have a web site at:
>  http://www.gandalf.ca

When I was talking with a rep at Gandalf he told me that the 5242 can only connect to
an Ascend unit with one B channel?

Is this true?

John

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Brian Chik » Wed, 17 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>I've seen many post concerning the pipeline 25, many of them negative.

John,

I'm a happy Pipeline user, and while I did do some consulting at Ascend, I
purchased my product before I went there.  The benefits of the Ascend Pipeline
25 are:
€ Two POTs jacks - so you can have your phone and fax machine hooked up with
different numbers.  I've found this ideal in my home office.
€ A compression option that is compatible with the compression that is used by
the Ascend Maxs (used in 28 of the 30 largest Internet Service Providers).  To
my knowledge (if anyone KNOWs differently and has tested the products please
speak up) no other manufacturer has demonstrated compression compatibility
with Ascend. The compression option can provide a real 2:1 compession rate in
many situations.
€ A "pay-as-you-go" approach - you can start with just the bridging version if
you want, and then upgrade with routing (if you want Internet access), and
upgrade with Compression.
€ Ascend is an Industry Leader in the ISDN access business - I generally find
that there are a lot of benefits to going with the industry leader and Ascend
seems to be the leader in both the Central site Internet service providers and
at the remote site.  A recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle mentioned
Ascend's revenues at around $140 million - about 5 to 7 times larger than
Gandalf's I believe (you can probably check their web page to confirm this).
This just gives me the warm and fuzzy's that they'll probably be around for
the long term whereas Gandalf's financials don't seem to be nearly as strong.

The Pipeline 25 has had some problems when connected to larger networks with
high traffic - but generally a Pipeline 50 is the correct product to use in
that application.  If you are using it in a smaller home network you should be
fine.  There have been some comparison's of these products in different
magazines and weekly's - you might check out the Network World web site and
others.

Brian.

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Roeland Mey » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00



Quote:

>I've seen many post concerning the pipeline 25, many of them negative.
>I have not seen much on the Gandalf 5242 which seems to be a comparable product.

>Does anyone have any experience with the 5242?

>How does it perform and is there anything I should look out for?

The reason you see so much about Ascend is that there are very many of them out
there. I have a Pipe 25 and it's been up continuously, (24x7) right along
with my servers, for quite a while. Configuration was a breeze.

I looked at Gandalf, of course, and found major compatibility problems. When
I was at MCI I got to know some of the Network Engineers. They are busy swaping
Gandalf out for Cisco every chance they get. Why? Because of reliability
It seems that Gandalf equipment is subject to heat-death. Inadequate chasis
design.

They may have fixed the problem since then but, coupled with compatibility
problems, I didn't want to take the chamce on a $900 box paid out of my own
pocket.

Another issue, most of the ISP's are real familiar with Ascend.

----------------+------------------------------------------------------------
Roeland Meyer   |  Only *one* thing protects freedom of speach...
                |  



                |
                |  Livermore, CA and Colorados Springs CO

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Kevin Smit » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>As for the 128k from a Gandalf to an Ascend, I have been told that it will work
>IF the Ascend unit that is used actually meets the approved standards.  The
>fact that some ISPs bought what may be incompatible-to-standards Ascend hubs

Some ISPs ?  28 of the 30 largest ones ...

Quote:>means that until those ISPs upgrade their hardware to an industry standard hub,
>then those many thousands of us who did not rush out and buy Ascend will not be
>able to subscribe to their services.

All Ascend units support RFC1717. We have demonstrated this interoperability
with most participants at all of the CIUG ML interoperability test sessions.

Check out:

        http://www-i.almaden.ibm.com/giug/mppmatrix.html  

which was an earlier session. At the more recent session last September, a more
complete coverage was also achieved, but the group decided not to publish the
results.

The fact that Ascend also supports the MP+ protocol does not stop the MAX
interoperating on the standards for binding 128K.

What non-Ascend units did you by that cannot connect to MAX hubs at 128K ?

--

Ascend Communications           Phone: 800-272-3634 x2203
                                http://www.ascend.com/

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Kevin Smit » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>When I was talking with a rep at Gandalf he told me that the 5242 can only >connect to
>an Ascend unit with one B channel?

>Is this true?

Yes, the Gandalf and Ascend _had_ been demonstrated at 2-B using MP (ML-PPP),
during earlier CIUG interoperability reviews - but most recently, they
seem to have changed to support only 1 channel now....

--

Ascend Communications           Phone: 800-272-3634 x2203
                                http://www.ascend.com/

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Danny Coope » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>xxx<
>BTW, the original poster stated (I think) that the 5242 could be either
>S-interface or U-interface, depending upon software.  This isn't the case -
>they are distinct hardware variants, as is the optional POTS interface.
>An optional coax interface is just a snap-on thingey which anyone with
>a screwdriver could add.

>Paul

Paul,
Thank you for responding to the question regarding intermediate firmware trials
of non-standard features.  I was going to reply, but I could not have said it
better.  Also, thank you for pointing out that the POTS and network options are
hardware options, and not firmware.  I definately did not make myself clear on
these, and did indeed mean that these were hardware options.  However, I still
really like that these are options that even a user can install, and the basic
box is the same basic box as all other 52xx series units, and do not need to
have other expensive HW designs just to add or change features.

I prefer for the vendor to put their effort into getting me (the customer) the
best bang for the buck, and not to have to pay more for them to do all of the
intermediate fluff development.  

Another post in this thread was from a happy Ascend user who said he liked
Ascend's upgradability; when was the last time he tried to upgrade his P25 to
the features of the P50 (so he could keep his POTS)?  Good luck! It is totally
different hardware.

Yes, I would like to see dual POTS on a Gandalf 52xx box. But at least I can
have every option on the top-of-the-line box AND have a POTS jack.  If dual
POTS was that important, I could change the internal NT-1 for an external NT-1
that provided all of the features of external NT-1 (I guess that Ascend users
could s*their P25, go to a P50, and also use an external NT-1; but they
can't add the firmware of one Pxx unit to replace the firmware of a different
Pyy unit to
get the different features).

As for the 128k from a Gandalf to an Ascend, I have been told that it will work
IF the Ascend unit that is used actually meets the approved standards.  The
fact that some ISPs bought what may be incompatible-to-standards Ascend hubs
means that until those ISPs upgrade their hardware to an industry standard hub,
then those many thousands of us who did not rush out and buy Ascend will not be
able to subscribe to their services.

--------------------------------SC PAWS Team-------------------------------

SC ProActive Workstation Support Team    TI MSG ID: DANC
Texas Instruments Incorporated           Voice: 214-917-3924
PO Box 650311, MS 3937  (PPC5)           Beep:  214-581-4956
Dallas, TX 75265                         Fax:   214-917-7966

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Kevin Smit » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>All Ascend units support RFC1717. We have demonstrated this interoperability
>with most participants at all of the CIUG ML interoperability test sessions.

>Check out:

>    http://www-i.almaden.ibm.com/giug/mppmatrix.html  

Sorry, that should have been:

        http://www-i.almaden.ibm.com/ciug/mppmatrix.html  

--

Ascend Communications           Phone: 800-272-3634 x2203
                                http://www.ascend.com/

 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Vernon Schryv » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00



> ...
>As for the 128k from a Gandalf to an Ascend, I have been told that it will work
>IF the Ascend unit that is used actually meets the approved standards.  The
>fact that some ISPs bought what may be incompatible-to-standards Ascend hubs
>means that until those ISPs upgrade their hardware to an industry standard hub,
>then those many thousands of us who did not rush out and buy Ascend will not be
>able to subscribe to their services.

I suspect some salescritters have been blowing smoke in your direction.
There is no telling whether the critters were trying to protect or
attack Ascend, Gandalf, or ISP's that don't know how to configure
their own boxes and/or tell their customers how to configure their
systems.

Until recently (the last 6-12 months), as far as I know, Gandalf
supported only bridging and not IP.  However, in the last 6 months my
PPP code has interoperated with both Ascend and Gandalf boxes using
RFC 1717 MP carrying IP packets.  I do not know, but perhaps some
versions of models of Gandalf boxes do not support IP, apparently like
seems some versions or models of Ascend boxes.

As for the interoperability of Ascend, I don't think they entirely
understand standards and I have seen temporary interoperability problems.
(All that I know of have been fixed--we all have bugs).  However, from
my testing and experience, Ascend boxes are more interoperable (if
you prefer, less buggy) than the boxes of some other, big name vendors
(plural).  Their marketshare is due to a combination of salesmanship,
advertising, reputation, pricing, and features, not some dark *.


 
 
 

Gandalf 5242 v. Pipeline 25

Post by Richard Dougl » Fri, 19 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>I prefer for the vendor to put their effort into getting me (the customer) the
>best bang for the buck, and not to have to pay more for them to do all of the
>intermediate fluff development.  
>--------------------------------SC PAWS Team-------------------------------

>SC ProActive Workstation Support Team    TI MSG ID: DANC
>Texas Instruments Incorporated           Voice: 214-917-3924
>PO Box 650311, MS 3937  (PPC5)           Beep:  214-581-4956
>Dallas, TX 75265                         Fax:   214-917-7966

For everyone's information, the Gandalf 5242i Edge unit (IP routing
and compression built in) is selling for about $1,100 CAD in my area.

Cisco and Ascend's closest product is about $1,500 CAD!!

 
 
 

1. Help wanted: configuring Gandalf 5240/5242 ISDN boxes

We are a small college about to connect our campus LAN to a small LAN at newly created
faculty office site.  Each LAN runs Novell 3.12, one over Token Ring, one over
Ethernet 10bT.

Nevada Bell has already installed 2B+D ISDN lines at each site.  The next step is to
connect the LANs over these lines via Gandalf ISDN boxes.  (One box is a
5240i, the other a 5242i.)  Before I get too carried away I'd like to get some
idea of the proper configuration of these boxes for a Novell network.  Traffic
for now will be strictly IPX.  In the future we plan on using Gandalf boxes to
connect to a router at the University of Nevada, Reno, for our Internet access.

I only know enough about NW to keep myself out of significant trouble and would
appreciate any help to keep it that way.

George Brooks
Sierra Nevada College

2. Sharing Between 98 and XP via Ethernet Router

3. Dallas GTE ISDN w/Gandalf 5242 and analog Fax?

4. Apology

5. Gandalf 5242

6. IDSL Anyone?

7. Gandalf 5242 routing

8. GDOS driver for DeskJet?

9. Any experience with Digiboard IMAC or Ascend Pipeline 25/Pipeline 50 ISDN bridges?

10. Please explain difference between Pipeline 25-Px and 25-Fx

11. Ascend Pipeline 25 BRI to P-25-PX and back???

12. Pipeline 25 to pipeline 25pc

13. Pipeline 25 vs Pipeline 50