Mikrotik RouterOSv7 rant:

By | April 1, 2021

ALERT: THIS IS A RANT POST ABOUT MIKROTIK ROUTEROSv7 INCASE YOU ARE A FANBOY PLEASE IGNORE THIS POST.
Router OS v7 was promised long back by Mikrotik. In the Mikrotik forum we can trace it back as long as 2011. It has been used used as a unicorn my Mikrotik for many of bugs in RouterOS v6. Many new features were promised to be introduced in v7. Finally this unicorn become a reality in September 2019. However, that was just the beginning. Even in 2021 Router OS v7 is still in beta with no sign of having an RC anytime soon. Even after being in beta channel for about 18 months it is unusable for any new feature. The main limitation of RouterOS v6 was the super old Linux kernel on which it was built. This vastly limited its capabilities. The routing stack was old and limited. BGP convergence is slow and doing a route lookup in a full table BGP feed router took around 10 minutes.

Sometimes I think it should be renamed as Bugtik!

With Routeros v7 Mikrotik has taken a leap in upgrading to the latest Linux kernel 5.6.3. This has required the routing protocol stack to be written from scratch. Finally now we can expect a CCR1072 to be able to do recursive IPv6 routing which is shocking for a 300K router to not do. Wait! since route filters don’t work and OSPFv3 too doesn’t work we cannot test recursive routing on v7.1 beta 5. It is very frustrating that even after so long basic routing functions don’t work. Another reason for Mikrotik’s slow v7 developement is the vast product line they are supporting. Even 20 dollar hAP mini with 32/16 MB RAM/ROM which we cannot even load the beta without netinstall has a v7 image for it. This large device tree slows down the development. Most of the new RouterOS features promised in v7 cannot be practically run on such entry level devices due to their limited resources.

Mikrotik is good for people who are new to networking or businesses who have very limited IT budget but once they start growing the first thing they should do is switch to something like pfSense or VyOS. Most advanced features regarding routing, IPv6, VPNs etc is not supported on Mikrotik atleast in Router OS v6 and V7 is far from usable even for labs as of now. VyOS is developing a GUI for it and this might act as a huge blow to Mikrotik as more and more people will adopt it who are not “that proficient” in CLI. Opensource projects have a greater pace of development because a large community is involved in developing and testing the product. You can read about why VyOS is a perfect RouterOS replacement here. I personally use VyOS 1.2.7 LTS on my lab core router. As it is based on Linux I can install zerotier in it as well.

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