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How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

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  • How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

    Okay, This might be a shot in the dark. I have recently been tasked with buying a new router for a small business. I imagine that this is driven by two questions.

    1) What feature set am I looking for?

    2) What are the throughput requirements?

    As far as feature set I have that down, Firewall, IPS, VPN, and later VOIP. I am stumped on throughput. Where can I find the necessary specs on the Manufactures Website. And ware would I start?

    Thanks for your Help.
    Last edited by cristo369; 9th January 2012, 20:30.

  • #2
    Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

    For a cisco device, you can look at the specs of said router or firewall which will give you the max throughput. Typically the higher end the router, the higher the throughput.


    For an all in one small business solution check out Cisco UC500. These things are awesome. They are not cheap though, but if you want quality you are going to pay for it. The UC500 is a router/firewall, voip with Call Manager Express, has a builtin POE switch and wireless features as well.
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    • #3
      Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

      I understand that, the higher end routers will have more throughput.

      I am really looking for guide lines and do's and dont's of buying a router. I was thinking along the lines of 1800/1900 series router


      Any Feedback is appreciated.

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      • #4
        Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

        Would this router be on the edge of said network? If so get a feature set that supports Zone based Firewall and IPS. Are you going to run voip in the network? Then you will need a router to support CUCME. (if you go with cisco voip) Also think about POE switches to support your phones. Also think about voicemail. Really depdends on what services you want to be available.
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        • #5
          Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

          Like I stated on my original post. The feature set I am looking for is Firewall, IPS, VPN, and later VOIP. But with that said, since this is a perimeter Router wouldn't make sense to have the VOIP on an internal router/server..

          How would VOIP affect my throughput requirements?


          Thanks in advance.

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          • #6
            Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

            Generally I prefer to use RRAS for VPN rather than an edge device. This has the advantage of users only having to remember one username and password, although that's still beyond a good number of them.
            BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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            • #7
              Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

              Yes you would be better off having a separate voice router rather than running everything on one box. There wouldn't be much bandwidth issues if your running voip over your lan as bandwidth on the lan is plentiful. Where you would need to consider bandwidth in regards to voice would be on slower wan links such as T-1's as voice is very delay sensative. Say you had a wan link to another remote office. You would have 100 or 1Gb on the lan side going out a T-1 interface. That would be a bottleneck and QOS would need to be implemented. Look at the specifications on the model your looking at to see the max throughput for that device. Most all manufacturers make that information available. I know the Cisco 1841 ISR has a max throughput of 38 Mbs. Check out this link from cisco

              http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/do...erformance.pdf


              To be honest I would rather have an ASA for a firewall and IPS on the edge than an ISR router. Granted the IOS Firewall and ZBF is okay but your better off with a firewall appliance like an ASA. The ASA's can do VPN, Firewall, and IPS in one box as well. The IPS would be a module card that sits in the ASA. These features would depend on IOS version, how many concurrent connections, licensing etc. A good place to start is with a local Cisco rep.

              If you want to go with the ISR routers than you would need an advanced ipservices image (12.4) and the recommend memory and flash to support those services. The licensing has changed with IOS 15. Every platform now has the same "universal image" and then you buy licenses for the additional features your need.
              Last edited by auglan; 10th January 2012, 02:25.
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              • #8
                Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

                Thanks for all the input.

                I was reviewing the specs posted by auglan, and I have a question. Other than feature set and WICs, what is the difference between a Cisco 1800 series and Cisco 2800 series router.

                Which series router would be recommended for a stub network, with about 150 end-nodes?

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                • #9
                  Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

                  Off the top of my head the major differences will be throughput, max flash and memory and more expansion slots. (depends on the 2800 model) I also think the 2800 have gigabit ethernet ports as opposed to the 1800 which as fast ethernet. I would check cisco.com for a direct comparison though. The 1800 and 2800 are GEN1 ISR's and the 1900 series and on are the new GEN2 ISR's

                  I would say go with the 2800 series.
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                  • #10
                    Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

                    Okay, Sounds good.

                    Next Question is properly off topic, But I here the terminology thrown around a lot. What Defines Small, Medium, Enterprise Business as far as networking equipment goes.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to Properly Select a Router for a Network

                      I would say it would depend on the amount of clients you have as well as servers, sites, and remote locations. Basically the more devices you have the more clients your network equipment needs to provide services for.
                      CCNA, CCNA-Security, CCNP
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