Type of router I've never seen before

Unanswered Question
Mar 10th, 2007

hi - Not really a help question, just a wondering question.

We got contracted to upgrade some routers at a local gov't building, and they had these 3com netbuilder remote office devices, and from what we have surmised is that these devices operate at layer2. Almost act like a switch over a T1 line. Have any of you ever encounter such a device?

Site A hosts the DHCP server and Remote Side B recieves its ip address over the T1 link.

They told us when they bought these(about 8 years ago) they just unboxed them hooked them up and turn them on and did no configurating at all.

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scottmac Sat, 03/10/2007 - 20:06

Got some model numbers?

They are probably just bridges (Switches are just fancy multiport bridges)

Post up the model numbers and configs, it'll help.



konigl Fri, 03/23/2007 - 23:58

Sounds like some NETBuilder Remote Office or SuperStack II NETBuilder routers running 3Com's Boundary Routing system architecture. I used to work with these in a previous life, B.C. ("Before Cisco")

Specific port configuration options and protocol sets would determine the three-digit model number. And the model number would be embedded in the 3Com part number. For example, part number 3C8221B would be a NETBuilder Remote Office 221 Boundary router with Ethernet LAN interface. (3C8221C would be a SuperStack II NETBuilder 221 - same thing, different name.)

Boundary Routing would centralize the routing complexity and support staff at a single site, with a full-blown 3Com router there (NBRO or SS2NB 227/327/427/527 or NETBuilder II) handling things. This made for easy plug-and-play installations at the remote sites.

Essentially fancy WAN bridges, like Scott said.

nate-miller Mon, 03/26/2007 - 14:39

3Com did have some remote office stuff that was nothing more than a bridge, but they also had "Boundary Routing", which was a proprietary remote office setup. You'd simply configure the head end, and when the remote PVC or whatever came up, the head-end would essentially configure that router over Layer 2, and then you'd revert to routing appropriately. (Since it was a single layer 3 interface, all you were saving across the WAN was broadcast traffic, essentially.)

The reason the technology was implemented was pretty much summed up in your post- The remote site just hooked them up, even after being dropshipped from a central depot, and no effort needed from the remote staff.

stevebybee Mon, 03/26/2007 - 19:36

I haven't had a chance to get the model #'s but here are some config files.

Other than that, this job has really been a challenge. The current IT guys there have a very limited knowledge on how their network is setup. A few instances we needed to know what device was using a certain IP; there was an old NT 4.0 workstation with no side-panels, keyboard, mouse or monitor was just running, setup as a router basically with a command prompt. Or what the passwords were to routers and switches, only to get the famous, "hmmm I don't know"

Have any of gents walked onto a site and no one knew anything about their network or what was what?



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