Please help me choose the right router.

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Dec 26th, 2007
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I am new to professional (not consumer) networking and need help determining if I'm looking at the right products. Here is what I need to do:


We're looking at putting a video conference MCU, Asterisk Sever, and HTTP, FTP server in a colocation facility. Bandwidth will be delivered on a 10Mb/sec or 100Mb/sec ethernet port. I don't estimate bandwidth to exceed 10Mb/sec at any time in the next three years.


I want to provide SSL VPN for mobile users to access the MCU from behind airport/hotel/home firewalls.


I believe that the 1811/1812 routers may provide what I need but I seem to find conflicting information on Cisco's site. This may just be because I don't know what I'm looking at or maybe some things have changed with later software releases. Here are my main points of confusion:


1. Will the WAN ports work for this implementation? A lot of the configuration info deals with xDSL. Speed info states things like "up to broadband speeds". Will this router work at WAN up to symmetric 10Mb/sec?


2. SSL VPN - I've read two free licenses/purchase license for up to 10 users. I've also read up to 50 VPN tunnels. Is the 50 for IPSec only? Will the 1811/1812 only support 10 SSL VPN users at once? If I need more that 10 SSL VPN connections, do I need to go to the 1841?


Is there another router that would be better for my needs? If I need to go with the 1841, which modules would I need as a minimum?


One final question. Memory - what circumstances warrant or require additional memory?


Thanks for any advise you can give!

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paolo bevilacqua Wed, 12/26/2007 - 09:52
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Hi,


it would be better, much better, if you could stretch to a 1841 or 2801. That would give you possibility of hardware upgrade, including a better VPN hardware module, memory, voice interfaces and features, etc.

The fixed configuration 1800 series are really mean as CPE and not general purposes or concentrator for VPN.


Both models are Ok for 10 mbps and more. Initially you need no additional modules, as both have dual LAN 10/100.

What you want instead, is a support contract that give you extended hardware warranty, access to download for updates, and TAC support for any HW or SW problem you may have.


Hope this helps, please ratepost if it does!

bradfirestone Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:34
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Thanks for your answer. When you say "Both models" are you referring to the 1841 and 2801?


So in a colo facility I really am not dealing with WAN? Just routing between two LANs? I can setup one LAN port for my equipment and one for my bandwidth provider's connection and then route/FW/NAT/etc.. between them?


What would be the main differences between the 1841 and the 2801?


Thanks again for your help!

paolo bevilacqua Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:47
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Hi,


Yes to all questions.

Difference between 1841 and 2801 is performance, and expandability. See attached document also.


bradfirestone Wed, 12/26/2007 - 12:35
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Thanks so much for the information. The attachment was helpful. One "problem" with Cisco is that they have SO much documentation it's hard to wade through it all. :-)


A couple of last questions. If I go with the 1841 or 2801, I need to make sure I get it with the Advanced Security package to get the SSL VPN, correct?


What should I know about if I consider purchasing a used unit? Can I still purchase a support contract?


Thanks again!

paolo bevilacqua Wed, 12/26/2007 - 12:51
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Yes, you need a minimum of advanced security for VPN to work. Later, depending on what you do, you may need to upggrade to advanced Ip service.


Used units are a good choice money wise. As long a device is not End Of Support, support contract can be purchased for it.

bradfirestone Wed, 12/26/2007 - 15:23
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Thanks again for your responses. Do you have a list of what is supported in the different feature packs such as Advanced Security and Advanced IP, (others)?


Are there a certain number of SSL VPN licenses included with Advanced Security?


At what point is the AIM-VPN/SSL helpful/required?

Thanks!

paolo bevilacqua Wed, 12/26/2007 - 15:40
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Hi,


1st, use the feature navigator to find and compare what is and what is not in a given feature set:

http://tools.cisco.com/ITDIT/CFN/jsp/index.jsp


2nd, licensing issues, if not clear from the public documents, are often confusing and should be discussed with cisco directly, or a reputable partner or reseller. What I can tell you, is that currently router software does not enforce licenses, that at the current state of things, are purely contractual.


3rd, hard to say. Traffic volumes dictates use of on or another VPN hardware. I suggest you go with what the router has embedded, then upgrade as necessary.


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