Which router for Ethernet WAN?

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Jul 28th, 2008
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I'm looking for some information on which router to choose, for Ethernet WAN? I know Cisco says that a 2851 can support it, but I was also told I should be looking at the 3800 series instead? What is the knnow Ethernet speeds that a 2851 can handle, vs a 3825?

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scheikhnajib Mon, 07/28/2008 - 07:49
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Have a look at the Cisco Portable Datasheets under router performance and you'll find:

Cisco 2851 (220Kpps / 112.64Mbps)

Cisco 3825 (350Kpps / 179.20Mbps)

So the question will be, what is the speed of this circuit and what are you doing with it? If it's plain IP forwarding with a dynamic routing protocol then I would comfortably go with the 2851 but if you're going to do PBR, IPSec/GRE, complex routing and/or deep packet inspection then I would go for the 3825.

This is my personal view though and I'm sure that many people (especially Cisco people :-) will disagree.

Also have a look at the Catalyst 3750ME with IP SERVICES OS ... it might be a better option (it doesn't support IPSec/GRE though).

Hope this helps.


oceanspray Mon, 07/28/2008 - 08:08
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Thanks for your response. Let me give a little more detail. This circuit will 'start' at only 12 Meg, but we will look to go as high as 100mbs. We will be using staright IP 'MPLS' forwarding for now, but shortly looking to also add VOIP. I don't expect any GRE tunneling, but as they say, 'you never know'?

scheikhnajib Mon, 07/28/2008 - 08:27
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If you're going to hit 100M then I would go for the 3800 (probably 3845) ... at the end, it's more of a commercial decision ... overspec the box and don't underspec is the easy answer.


oceanspray Mon, 07/28/2008 - 08:30
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Thanks again for you response. Does the on-board SFP handle this, or do I need an HWIC-1GE-SFP card for 100Mbs Ethernet WAN?

Pravin Phadte Mon, 07/28/2008 - 08:34
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Hope this link can help.


Its important to understand the design before you get any router intsalled. If this is a single office it can use the 28XX and if you are planning connected to diffrent sites it will require 38xx. Still the above would depend on what is network deisgn and requirements.

Any one of them would do. But i would always feel better to install a 38xx if cost is not a factor and would help in future for any enhanacement.

Hope this helps,



oceanspray Mon, 07/28/2008 - 08:45
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Pravin, thanks for the link. My network is a Hub-n-Spoke design. At the Hub, we will be using a 7206 VXR, half of my remote sites will have T.1 links, using a 2821 router. The other half, will have either Ethernet or sub-rate DS3 circuits. It's these higher speed sites, I'm trying to figure out the best router for. My network will be MPLS, any-to-any traffic, but about 85%+ traffic, will all come to the HUB, for centeralized applications.


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