What Routers to Buy?

Unanswered Question
Apr 6th, 2010

Hi there,

We have a simple HQ to Branch scenario and are wondering what routers to buy.

There is 1 HQ with about 10users and 2 servers (1 SQL and 1 Terminal Server)

There are 2 branch offices (each with about 5 users) that will need to establish a VPN tunnel back to HQ to access SQL (via an application) and the Terminal Server.

All sites have DSL and a static IP

I have been able to implement a site-to-site GRE tunnel on 2 Cisco 831's (for testing purposes), which works well.

Now that I'm comfortable with the setup I'd like to know what current hardware to purchase.

Would 3 Cisco 851's (1 at each location) with 2 GRE Tunnels (1 to each site) be accectable or...

Should we be looking at a 2901 at HQ and 871's at the Branch's using something DMVPN (dynamic branch to branch VPN will not be required)

Our budget is not that large, so we prefer the 851's, just don't want to limit ourselves in the future. I see only a max of 5 branch office's in the next 5-7 years.



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keithatwood Wed, 04/07/2010 - 08:39

Just another thought...since I know the 831's work for this scenario, I was wondering if there was any downside to using them instead of the 851/871? I've read that the 851's have a limited IOS, is this true?

It seems like the 831's are a tried and tested router...maybe it's best to stick with them??


Collin Clark Wed, 04/07/2010 - 08:43

The 831's will work, but if you reference the link, you'll see they only support 5 VPN tunnels, so your future growth may be limited. They run the same IOS as the 870 series (as well as all the ISRs). If you can afford it, I would lean towards the 870 series. Better performance and there is no downside to the different hardware or IOS.

Hope it helps.

Leo Laohoo Wed, 04/07/2010 - 17:26

Just be careful with the 870.  Basic configuration comes with 24mb flash and if you want the higher feature IOS you need to get at least 28mb flash.  Don't remember what you need for the 15.0 IOS.  If you have limited budget, as Collin mentioned, 870 with beefed up flash to support 15.0 IOS would be the way to go.  If you have more funds, then I'd recommend either the 880/890 series.

keithatwood Thu, 04/08/2010 - 08:03

Thanks Guys.

So I'm deciding based on the following

1) Since the 831 and the 851 use nearly the same IOS and have the same limitations/features, I'm not considering the 851

2) 831's can be purchased new for just $60, the 871's are $550

So, I need to justify spending an extra $500 per router to go up to the 871's. (plus more ram if i want to use the 15.0 IOS)

I was originally given a budget of $400 per router.

Pretty sure at this point I'm going to try it all out with 831's....

If the budget supported it, I would surely go for the 871's, but the 831's seem to do the job...at a low cost.



Leo Laohoo Thu, 04/08/2010 - 16:12

831's can be purchased new for just $60, the 871's are $550

830 is End-of-Sale.  There's no such thing as a "new" 830.  It must've come from Cisco via an RMA and even that isn't considered new.  It's a refurbished unit.  Like what Collin said, 870 is alot favourable because of the number of VPN tunnels it can support.  Consider future-proofing.  If you get an e-bayed 830 but found out down the track that you need to go more then you wind up burning $60 for nothing, right?  Another thing ... what SUPPORT can you get for an end-of-sale model?  Close-to-nothing.   That's my 2-cents worth.  Hope this helps.


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