Appropriate size facility for cisco 3945 router purchase?

Unanswered Question
May 1st, 2012

I'm a reporter at a newspaper in West Virginia. Using a federal economic stimulus grant, our state government recently purchased a total of 1,000 routers (cisco series 3945 routers @ $22,000 each) primarly for small rural libraries and elementary schools. I was told this might be overkill. I would be interested in hearing opinions on this. Thanks, Eric Eyre, Charleston Gazette 304-348-4869. crwtennis@gmail.com

Also, if this question is inappropriate for this discussion forum, please tell me where a more appropriate place to post would be.

I have this problem too.
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JosephDoherty Tue, 05/01/2012 - 10:30

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Whether overkill or not really depends on how much traffic will transit the router and what the router needs to do with that transit traffic.

Cisco recommends the 3945 (not the 3945E) for up to 150 Mbps of WAN bandwidth (NB: Cisco recommendations are generally conservative).

Leo Laohoo Tue, 05/01/2012 - 15:02
I'm a reporter at a newspaper in West Virginia. Using a federal economic stimulus grant, our state government recently purchased a total of 1,000 routers (cisco series 3945 routers @ $22,000 each) primarly for small rural libraries and elementary schools. I was told this might be overkill. I would be interested in hearing opinions on this. Thanks, Eric Eyre, Charleston Gazette 304-348-4869.

Hi Eric,

I don't want to sound confrontational or aggressive but you have to provide us with more information.  Agree with what Joseph is saying, the 3945 can go up to 502 Mbps of WAN traffic.  This value is expressed in HALF duplex and NO encryption.

One of the biggest thing to consider when choosing a router is the size of the WAN link NOW and the size of the WAN link TOMORROW.   Another thing are the modules that would go into it.

I also understand that you work for the media but this is a technical forum and we don't work for Cisco.  What I'm saying is this:  The logic to purchase the 3945 router didn't "run" here and there's a fair chance you're asking the wrong people.  Unfortunately, I can't even say that your question is correct because the facts presented is incomplete or one-sided.

andymanc120 Tue, 05/01/2012 - 22:42

Eric,

They have a valid point about needing more information. HOWEVER, a 3945 is a very beefy router. You would want to be using it on a DS-3 level (44.x megabit) connection, which is a ton of bandwidth, especially for a rural area. A place like a school or library would probably be most likely to use something like 1 to 3 T-1 lines, being that a DS-3 costs several thousand dollars a month, even with gov't discounts and so forth.

Basically, a 3945 would be used for like a HQ site for a smaller sized company, or a big branch at another company. I wouldn't want a router that big unless it was supporting at least 100 users.

Most likely for these purposes, you would want a much smaller router, like a 1900 or 2900 router at most. The issue at hand is, when given a grant, it's basically "spend it or lose it" so they probably figured it was free to them, so why would they look a gift horse in the mouth?

Without knowing all of the numbers (like what kind of circuits they have, how many users the sites are supporting, etc) we couldn't say for sure.

In other words, I'm pretty certain it's a tragic waste of money, but there's no way to prove it without inside information from their network on exactly what they have and what they are doing with it.

Andy

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