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New Member

Type of router I've never seen before

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.


Re: Type of router I've never seen before

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.




Re: Type of router I've never seen before

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.


Re: Type of router I've never seen before

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.

New Member

Re: Type of router I've never seen before

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?