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Choosing a WAN Router

I have to make a recommendation for a core network WAN router that will be used to connect a client's trusted remote sites. The client has about 80 remote sites, and 13 of them have several hundred or so users in them.

OK, what considerations should I make when selecting a WAN router? I know that is a loaded question -- there is so much to consider. But I would liek some detailed feedback.

I am thinking of recommending an L3 switch (6509 with SUP 32 PISA) instead of, say, a 7206 router. I like the PISA and I think it offers excellent functionality for application enhancements, acceleration and QoS.

So, what else should I be thinking about?

I really would love to hear a few opinions from the most seasoned professionals on here.

And I thank you kindly in advance for your insight.



Re: Choosing a WAN Router

Here's a few starters for "What to think about":

What is the WAN topology? If it's an MPLS cloud, and you'll have one or two (large) connections (DS3 or OC3), it's a lot different than 65 T1's and 13 DS3's.

The above WAN cloud could be replaced by Internet VPN tunnel connections, in which case you have that issue PLUS doing IPSec/GRE workload...

What is the traffic load from each site? I should think getting some statistics on packet per second should be input to looking at the "rated" speeds of the various routers.

What is the reliability need? Do you need dual power supplies?

If you go big, the 7600s are very nice boxes, for example you can use a WS-SVC-NAM-2 Network Analysis Module right in that box. OTOH, my experience with the IPSec Accelerators in that box was that you can't do "qos pre-classify" on GRE tunnels with that blade, so a 7200 would be "better* there.

If you put some of the WAN characteristics in another post, folks could make more specific recommendations.

HTH - please rate.



Re: Choosing a WAN Router

OK, good points.

Right now they have one router with a T3 connection to an MPLS cloud and another router with an OC-3 connection to an MPLS cloud.

I cant tell you anything about traffic load, but is that imperative? I mean, the load can always be distributed between 2 clusters of routers/switches (in other words, 4 of them) or whatever it takes.

The realiability need is GREAT. VERY great! Its their connections to all their remote sites.

Moreover, they will have WAN routers on theiur UN-trusted side to support vendor and partner connections. Those will have firewalls added to the topology, of course.

So, anyone with any wisdom to impart??


Re: Choosing a WAN Router

hellooooooooooooooooooooooo :-)

Anybody home?

Jon? Edwin? Anybody else?


Hall of Fame Super Bronze

Re: Choosing a WAN Router

How is the customer's budget ?

Are you planning to use the PISA 6509 as an access-layer switch, distribution switch and WAN switch ?

Are you concerned about the single point of failure ?

If money isn't a object, I still go with the PISA 6509 but only as a distribution switch due to its powerful packet inspection. At the access-layer go with the 3560 or 3750 and as a WAN router, a 3800 should fit the bill.

If you have a huge server farm, consider a fabric enabled 6509 Supervisor (Sup720).


Re: Choosing a WAN Router

Edison, buddy...youre on the wrong topic! LOL

earlier this week I was asking about access layer switches for the server farm and PAn campus..

This thread is about WAN access routers/switches...

The WAN edge facing the remote sites...

I am not sure what criteria I should use to select a solution -- either a router or L3 switch for the WAN edge


Hall of Fame Super Bronze

Re: Choosing a WAN Router

Very hard to provide a formal opinion without looking at the whole picture.

That's the reason network designs are often done onsite, not from remote.

Look at the spec sheets from a router and a 6500 PISA and make the decision which device will provide all the needed features.