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Small Office Router RV08/016 or 891 -which appropriate?

I am not certain this is correct forum, but I doubt sales techs will be able to provide requested info. I am a knowledgable newbie, but not formally trained. After 6 or 7 years, the old Linksys died and am looking to upgrade hardware and inet access. It is a small, professional office, at most 3-5 people (on a seasonal basis). First criteria is, at a minimum, dual WAN access for reliability. We are a ship without a rudder without internet access. Questions:

1. According to Router Performance table, dated 11/3/2009, the 890 series supports 51.2 Mbps with no services. Is that figure 1. per port in each direction, 2. per port with both directions combined, or 3. is it some combo of both WAN ports.

1.A. According to testing at SmallNetBuilder, the RV 08 & 016 have a simultaneous throughput of about 150 Mbps. Considering the 890 is about twice as expensive as the RV08/016, can someone help me understand why?

1.B. I may add FIOS at 25/25 Mbps as a second WAN, so either RVs or 891 should handle the line speed. Am I correct that the 891 is the option which has 2 GbE WAN ports? FIOS tech has said they can run an ethernet line in from the outside box, while the DSL is also ethernet.

2. I think the 891 has more options to configure the interaction between the 2 WANs, but that very configurability makes me nervous and doubt my technical skills. I really do not mind the CLI, but have no experience with Cisco's OS. Can anyone recommend a good book or is the documentation on the CISCO website usually adequate?

2.A. I understand the RVs will use either WAN or the survivor if one fails, but that the RVs will not bond the speeds of each WAN so that the throughput to the WAN is the speed of the WAN being used by the RVs. Will the 891 bond the 2 WANS so that total throughput is the combined speed of both WANs?

2.B. If the answer is yes, will I still have to direct that https access proceed only through one WAN so that recipients on the WEB, such as banks and government agencies, are not confused by the bonding process?

3. Does the 891 provide more ways to make use of a dual WAN situation? If I do not go with the 891, I will probably buy the RV016 for the multiple WANS, as 3G seems interesting as a backup service.

3.A. As this location is a home office, does the 891 afford the  option of creating time-based rule sets for the bonding of the WANS so  that during daytime a configuration suitable for the office is used and at night a configuration suitable for speed and family enjoyment is used?

4. Is it possible to use the USB port as an additional WAN port by attaching a USB 3G modem? I think the answer is no, but maybe I am wrong.

5. The 891 info page says something about the 891 having a dial-up backup ability. Is that an additional WAN port (RJ45?) in addition to the 2 WAN ports?

6. I have 2 VOIP lines running over a dedicated DSL line at 3M/768k. Does either the RV or the 890 provide better support for VOIP? I plan on buying a CISCO Series 300 managed switch to plug into the router. Does either router work better with the switch?

7. Except for the possible multi WAN bonding by the 891 and the VOIP issue, the RVs seem to provide most of what I need for less cost than the 891, but since I have no experience with routers at this level, is someone with experience willing to point out some of the benefits I will get from the 891 which I will not have with the RVs?

Thank you to anyone who wades through this post (even if you do not respond, though responses are exceedingly appreciated).

3 REPLIES
New Member

Small Office Router RV08/016 or 891 -which appropriate?

Hello David Midkiff,

The 800 series routers are Enterprise devices, so I'll answer the questions pertaining to the RV series routers. You can probably get additional input on the 800 series routers here:

https://supportforums.cisco.com/community/netpro/network-infrastructure/routing .

1b. None of the RV0xx routers have Gigabit Ethernet interfaces on the LAN or WAN side.

2. I've had mixed experiences with the documentation. The documentation is always very thorough, so it can sometimes be hard to find the specific documentation that pertains to the exact setup you are trying to achieve. I don't think you will find a book that focuses exclusively on the dual WAN setup. I've always liked the official Cisco Press books. The CCNA 640-802 Official Cert Library, Updated (3rd Edition), would be a good place to start.

2a. You can "bond" the WANs on the RV0xx routers. This feature is called load balancing. However, the WAN setup is an either or proposition. You can use failover or load balancing, but not both.

4. The SRP500 series are small business routers that support USB 3G modems for WAN. I don't think you can use a USB 3G modem with an RV0xx, unless the modem has an Ethernet interface. The SRP also provides voice and wireless capabilities.

6. You might want to look at the voice capabilities of the SRP, which could augment your existing VOIP service. I don't think either the RV0xx or 800 would work better with a Sx 300. Support will be a little easier if you have an RV0xx router and Sx 300 switch, since the same engineer can support both of those devices. Whereas if you went with the 800 series router an Enterprise engineer would only be able to support the 800, and a Small Business engineer would only be able to support the Sx 300.

7. Generally speaking, the 800 series routers will provide more features than the RV0xx routers. This is partially due to the fact that the 800 can be configured via CLI, whereas the RV0xx have no CLI.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

-john

New Member

Re: Small Office Router RV08/016 or 891 -which appropriate?

John,

Thank you for the comments.

- dave

Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Small Office Router RV08/016 or 891 -which appropriate?

1. According to Router Performance table, dated 11/3/2009, the 890 series supports 51.2 Mbps with no services. Is that figure 1. per port in each direction, 2. per port with both directions combined, or 3. is it some combo of both WAN ports.

The value of 51.2 Mbps, with CEF enabled, expressed in HALF duplex and no encryption.  Half the value and you'll get the WAN speed expressed in Full duplex OR with encryption.  Half this value further and you'll get the WAN speed expressed in Full Duplex AND with encryption.

Few things about the 890:

1.  PoE support with the purchase of a daughterboard and a separate power supply.  Only 4 (out of 8) LAN ports will have PoE support. 

2.  Supports up to 14 VLANs (including VLAN 1).

3.  8 Layer 2 FastEthernet ports, 1 GigabitEthernet port and 1 WAN port.

4.  Supports Zone Based Firewall (ZBW).

2. I think the 891 has more options to configure the interaction between the 2 WANs, but that very configurability makes me nervous and doubt my technical skills. I really do not mind the CLI, but have no experience with Cisco's OS. Can anyone recommend a good book or is the documentation on the CISCO website usually adequate?

As long as you are comfortable with configuring the 890 with CLI you can take steps in getting there.  Like what your are doing now, posting your questions in this forum, alot of people can help you with your issues if you provide us with a description of what you are trying to do.

3. Does the 891 provide more ways to make use of a dual WAN situation? If I do not go with the 891, I will probably buy the RV016 for the multiple WANS, as 3G seems interesting as a backup service.

I don't think the 890 supports dual WAN connection.  The 890 does not have a 3G upgrade option.

3.A. As this location is a home office, does the 891 afford the  option of creating time-based rule sets for the bonding of the WANS so  that during daytime a configuration suitable for the office is used and at night a configuration suitable for speed and family enjoyment is used?

Heck yeah.  You can create a time-based Access Control List (ACL) and attach this to your WAN link.  As long as the time and date are correct, of course.

4. Is it possible to use the USB port as an additional WAN port by attaching a USB 3G modem? I think the answer is no, but maybe I am wrong.

The USB port of the 890 is predominantly used for data transfer of files to-and-from the USB stick.  It's not designed as a "LAN/WAN" link.  It's also useful in case the firmware of your router gets corrupted because you can boot the router's IOS from a specially formatted USB stick.

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