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20.0 Products and Services
»[HELP] Why Cisco instead other brands?
»[H/W] Cisco 851 versus new gen cheap routers (ex:Dir-600)
When you have financial constraints, you could also consider Cisco 831/837, 827, or even 806 router models. However keep in mind that these models are End Of Sale (EOS) and are no longer supported by Cisco. Fortunately like other Cisco equipments, those old models long lasted.
Check out the following thread for more info.
»Cisco Router and Switch?
Official Cisco website regarding the 800 series router
However if you plan to do VPN or more toward security, you might want to consider ASA 5505 since the ASA is designed to do VPN and firewall.
Official Cisco website regarding the ASA 5500 series
For some basic VPN and firewall features, the legacy PIX Firewall 501 might do the job as well.
Official Cisco website regarding the PIX 501 model
Keep in mind that either the ASA nor PIX is not a router. Therefore if you have or plan to have two ISP or have redundant ISP links; then you need both router and the PIX, or a router that have VPN and Firewall features.
See as well following FAQ:
»Cisco Forum FAQ »Which Cisco solution is right for my situation?
Often people who submit questions of this nature have a limited knowledge of networking and/or the equipment involved and they don't know how or where to look for assistance. Some seek network consultants to help with determining requirements while individuals or smaller companies may avoid this choice due to financial constraints.
Cisco offers a broad spectrum of products and solutions for all networking situations. They can fulfill the networking needs of a home users or SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) network, up to and including requirements of major corporations, ISPs, and bandwidth carriers/providers. In fact, Cisco dominates the network equipment market worldwide.
Fortunately, Cisco provides tools to help determine what products and solutions will best help you meet your specific network requirements.
Here is the link for small business:
Cisco for Small & Medium Business
Here is the link to a general solution tool that applies to all organizations:
»Cisco Forum FAQ »Cisco Equipment Performance (per pps and Mbps)
»Cisco makes it hard to sell their products - contact info?
»Router Recommendation for Fios 35/35
»[Info] Router and switch suggestions for small office
»Small ISP core design, need input
You plan to purchase Cisco router but not sure how fast they are? Or you just need to know how fast your Cisco router you already have? Following official Cisco documentations should be a good start to find out.
Cisco Router Performance (pdf file)
Cisco Switch Performance (pdf file)
Cisco ASA 5500 Series Next Generation Firewalls
The 1941 model is rated at a theoretical max of 299kpps with *no* services -- no nat, no firewall, no inspect, no anything. The router performance rating in mbps is given by 64-byte performance -- but if you assume standard imix distribution -- you're still only looking at ~223mbps bare services.
ISR/G2 is a software driven platform. Anything you turn on requires CPU cyles -- which takes away from the boxes ability to push packets.
It is the same scenario with the c720x/vxr (get the vxr models if you go this route) with an npe-g1 or npe-g2 -- the difference is that the 7206 is a bigger router with a better clock.
If you're looking for edge router with firewall and crypto - you'll get better performance from an ASA 5500 series for a lot better price. However -- if you need to speak bgp with the provider -- you're going to need a router or go with Juniper SRX models.
Lets compare apples to apples, here.
Please keep in mind that routed ports != switched ports.
A 3550 with two gbics could switch a gig/sec of packets. It is most likely that the switch could come close to that speed "routing" those packets. The issue is that you're not going to be able to run inspect, cbac, nat, etc. on a 3550 switch. For that, you need a 'router' that is capable of said features. The problem is that those features either need (a) a lot of cpu cycles to run or (b) specialized asics to perform those features at line rate (or in the case of the asr1k -- have enough virtualised cores on the box to be able to dedicate one to each function as needed). Another approach is to use Catalyst 6500 series switch with ASA firewall module to provide routing, switching, and firewall on the same box.
In reviewing the switch's counterpart - switchperformance.pdf - you see a much higher pps number. However this is just routing and switching, nothing fancy. The switch ports in a 887 router model should get you close to gig speeds with standard frame size. They are -- after all -- just hitting the switch and back out (although a closer look at the architecture again may be in order to see if you're hitting any weird anomalies or pitfalls). The "fabric" (whose term should not be misused) may not support more than one or two concurrent gig streams -- but you should be able to switch at a gig.
Long story short, you need to compare things correctly and in the right context. You also need to understand the fundamental difference between a 'router' and a 'switch' and how they each can be used for the greatest gain. You are not going to get an easy answer to your question. You are going to need to get a bigger router, one meant to handle a gig with services. If you were just doing nat, you may be able to squeeze out with a 6503e/sup720 and use hardware-assisted nat and use an ASA firewall module for filtering, etc -- but it is unclear whether such switch configuration that would run you in comparison to a 7206vxr/npe-g2.
Another example is the 1700 router line. One can install an additional 10M ether (WIC-1ENET) or a 4 port switch (WIC-4ESW). While one can get near 100Mbps between ports on the ESW as long as they are in the same VLAN. Any routed (eg. inter-vlan) packets have to go to the CPU. The CPU interface for both cards is the Motorola PQUICC high speed serial bus, which is also why those WICs ONLY work in the 1700's. That bus maxes out at 12Mbps(??), on paper. In practice, the WIC can never go over 8.
The 7200's have well documented PCI backplane bandwidth limits. (in Cisco-speak, a "credit" system) The backplane capacity of most cat switches is documented as well. This "credit" system is just Cisco's way of simplifying the bandwidth requirements. In this 7200 series router context, the credit system refers to the bandwidth requirements of the PA's.
What isn't well documented is the effects of services on throughput. And for good reason since one static NAT translation is way different from 10k dynamic translations. Further, Cisco doesn't want to publish actual PCI bus bit rates for their hardware.
The credit system on the c7200 (which Cisco may officially refer as bus points) is enjoyable document to keep. You know where you sit at all times and as long as you do the math, you're ok. All things considered, from a cisco perspective, its very clear cut. For this case the onboard ge ports would be enough for a 1 Gbps link throughput.
The 7200 chassis (or any vendor's chassis) has a finite point value. Each added PA takes its given value (though you must keep track of the math yourself). Exceed the points, then you risk contention. If you know your traffic flows -- you can do this -- but you have to be careful.
The Cat6k offers different perspective entirely. Look at any mailing list on the effects of mixing and matching cfc/dfc types in the chassis, how the cards attach to the backplane, how the internal movement of traffic actually happens as it pertains to the backplane -- not to even mention the limitations of each sup and how they affect the overall forwarding of the box. While the Cat6k performance is well documented, it is very hard to take in for all cards on that platform. While it still provides value and is still a swiss-army knife, it will be interesting when the Cat6k platform is finally EOL and is replaced with something of next generation platform.
Specification of other Cisco equipments
For other Cisco equipments, you can check the following link:
Cisco Product Quick Reference Guide
Additional Info: Nexus switch performaces
»Cisco Forum FAQ »Between Catalyst 6500, Catalyst 6500E, and Nexus platforms
Check out the following discussions for real-live illustration
»[HELP] Cisco 1811 is crashing
»[HELP] Cisco router vs 3Com router
»1921 vs 891 Throughput Testing
»Metro Ethernet: 2821 vs. 2921 router
»[H/W] Cisco 851 versus new gen cheap routers (ex:Dir-600)
»[Config] New ISP, same router (Cisco 1711)
»[H/W] 1711 - upgrade to 1811 or 881 or the new 891
»[H/W] Home Setup - 50MB Cable Connection
»[H/W] Router for 100Mbps/1000Mbps Encrypted
»1811 Load / Performance Testing Results
1. Buy a new-never-used Cisco equipment from reliable store or seller. Following is a list of some of them that are specialized in home users and small businesses.
7025 Kit Creek Drive
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
7100-8 Kit Creek Road
PO Box 14987
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-4987
7200-11 Kit Creek Road
PO Box 14987
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-4987
The below is a just a small (one person) sales office:
7900 Triad Center Drive, Suite 337
Greensboro, North Carolina 27409
The above Cisco offices in RTP are known to be "crazy", with 30-50% discounts or more. The reason that they are also a corporate location, and they want market share.
Ask about "small business discounts", "bundles", promotions, Cisco refurbished etc.
For more list of Cisco authorized resellers, check out the following official Cisco link
Locate a Cisco Partner Near You
2. When you buy the equipment, don't forget to buy also the proper Smartnet contract for the equipment. Following FAQ has more info on Smartnet.
»Cisco Forum FAQ »What is Smartnet? Do I need one?
3. To make it easy for you, buy both the equipment and the Smartnet contract from the same store or seller; and have them register the equipment
4. For most home users, Cisco 850 or 870 series router should be sufficient
Now let's say you already have the equipment and it is time for installation and configuration. When you have no or limited knowledge of networking, here are some tips.
1. When you plan to connect the equipment to your ISP, make sure you have all the info you need. There are things you need to ask your ISP and other things you might need to ask your seller or store where you buy the Cisco equipment.
2. Questions to ask your ISP include
* Connection method to ISP: PPP (either PPPoE or PPPoA), static IP, DHCP (dynamically assigned)
* IP address you will get from your ISP (the public IP address) along with the subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server IP address
* Equipment speed setting necessary: full duplex, half duplex, or auto
Following FAQ lists some things to expect when dealing with ISP to setup network for home users and small businesses.
»Cisco Forum FAQ »Things to expect when setup network for home or small business
3. Questions to ask your seller or store include
* MAC address (or addresses) of your Cisco equipment
* Cisco TAC or Support Center phone number
4. Once you have all the necessary info, follow the Quick Start Up instruction that come with the equipment to install and setup
For a glimpse, it looks like there are a lot to prepare when dealing with Cisco equipment. Well, don't quit just yet. :)
All those things are necessary (sometime required) to make things go smoothly. Keep in mind that Cisco equipments are built with reliability as #1 priority. Therefore Cisco equipments can be "picky" in terms of installation, configuration, and support. All of these are to ensure that everything work just as is supposed to be.
You might ask, "why do I not have to go through this with Netgear, Linksys, DLink, or similar brand?". Yes, those brands are easy to use, are they? :) However that easiness comes with big consequences. The brand sacrifices reliability a lot. That is why when you poke into Netgear, Linksys, or DLink forum; you always find horror stories that leads to unreliable equipments.
So prepare yourself. There might be few bumps in the ride. Relax, it is only a process. We are always here to help anyway. Once you get through it, you can just leave your Cisco equipment alone and never to be touched again. It runs solid as a rock once you get it right :D
Cisco 1720, 1721, 1751, 1760, 2610-51, 2610-51XM, 2691, 3620, 3640, 3640A, 3660, 3725, and 3745
Both the 1-port and 2-port HWIC ADSL cards are supported on the Cisco 1841, 1861, 2801, 2811, 2821, 2851, 3825, 3845, 1921, 1941, 2901, 2911, 2921, 2951, 3925 and 3945 ISRs.
Check out the following official Cisco website links for more info.
Cisco ADSL WIC FAQ
ADSL2 High-Speed WIC
The ADSL feature is supported in the IP/ADSL Image ("y7" image) for the Cisco 1700 Series. Cisco 2600/3600/3700 series routers require a PLUS IOS image for ADSL if using 12.2T. From 12.3 Mainline and beyond ADSL WIC support is available in the "IP Base" feature set. Some QoS features require an advanced image (IP PLUS, IP VOICE, or above) for Cisco 1700/2600/3600/3700 series router support.
The ADSL over POTS WIC (WIC-1ADSL), is available on the Cisco IOS 12.2(13)T Release for the Cisco 1700/2600/3600/3700 series routers.
The 1-port HWICs are supported starting with Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(4)T and the 2-port HWICs are supported starting with Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4(6)T on the Cisco 1841, 1861, 2801, 2811, 2821, 2851, 3825, 3845 ISRs. The 1-port and 2-port HWICS are supported starting with Cisco IOS Software Release 15.0(1)M for 1941, 2901, 2911, 2921, 2951, 3925 and 3945 ISRs.
»[H/W] Bug with WIC-1ADSL / HWIC-1ADSL
»Low Latency Queueing Problem With PPPOE(OA?)
Device Configuration Manager
Software Image Manager
Cisco Management Connection
Courtesy of rolande in his post here
For more info on automatic monitoring system including the logging software, check out the following FAQ
»Cisco Forum FAQ »Automatic Network Health Monitoring and Reporting System: An Introduction
From my experiences, the following router model share the similar memory chip specification. Therefore, most of the time memory chip from one model is interchangeable with another.
* 800 series prior to 850/870 series; SOHO 90 series; 1700 series; 2600XM series; 2650 & 2651 - 100 Pin DIMM, SDRAM, 125MHz/133MHz, Unbuffered, Non-parity, 8ns, 3.3V, 16Meg x 32
* 800 series: 870 series - (provided by bigsy ) 168 pin DIMM low-profile CL3 non-ECC PC 133, i.e. Kingston KVR133X64C3L/128 works (full specification is clickable here), modules that are not low profile will not fit in the case correctly
* 800 ISR series: 880 series - (provided by jmbronk , RuggeR ) 512MB PC2 4200 SODIMM, i.e. Samsung PC2-4200S-444-12-A and Samsung 512MB PC2-4200S-444-12-A3 work
* 2600 series (excluding XM models and the 2650, 2651, and 2691) - 100 Pin DIMM, EDO, 60ns
* All 1800 routers EXCEPT 1841 - 200 Pin SODIMM, SDRAM, 266MHz DDR, Non-ECC CL2.5 e.g. Kingston KVR266X64SC25/256
* 1841 - 144 Pin SODIMM, SDRAM, 133MHz, Non-ECC CL3 e.g. Kingston KVR133X64SC3/256
* 2811/21/51 - (provided by kamikatze from this post) ECC DDR266/333/400 DDR. Kingston do a 512MB upgrade - KCS-D2800/512
* 3825/45 - (provided by kamikatze ) DDR333 or higher with ECC and at least CL2.5 (@333MHz). Kingston do 256MB & 512MB upgrades - KCS-D3825/256 & KCS-D3825/512
Note from cramer
Cisco 3845: ECC, DDR333 (PC2700) ONLY
System only supports 166Mhz DDRs /PC3200 DIMMs
DRAM: Non ECC memory not supported !!
DRAM: DIMM0, invalid Module Data Width of 64
DRAM: DIMM 0 width not supported - 4
DRAM: DIMM1 width not supported - 4
* 800, 820
* 2500; 2600 (2610, 2611, 2612, 2613, 2620, 2621, 2650, 2651); 3600; 4000 (4000/4000M, 4500/4500M, 4700/4700M)
* All 2600XM models
For more info, check out the following Cisco link:
Cisco 1700 series
Cisco 2600 and 2600XM series
ASA5505 DRAM: (provided by bigsy ) 184 pin PC3200 DIMM CL3 UB Non-ECC i.e. Kingston KVR400X64C3A/512 works (full specification is clickable here), MAX 512MB
ASA5505 Flash: CompactFlash (512MB SanDisk works)
»[H/W] Anyone out there with an 891?
»[Info] Recommended 1811 3rd party ram
»ASA 5500 Series 8.3(x) Memory Requirements
»[H/W] 881W ISR RAM Upgrades
»Cisco 5520 ASA Memory
Just to let u know that non ecc ram DOES work in the 2811, I put in mine
And 2801 also uses sodimm pc133 ram, like the 1841 does, I tested various makes in 128 and 256Mb and they all worked in the 2801 In the 2811 I tested both ECC and nonECC that worked Samsung 256mb DDR PC2100 CL2.5 ECC (pc2100u-25331-a1)(cn0510) Samsung 512Mb DDR PC2700 CL2.5 (pc2700u-25331-z)(cn0452) Ofcourse u can't run non ECC and ECC in the same device
Just wanted to confirm that Samsung 512MB PC2-4200S-444-12-A3 is indeed compatible with the Cisco 881. Figured I'd take the gamble and bought a stick off ebay and it worked! I'll take a $10 upgrade over a $150 upgrade anyday.
Product Field Notice Summary
Cisco Feature Navigator
The same link can also be used to check if there is any later release of specific IOS platform.
Starting with the new line of routers and switches, there is no longer these kind of confusion since there is only one IOS image file to deal with which is a Universal IOS image file. A lot of features have been included in the basic IOS image, which cover most small and home user needs.
However for those who needs advanced services such as OSPF, BGP, EIGRP (part of Advanced IP Services) or IPSec (part of Advanced Security), note that you need advanced license in order to use. In this case, you may need the feature navigator to determine which license you need to have specific features you look for.