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Old 15th July 2008
Yuka Yuka is offline
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Default Router shopping

With the introduction of rapidly increasing available bandwidth to myself... I've realized that my current router (Netgear FVS114) is not keeping up. The router itself is unstable at high speeds, and caps off with an 11.5 mbps total throughput of the WAN-to-LAN interface. Essentially, it has become my bottleneck, considering my allotted bandwidth for my WAN connection is nearing 30 mbps.

I'm looking for a new router that will carry me on into the future.

As far as operations at my residence, I perform more than the average user, gamer, or power user even. I have a rack of servers that host all sorts of services, from HTTP, FTP, mail relay, dedicated game servers, ventrilo AND teamspeak, and a slew of other services that tickle my fancy. Most of these services are web-accessable, meaning they will have to traverse the WAN-to-LAN interface, essentially the routing interface, of any router that is in place. This means I need a versatile router that can stand up to the "punishment" that my network will give it.

I have only worked on Cisco routers in an educational lab in a single semester crash course in CCNA. That was nearly 5 years ago. I haven't worked on cisco routers, or anything besides my own, since. I haven't retained much of the proprietary knowledge, but I have retained the concepts and foundations of routing.

I'm looking into the Cisco 2600 series of routers but I'm having a hard time finding out what module I should buy to connect to my WAN link. Obviously which one I need to purchase is based off of my WAN connection, which in this situation is currently cable internet, but I imagine the delivery to my WAN interface will not change, so we'll assume I have an ethernet connection to the web that dishes out an IP address via DHCP. (Stand-alone cable modem with ethernet interface in this case.) I'm thinking I'll need an ethernet module.

My criteria for the router:
- Have a WAN-to-LAN throughput of greater than 60 mbps (I think it's called the routing interface... it's been a while!)
- Accepts modules for various interfaces
- Have at least one 10/100 mbps RJ-45 LAN link built in
- Accepts more than one module (example: I could have two WAN cards to accept two different WAN links)
- Configurability level that rivals Cisco's level
- 1U Rackmount
- ~120 VAC power input
- Total cost, including modules be less than $200 US. (I'm on a budget, shucks!) That considered, I would consider a used router from a trusted reseller.

So, would your suggestion be to get a 2600 series cisco router or something else? If I go with the 2600 series, should I just get an ethernet module and call it a day?
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Old 15th July 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuka View Post
Total cost, including modules be less than $200 US. (I'm on a budget, shucks!) That considered, I would consider a used router from a trusted reseller.
Personally, I would suggest a 2621 or 2621xm to ensure that you are dealing with Fast Ethernet 100Mbit interfaces. Within any model less than a 2621, you will need to do your homework to ensure that you are not simply getting 10Mbit Ethernet interfaces.

As for WAN modules, consider a WIC-2T, however, you need to determine what kind of cable is needed for your connection.

Lastly, I assume you are looking at eBay.
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Old 20th July 2008
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ai-danno ai-danno is offline
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With all due respect to ocicat's response (and he knows I'm not just nipping at his heels) I think a 2600-series may be underpowered for your current 30 Mbps needs, and will definitely be underpowered for your 60 Mbps future. If my memory is not too fuzzy, they are approximately capable of 24K Packets per second maximum (and that's devoid of any ACL's whatsoever.) They are, IMHO, never great solutions beyond 4 bonded T1's and that's only 6 Mbps. They are the quintessential T1 router, but your bandwidth needs seem to dwarf that capability.

In finding a solution, I believe your bottleneck may be your $200 budget.

On E-bay you can normally find Cisco Catalyst 3550's for roughly $500... so I'd consider upping your budget on that front. If you get the EMI series (DO NOT GET THE SMI VERSION UNLESS IT'S STATED TO HAVE EMI SOFTWARE LOADED ON IT!) you will get full routing capabilities, 24 ports with 2 GBIC ports (on most Ebay'd versions anyway) and enough horsepower to get you near 80 to 85 Mbps of throughput.

I use 3550's extensively in my workplace, and they are truly the workhorse of the routing/switching world.

Of course, if you really wanted to walk on the wild side- If you ever saw a Riverstone RS3000 on Ebay for $650 or less I'd snatch it up in a hearbeat. Riverstone has a real soft-spot in my heart... and they will beat the crap out of a 3550 any day of the week.

That all being said, getting a server to act as your router (running OpenBSD) and plopping a simple or managed switch behind it would also accomplish your goals, and you would gain the admiration and respect of many on this forum (for whatever that is worth LOL!)
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Old 21st July 2008
Yuka Yuka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ai-danno View Post
With all due respect to ocicat's response (and he knows I'm not just nipping at his heels) I think a 2600-series may be underpowered for your current 30 Mbps needs, and will definitely be underpowered for your 60 Mbps future. If my memory is not too fuzzy, they are approximately capable of 24K Packets per second maximum (and that's devoid of any ACL's whatsoever.) They are, IMHO, never great solutions beyond 4 bonded T1's and that's only 6 Mbps. They are the quintessential T1 router, but your bandwidth needs seem to dwarf that capability.

In finding a solution, I believe your bottleneck may be your $200 budget.

On E-bay you can normally find Cisco Catalyst 3550's for roughly $500... so I'd consider upping your budget on that front. If you get the EMI series (DO NOT GET THE SMI VERSION UNLESS IT'S STATED TO HAVE EMI SOFTWARE LOADED ON IT!) you will get full routing capabilities, 24 ports with 2 GBIC ports (on most Ebay'd versions anyway) and enough horsepower to get you near 80 to 85 Mbps of throughput.

I use 3550's extensively in my workplace, and they are truly the workhorse of the routing/switching world.

Of course, if you really wanted to walk on the wild side- If you ever saw a Riverstone RS3000 on Ebay for $650 or less I'd snatch it up in a hearbeat. Riverstone has a real soft-spot in my heart... and they will beat the crap out of a 3550 any day of the week.

That all being said, getting a server to act as your router (running OpenBSD) and plopping a simple or managed switch behind it would also accomplish your goals, and you would gain the admiration and respect of many on this forum (for whatever that is worth LOL!)
Thanks for the info. In my research I found that the 2600 series just won't cut it for me.

It looks like the home-brew router is what I need to set up. I have a Netgear GS724 24-port managed copper gigabit switch with 2x 1gbps fiber ports that should do me fine. (Only port-based VLAN but I can mange.) Now I just need to find a candidate box for this!
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Old 22nd July 2008
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I think a 750mhz or faster processor on a standard PCI motherboard would do just fine, even with a decent PF table load. One tip I learned (somewhere) is that if you are using high packet rates across multiple nics, make sure the nics (as much as possible) share the same IRQ.

And for goodness sake... use OpenBSD! Sorry, shameless plug.
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Old 22nd July 2008
Yuka Yuka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ai-danno View Post
And for goodness sake... use OpenBSD! Sorry, shameless plug.
I've just started to get my feet wet in the BSD world and I've been loving every second of it. It's spectacular in the way that it is so efficient.

What are your reasons that you'd choose to use OpenBSD over other distributions? (If "distribution" is the correct term to use in this case!)
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Old 22nd July 2008
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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I can't answer for ai-danno, but for one, PF is their baby.. a great firewall/routing solution.. I have a very unimpressive looking system looking after my network, with OpenBSD and PF it simply purrs like a kitty.
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Old 22nd July 2008
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BSDFan666 is right about PF. But wait, before you buy, there's more!

- CARP.
- OpenOSPFD.
- OpenBGPD.
- OpenNTPD.
- relayD.
- New! re-written original SNMPD.


And it's not just that OpenBSD uses these- they all originated from the OpenBSD project (including PF.) All other OS's that use these are just ports. When BSD users across the board are asked what OS would be best suited for firewalling out-of-the-box, OpenBSD is normally the first choice.

I'm a network administrator that has to work with the commercial big-boys. And I wish I was allowed to use OpenBSD in their place... it's that good.
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Old 23rd July 2008
Yuka Yuka is offline
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Cool! Thanks for the helpful input everybody! This board is by far the most helpful board geared towards any open-source "product" that I have posted on.
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