Cisco is planning to release the 860 and 880 routers with on board 802.11n this coming June. This is "really good news" for wireless network administrators dealing with remote branch and home offices. Finally; a business grade, multi-purpose, 802.11n device that is affordable.Just what are Integrated Services Routers?
Quite simply, the ISR family is a product line where a single device has multiple functions. This approach is not new but becomes significant because Cisco an industry leader is doing it. Just wait, this new tack by Cisco becomes even more interesting. In what many would consider a smart move by the somewhat stodgy company, Cisco has asked third party developers to create centralized applications for the ISR family of routers. Larry Dignan-executive editor for ZDNet news and blogs-examines this very subject in his post "With new support for third party apps, Cisco routers start to look like servers."800 ISR series specifically
The 800 series routers using 802.11b/g have been around for a while now, but the new 802.11n versions are somewhat different. I thought some pictures of the hardware might be useful. Credit for the images and my thanks go to Cisco.
The new 860 and 880 routers (pdf) with 802.11n share the following traits. Even though the features are common to both, there are some configurations like those pertaining to security where the 880 series will have more advanced options:
Stateful inspection firewallFeatures specific to the 880
QoS for multiple applications
IPsec VPN with multiple encryption options
4 port 10/100 FE switch with VLAN support
802.11n Draft 2.0 (Wi-Fi Alliance certified)
The 880 wireless router has a few additional features that could easily become requirements, especially if you are looking for redundancy in upstream network connections:
Dual WAN capabilitiesFinal thoughts
PoE is available on two of the four ports
I for one am pleased to see Cisco release an affordable business-class 802.11n router specifically for small organizations or remote branch offices. The price, Cisco's product reputation, 802.11n Draft 2 capabilities with an upgrade path to ratified form should make the 800 series a big winner.
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