Need ideas for Fraternity House Internet Access

By jdannehl ·
I work as an IT Consultant to a local fraternity chapter and we are working to upgrade their internet connection. After many upgrades, we've decided to take the leap and install a 10x10 Mbps Fiber line. The house has 87 live-in members and anywhere from 100-150 devices connected to the network. The problem in the past has always come from people streaming media, and clogging up the upload side of the connection with file sharing, malware, and such.

My question is what do you think would be a good router to use with this many users? I don't feel like we fall under the category of small business, but don't want a router that is too complex that we can't set it up or so simple it restricts the bandwidth we have on our fiber. I was thinking about going with the Cisco 1900, but the 8** also looked appealing, just wasn't sure if it could handle over 50 users.

We have upgraded our switches to Cisco SLN224G4PS managed switches and have good cabling throughout the house. The bulk of the users connect thru 9 access points installed on the different levels of the house.

Also, is there a good software to help keep an eye on and manage the traffic on the network? With this increased speed, it's only a matter of time until they start to plug it up again and I'd like to have some way to manage that. Ideally I'd like to be able to limit streaming video & online gaming when normal web browsing is elevated (with the idea being people using their browsers to do homework).

Any help would be appriciated!

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All Answers

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Whatever you think you need....double it

by robo_dev In reply to Need ideas for Fraternity ...

In general, buy as much performance as the budget allows. Whatever you think will be fast enough will not be fast enough.

In terms of streaming media, you need to implement QOS, obviously.

With Cisco gear, the first level of monitoring is with the basic free stuff...their switch management apps (catalyst switch manager), then to their CiscoWorks products $$, finally graduating to their NetFlow traffic analyzer apps and tools $$$.

Of course there are tons of free and commercial apps for network traffic monitoring, SNMP tools, etc, etc, A google search on 'network management software' returns 8 million hits.

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Reponse To Answer

by jdannehl In reply to Whatever you think you ne ...

Would you have a router around the 1K range you might recommend? I would like to stick with something Cisco, but not sure if I'll be able to do all the configuration thru just the console and don't know if I'll have access to Cisco Configuration Professional. Do the higher end routers have a web based utility like their cheaper lines do? Thanks again!

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I cannot claim to be an expert, but most of the Cisco products

by robo_dev In reply to Need ideas for Fraternity ...

that I've seen have both Web-based and CLI access or at least a web-based config utility.

I really cannot recommend a router since I really don't know all your requirements...Cisco has all sorts of products from their ASA series, their 800, 900....etc etc.

Nobody ever got fired for buying Cisco, but it's not the cheapest gear on the block.

You really need to dive deep into precisely what your requirements are...everything from VLANs to QOS, throughput, redundancy/failover, whether you want to do voice at some point, what are your needs for WLAN, power over ethernet, etc, etc. I don't work for Cisco, but you need to call your Cisco rep and figure it out.

The big $$$ buys you more interfaces, more power supplies, more features, more throughput. To compare apples-to-apples, Cisco has some enterprise-class competitors such as Juniper, HP, Aruba, Checkpoint, etc. But there's no magic Lexus that's as cheap as a Kia out there.

If you go too cheap, you get flaky hardware with no tech support, and serious quality issues. A $4 wall-wart power supply for consumer-grade gear will die during a soft power surge, while a Cisco router with dual power supplies could probably survive a near lightning strike intact.

Similarly, if you get into a very complex routing, VPN, or QOS configuration, there are all sorts of complications and even software bugs that mean that even though we are all experts, you really need 'real' tech support who speaks English.

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