Picking a New T1 Router

So as part of the New Store Network Architecture project, one of the major decisions to make was what piece of equipment to use as a T1 router.  All our stores have T1 connections on MPLS, and there is no interest from management to move away from that, so we need some sort of router to connect to the T1 in each store.  We had been using a mixture of Cisco 2610s and 1841s in our stores, but from the beginning we bought them grey-market, so we never had support on them, and were limited to the IOS that came on them.  Since we were actually taking the time to do this project right, and had the budget and the go-ahead to replace with new equipment, we decided to look into new routers.

The architecture that we had planned out for this network meant that the router would not be responsible for much.  We need the router to run BGP, but other than that we could get away with a media converter, if such thing existed.  So while we could have gotten a Cisco 1900, which certainly would have done the job, we instead looked at Adtran.  Adtran offers free lifetime software updates and generous support terms, for a significantly lower price than Cisco.  And for our fairly simple needs, Adtran’s Netvanta 3200 series routers fit the bill almost exactly.  One T1 interface, 1 Ethernet interface, runs BGP, and no frills.  I tested it out, and was able to get it working sufficiently in the lab, so I felt pretty comfortable with the decision.  There were a couple annoyances with configuration of the device, namely the way you have to enable the BGP neighbor in two different places, but once I figured it out, it wasn’t too bad.  One relatively serious gripe, however, is that the routers do not have an SSH client.  It is possible to telnet out of one to another device, but not SSH.  This has bit us a couple times when we’ve had misconfigured equipment shipped to a site hundreds of miles away, and it would be really easy to fix if we could just SSH from the router.

So we bought and are deploying several hundred Adtran Netvanta 3205 routers.    So far, so good.


Currently drinking: Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale

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