Cisco 2800 Series ISR Product Review

Why did you choose this product? What specifically did you like about it?

I like the flexibility and expandability of the 2800 series. It allows me to have one device that performs several functions. This means fewer devices to install and manage. It also allows me to add functionality as the business grows with incremental cost as opposed to buying a new piece of equipment or performing a forklift upgrade to accommodate expansion or changing needs.

 

How have you deployed this product?

We have deployed the 2800 series in several capacities.

2821 at a branch office that serves the following functions:

1. Callmanager Express

2. Unity Express

3. Voice gateway

4. Music On Hold source

5. DHCP server for phones and PCs

6. Internet router for DSL connection

7. VPN

8. Wireless access using the HWIC-AP interface card

 

2821 at a branch office that serves these functions:

1. MGCP voice gateway with SRST

2. Router for frame relay connection to HQ

3. DHCP server for phones and PCs

 

2801 at a branch office that serves these functions:

1. MGCP voice gateway with SRST

2. Music On Hold source

3. DHCP server for phones and PCs

4. Internet router for cable connection

5. VPN

 

If you had to do it over, would you choose this product?

Absolutely, the combination of features makes the 2800 series ISR very attractive from a network management and financial perspective.

 

Any specific caveats you’d like to share about the product?

Be sure to choose the ISR, IOS and Feature Set that meets your immediate needs as well as those in the foreseeable future. For example, consider the following:

1. Do you (or will you) need a network module slot for Unity Express or another module? If so, you’ll need at least a 2811 as the 2801 does not have an NM slot.

2. Do you (or will you) need more than 2 DSP slots? If so, you’ll need at least a 2821.

3. Do you (or will you) need PoE and if so, what is the power requirement?

4. If you will run Callmanager Express or SRST, how many phones do you (or will you) need to support?

 

Make a list of the functionality that you require and make sure that the hardware and software that you choose support these items and leave room for growth

 

2800 Series Models Comparison

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps5854/prod_models_comparison.html

 

What level of experience is needed to install this product?

The level of experience needed to install a 2800 series ISR depends on the functionality expected from the router. If it is to be a standalone router connected to the internet, not much experience is required. If it is to perform voice gateway and/or call processing functions, you should have some experience with voice protocols, QoS, etc. Other functions that it can perform may require wireless or security experience. The diverse experience that could be required speaks to the flexibility and scalability of this product.

 

What types of networks would benefit most from this product?

The networks that would benefit from the 2800 series ISR are small, medium, and branch office networks. Combining routing, telephony, security, and wireless in a single package makes a lot of sense for these networks from a business, financial, and functionality standpoint. From a business perspective, getting the most functionality for your money and investment protection are key. Combining multiple functions in a single hardware platform allows businesses to utilize features such as telephony or wireless with only incremental cost. Also, as the network grows, the Callmanager Express system can become an SRST gateway for a larger Callmanager network, the internet router can become the frame relay or MPLS WAN connection.

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