Today many companies and IT departments are seeing their current DS3’s being utilized to their maximum ability. Many are hitting their daily throughput of 40-45Mbs and don’t know what the best migration path might be. With most companies still using serial HSSI interfaces that can’t be upgraded where do you go from here?
Many Carriers are quickly moving to metro Ethernet as an easy migration path for their serial customers who need more bandwidth than that standard 45MBs. With Metro Ethernet you can have the freedom to start at 60Mbs with a burstable rate above this threshold. This gives you the breathing room for today and the abiliy to increase to a full 100MBs later as you bandwidth needs grow.
But What About the Router?
Many of you maybe thinking, “That’s fine but what about the router?” Well leave it to Cisco to be thinking ahead and if you are one of the lucky folks who have a 2600, 2800, 3600, 3700, or 3800 series router, boy do they have a card for you! What can be easily migrated to from your standard serial card is a 16 or 32 port Ethernet Switch card like the NM-16ESW 16 port EtherSwitch Module.
These modules are designed to fit right in the existing network module slots in your router. Combining robust Layer 3 flexible WAN routing with low-density line-rate Layer 2 switching, the EtherSwitch modules provide straightforward configuration, easy deployment and integrated management in a single platform.
Configuring these modules are as easy as configuring any switch interface. But understand that these new interfaces are straight layer 2 interfaces and can not be assigned an ip address. To get around this we simply create a vlan interface, assign the needed ip address for your carrier uplink, then assigned the new vlan to the switch port you’ve plugged in your new metro ethernet carrier handoff. You can do this and keep your existing ip addresses so no routing or acl changes need to occur. Viola’ your done!
One final thing to keep in mind if you want to move your current ip address from your serial interface to your new ethernet interface. You will need to setup a coordinated cutover with your service provider. This again is very simple and quick for most providers as its simply a matter of moving your ip address to a new ethernet interface. But be perpared. Do expect a breif outage during the cutover and as always have a backup of your config and be prepared to move back in the event of an emergency.
For more information on these EtherSwitch modules for your router check out the specs on Cisco’s website.