Cisco 891 Integrated Services Router

Several years ago, launched by the design engineers of Cisco equipment his own vision of convergence, integrated services router (ISR) family. Mixture of know-how Cisco security, wireless, VoIP, switches and routers in the network, the range of the company’s products have already enjoyed several years of review and development.

For this review, please send us the product Cisco ISR 891, which is designed for small offices and branch offices from 80 to 50 users. As our test and evaluation shows seems to have good characteristics of balance and is perfectly suited to your target audience.

Design and features

The Cisco 891 is a device of small form factor in the ubiquitous Cisco dark gray. Despite its physical size is very small, is the number of features that Cisco engineers have packed up to his nickname of “integrated services”. SRI is supported primarily focused on the side of the coin converged network, integration of a switch with eight ports to VLAN 14. Four of the ports of the network can be used for Power over Ethernet (PoE) injection for VoIP phones or wireless access points.

As a Cisco product, which is also a multi-functional router has two WAN ports with dial version V90-891, and ISDN (BRI) in the model 892 for the backup connection. A disappointment is that the 890-series offers a choice of 3G does not love his brother 880th We were informed that the 3G is in the cards for 890 years in the near future. There are many VPN support, including dynamic VPN GETVPN.

Security systems are intrinsically because it will be a device for transferring data between stores and corporate headquarters. Cisco usual consistency and simplicity is evident in this unit. For example, the Internetwork Operating System (IOS) is still there, with a conventional serial port (for hard-core warriors Cisco love the text mode interface).

Cisco also offers an intuitive graphical user interface and easy to use, including a number of participants. A highlight is the security audit function, which runs through a list of best practices for security checks and make a simple list. The administrator can check this list and go to the potential sensitivity to changes in the configuration. For large installations, the administration also remotely from a control, central monitoring and policies are carried out.

The 891 / 2 SIR-series offers an optional integrated wireless access point 802.1n by 891-892 WW-features and codes. This may be sufficient for most small offices, to provide the network end connection panel and WAN connectivity is a convenient place (preferably in the distribution of head office), separate wireless access points, otherwise the access may be considered. Cisco also provides granular control over the wireless configuration. The 891 supports wireless management unified, allowing the policy in wireless and urged a global basis the company WLAN.

How we tested

A regional office or the office with 10 to 15 employees – We have created a replica of the environment in which one of these devices are generally used. We connected the drive and ran through the entire process of their creation, the connection to the WAN, wireless security and basic guidelines to create a VPN connection to the user. The entire process is completed in less than an hour, and it’s someone not very familiar with the graphical user interface of Cisco. As already mentioned, the security audit function is excellent, and a number of common mistakes, could not focus on security administrators easy to fix.

With the test network performance Enex eMetrics, are the components of wireless products from radio to double through a series of performance tests. Test the target server was connected directly test eMetrics a network port RJ-45 ports on the switch router and two laptops are used by the client (was equipped with 802.11n, while the other had 802.11g). There was no load on the network interfaces when the traffic separation eMetrics because we were looking for testing of raw performance. The results were recorded in kbps.

Then simulate a real environment in the world and through hoops 891 at different distances and obstacles such as walls, corridors, corners, floors, elevators and stairs between the client and the access point ( PA) for up to 55 meters.

Wireless Performance Cisco ISR 891 is good, with a maximum in the 802.11n 70Mbps 802.11g network around closely, and just under 20 Mbps. Up to 40 meters, the 802.11n standard is a very healthy performance advantage over 40Mbps 11g 802nd, up to 20 Mbps, respectively, and at that distance. About 40 meters, the performance decreases drastically to practically put online with up to 55m 802.11b and 802.11g. The performance bottleneck in many networks is the WAN / Internet – especially if the branch is connected via ADSL, and the range of 1 Mbps to 4 Mbps