Technology convergence is, in theory at Least, a great idea. One product doing more things MEANS less complexity, more integration and lower cost. But all too OFTEN THERE ARE drawbacks. In many Cases, the good features of a standalone device, built up through Years of product evolution, are lost. Technology hashing is RIFE in dry and Consumer Products, Mobile Phones, digital cameras and PDAs, and the Same is true in business technology INCLUDING firewalls, anti-malware devices, content filters, Intrusion Detection and Prevention Devices.
Several years ago, Cisco’s hardware design engineers Released Their own take on convergence, the Integrated Services Router (ISR) family. Blending Cisco’s expertise in security, wireless networking, VoIP telephony, network switches and routers, the company’s range of products has now enjoyed a Few Years of revision and evolution.
For this review, the U.S. shipped Cisco ISR 891 product, “Which is designed for small offices and remote Branches from 8 up to 50 users. Our testing and evaluation and reveals, WE feel That it gets the right balance of features, and fits its target market perfectly.
Design & Features
The Cisco 891 is a small-form-factor device in the ubiquitous Cisco dark gray. Although its size is diminutive Physical, the number of features That Cisco’s engineers has packed Into it ensures it Will live up to its ‘Integrated Services’ moniker. This ISR focuses primarily on the networking of side of the coin convergence, integrating AN eight-port Switch That Supports up to 14 VLANs. Four of the network ports CAN BE USED for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) for VoIP handsets injection or wireless LAN access points.
Being a Cisco product, it includes a feature Also-rich router That boasts two WAN ports, with V90 dial-up in the 891 version, and ISDN (BRI) in the 892 model for backup connectivity. One disappointment is the 890 That family does not offer a 3G option like its 880 sibling. We has been informed 3G That May Be on the cards for the 890s in the near Future. There is Also a plethora of support VPN, VPN and dynamic INCLUDING GETVPN.
Security systems are inherent, as They should Be for a device transporting corporate data Between the Branches and Head Office. Cisco’s usual consistency and simplicity with evident in this device. For example, the Internetwork Operating System (IOS) is Still there, Along with the traditional serial interface (for the hardcore stalwarts Cisco That Love the text-based interface).
Also Cisco supplies a user-friendly and Intuitive Graphical User Interface That includes a number of neat Wizards. One of the standouts is the security audit function, Which runs through a list of best-practice security Checks and creates a simple list. The administrator of can then review this list and jump to the Directly Potential vulnerability to Make Amendments to the configuration. For Larger deployments, the Administration Can Be Also undertaken remotely from a Centralised Management, Monitoring and Policy System.