Recommendations for router with routed copper gig-e ports?


I'm involved in a project where we are cutting over a WISP from being a
single broadcast domain into the grownup real world of routing between tower
nodes. Of course the equipment is all Mikrotik and the single broadcast
domain was easy to implement, so that's why it was done this way.

My problem on the redesign is I want to provide routed, copper gig-e ports
at a reasonable price per port.

My thought is to provide one copper gig-e port for all of the APs at a tower
and a copper gig-e port for each backhaul to other towers (typically 2 to
4). On the core nodes, I want to have one fiber gig-e port for the internet
connection. BGP would be implemented on the routers that connect to the
internet. OSPF would be implemented on all of the backhaul ports.

So number of routed, copper gig-e ports at each tower would be:

1 - AP network (need suggestion for cost effective gig-e switch)

2 to 4 - back haul ports

1 - internet port (on one out of every 4 towers or so) (and most likely
fiber instead of copper)

Does anyone have any suggestions?


Lorell Hathcock | 832-665-3400 x101 (o) | 713-992-2343 (f) |

Texas State Security Contractor License | ONSSI Certified Channel Partner

Axis Communications Channel Partner | BICSI Corporate Member

Leviton Authorized Installer

We use Cisco WS-3560G-24-PS-S (Catalyst 3560G's with POE Ports). Provides POE on
each port too to eliminate having to use POE bricks to radios. We actually give
each AP it's own group. It's better to break them all up rather than keep them
in their own broadcast domain, because from subscriber to subscriber, you can
still have a big broadcast problem that could hose the entire tower. we run
backhauls off of it too on different ports, and it comes with 4 ports that you
can use to plug in different modules for fiber. YMMV.


Lorell Hathcock wrote:

Juniper EX3200. L2/L3 line rate GigE, partial or full PoE options
available. Fiber uplink options. 24T version w/8 ports of PoE. The
last 4 copper ports are shared with 1 Gig uplink module ports (but
they aren't shared if you use 10 GigE uplink modules).

Chuck Anderson wrote:

I have found the MRV OS906 (6 port 10/100/1000/SFP + Eth OBM) to be a
very cost effective and an extremely flexible device. It's a linux based
device with a router shell but all forwarding is done in hardware
(ASICs). It has a very flexible implementation of many L2 features (QnQ,
inner or outer tag swapping, eth OAM, ERP) but also sports standard
routing switch features and protocols like BGP, OSPF, even IS-IS!

The cost of the device is 1/4 of a 3560G (etc).

MRV's support has been very good. We found a bug in the DHCP-Relay
function where it would not broadcast back to a client that
discovered/requested with the broadcast bit set. They provided a new
spin of code with the fix within days!

I hope this helps
Eric RR Morin

The OS906 may be different than the OS912, but be warned that I had major issues with OS912 relating to LDP and OSPF. Constant crashes of both LDP and OSPF made the device totally unusable. We had to ship all 20 back to them. It was really messy. This was about 6 months ago, and their code may have been fixed, so YMMV.

I actually think the 912 is different then the 904 and 906, as I was
discouraged from buying the 912, and I REALLY wanted the extra ports.
That's not to say that the 904/906 doesn't have the same problems. I use
it for a router with a bunch of connected networks, DHCP relay, and BGP.
Other then the below mentioned DHCP-relay bug, and an FTP command bug
(which was also quickly fixed) they have served us well.

Eric RR Morin

Some different router options Here are three, each w/ different levels of capability:

Option #1 - CISCO3845 (3RU tall)
1x CISCO3845
2x MEM3800-512D
This will provide 4x GbE ports, which will fill the minimum need as described below.

Option #2 - CISCO7204VXR (3RU tall)
1x NPE-G2
1x C7200-I/O-GE+E
2x PA-GE
2x PWR-7200-AC
This will provide 6x GbE ports (though 3x will be fiber only - this is a good option in terms of performance, so I still put it out there, as it may be possible to work around). Performance wise, this is about 4x as powerful as the 3845 above. If we need an in-between option, replace the NPE-G2 with an NPE-G1 - the G1 is about 2x as powerful as the 3845.

Option #3 - Cat6500 (4RU tall)
1x WS-C6503-E
2x PWR-1400-AC
2x PEM-20A-AC
1x WS-SUP720-3BXL
1x WS-X6516-GE-TX
The maximum performance option, the 6503-E here is capable of 40Gbps/slot (as configured, the 16 port GbE card gets 8Gbps of throughput). If DC power is needed, you can change to the 7603-S chassis, which is the same form factor, just available with high-output DC power (which would be needed here).

For all 3 options, DC power is available if needed.

Graham Farrar +1 805 690.3714
AIM IM: GrahamNHR / Fax: 805 690.1825
Network Hardware Resale, LLC.

Following some JUNIPER Models that can help you:


you can add some GPIM boards:

It is and amazing router with big performance. 1 Million BGP routes and big packet processing performance (hardware based).

JUNIPER EX-4200 (1 GB DRAM and 1 GB Flash OSPF in baseline product)

24 or 48 ports with or without PoE (at least 8 PoE ports at any model).
Can use dual AC or DC fonts.

JUNIPER EX-2200 (New with pretty good prices for gigabit performance)

JUNIPER EX-8208 (100G per slot)



The J-series units from Juniper also work quite well.

Don't forget to look at Brocade and other switches with L3 capability.

Force10 S25N/S50N.

If you look for used models, make sure they're not so old that they can't run FTOS. You don't want SFTOS, which is what the older switches run.

They work nicely in a stack, when you find you need to grow.


Not sure if this meets your needs, but here's some ruggedized stuff:

Sure you need GigE?


I have tried some of the Garrett stuff in the lab. It's OK but I don't at all like their web interface or CLI.

I echo some previous comments, it you want something cheap, flexible and fast enough then you can't beat a little Linux box..

I had absolutely horrible experiences with SFTOS. The upgrade to FTOS was not pleasant.
Once they were running on FTOS, they weren't horrible, but, I will never buy another one.