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Beginner

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

For years I've had a simply NAT-based routing set up with the ISP  coming into the 10BT WIC card on my 1700 and then sharing that  connection out to my LAN via the integrated FastEthernet port.

I've found that that my ISP has increased my  connection speed much greater than 10 mbps (varying 15-60 mbps) and my  router has actually been bottlenecking my potential speeds in/out to the  internet in this setup. 

I've been thinking about purchasing a  WIC-4ESW 4-port  10/100 switch interface for the router and swithing up the config so  that the ISP connection now comes into the integrated FastEthernet port  and then sharing all 10/100 ports of the switch out to my LAN which  should increase my limit to 100 mbps through my router to my ISP.    I'd  also be able to plug my network devices directly into switch instead of  an el-cheapo I currently have on my LAN.

I know just  enough to be dangerous, but I think I should be able to tweak my config  to make this change.  I just wanted to confirm that the WIC-4ESW would  be compatible with the 1700 and my plan will work (with a more recent  IOS).    Any suggestions or shortcomings I may not of thought of before I  make this purchase?

Thank you!

EDIT:  I've been seeing some mixed information  that across interfaces on the router, a 1700 series might limit the  bandwidth.   Would I be able to transmist say 15-60 mbps through  integrated FastEthernet0 to the WIC-4ESW and vice versa or would speeds  near 100mpbs only beable to be transmitted within the 4 ports of the  WIC-4ESW but not through the rest of the router?

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2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

Michael,

The routing performance of 1700 series is strongly below the speed of your connection. Its throughput is somewhere around 6 Mbps for 64-byte IP packets according to an internal PDF document by Cisco, and it will not go much better.

While the WIC-4ESW should be supported in your router according to the following product page:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/routers/ps221/products_data_sheet09186a00801c749d.html

you are not going to get any more routing performance from your router, I am afraid. This card itself is capable of high-performance Layer2 switching between its own ports but as soon as packets must be routed, the router itself will become the bottleneck.

So with this card plugged into your router, communication between the ports of this card in the same VLAN will be switched on the usual 100Mbps throughput. However, if the ports are in different VLANs and the traffic between them will need to be routed, or if the traffic needs to exit through any built-in interface of the router, the throughput will dramatically fall down.

I am not sure if this helps... but please feel welcome to discuss this further.

Best regards,

Peter

View solution in original post

Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

Hi Mike,

 I guess anything needing to be processed by the routers processor is the cause of the bottleneck.

Quite correct.

My followupw question though, is it possible to use the 4-port card for  everything with full performance?  E.g. my upstream cable modem  connection in on Port 1 of the switch card and then routed (NAT'd) out  to my lan on Ports 2, 3 and 4?

Sadly, that is not possible. The WIC-4ESW is just a 4-port Layer2 Ethernet switch. Anything requiring more than just plain Ethernet frame switching between the ports of this module must be forwarded to the 1721 CPU. This card is not a multilayer switch and is not capable of routing between its ports autonomously. Your proposal would require creating two VLANs, one for the WAN connection, the other for the LAN ports, configuring the router for two virtual interfaces into these VLANs and for NAT. There is clearly CPU involved with this.

Also, if this 1721 is simply too old, are there any other router modled  under $200 out there which might handle up to 25 mbps throughput?  

Sadly, I am not sure about this one. Looking at the performance comparison charts, the Cisco 880 and 890 series appear to have roughly the requested throughput. If their price can be squeezed under $200, I do not know, sadly.

Best regards,

Peter

View solution in original post

4 REPLIES 4
Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

Michael,

The routing performance of 1700 series is strongly below the speed of your connection. Its throughput is somewhere around 6 Mbps for 64-byte IP packets according to an internal PDF document by Cisco, and it will not go much better.

While the WIC-4ESW should be supported in your router according to the following product page:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/routers/ps221/products_data_sheet09186a00801c749d.html

you are not going to get any more routing performance from your router, I am afraid. This card itself is capable of high-performance Layer2 switching between its own ports but as soon as packets must be routed, the router itself will become the bottleneck.

So with this card plugged into your router, communication between the ports of this card in the same VLAN will be switched on the usual 100Mbps throughput. However, if the ports are in different VLANs and the traffic between them will need to be routed, or if the traffic needs to exit through any built-in interface of the router, the throughput will dramatically fall down.

I am not sure if this helps... but please feel welcome to discuss this further.

Best regards,

Peter

View solution in original post

Beginner

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

Thanks a lot for the info Peter.  I have a quick follow up question if you don't mind.

To be more clear this is a 1721 router.   I would not be planning usage of vlans.  From your post and info I read, routing between FastEthernet0 and the 4-port swich card would lead to degraded performance <10 mpbs.  I guess anything needing to be processed by the routers processor is the cause of the bottleneck.

My followupw question though, is it possible to use the 4-port card for everything with full performance?  E.g. my upstream cable modem connection in on Port 1 of the switch card and then routed (NAT'd) out to my lan on Ports 2, 3 and 4?   If that is possible, as soon as routing enters the picture is that then leading to bottled necked speeds again or would it be able to route at near 100 mbit within that 4-port WIC card?  

I know between vlans within the 4-port card leads to performance issues.  What about routing between 4-port card?  Same issue?

Also, if this 1721 is simply too old, are there any other router modled under $200 out there which might handle up to 25 mbps throughput? 

Thank you very much!

-Mike

Hall of Fame Cisco Employee

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

Hi Mike,

 I guess anything needing to be processed by the routers processor is the cause of the bottleneck.

Quite correct.

My followupw question though, is it possible to use the 4-port card for  everything with full performance?  E.g. my upstream cable modem  connection in on Port 1 of the switch card and then routed (NAT'd) out  to my lan on Ports 2, 3 and 4?

Sadly, that is not possible. The WIC-4ESW is just a 4-port Layer2 Ethernet switch. Anything requiring more than just plain Ethernet frame switching between the ports of this module must be forwarded to the 1721 CPU. This card is not a multilayer switch and is not capable of routing between its ports autonomously. Your proposal would require creating two VLANs, one for the WAN connection, the other for the LAN ports, configuring the router for two virtual interfaces into these VLANs and for NAT. There is clearly CPU involved with this.

Also, if this 1721 is simply too old, are there any other router modled  under $200 out there which might handle up to 25 mbps throughput?  

Sadly, I am not sure about this one. Looking at the performance comparison charts, the Cisco 880 and 890 series appear to have roughly the requested throughput. If their price can be squeezed under $200, I do not know, sadly.

Best regards,

Peter

View solution in original post

Beginner

WIC-4ESW upgrade on 1700 series router

Peter,

Thanks again for your time and detail.  It's been a great help.

Have a great day!

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