WAN link upgrade options
WAN link upgrade options.
Does anyone have any experience of BT's LES100 (100 Mbit "point-to-point") for WAN connectivity? Or does anyone have any experience of NTL:Telewest's (part of Virginmedia) Metro VPN any-any product ("cloud topology") or their "point-to-point" product?
We are going to upgrade the 2Mbit links which currently connect the 4 College sites together (in a star topology with one site at the centre). The sites are within a relatively small geographic area (each is less than 25K apart from another). Using BT's product it would remain a star topology, but with Virgin's VPN any-to-any, it would be more like a "mesh". Unfortuantely, one of the site's isn't within Virgin's coverage so would be provided by Openreach and interfaced into their network, but would form part of the overall package from Virgin.
Ordinarily we'd need a router to be installed at each site, as each site has its own subnet. But Virgin suggested using Layer 3 Cisco Switches instead (to reduce cost). Has anyone any experience of this? VoIP would be prioritised using COS flags, in either case.
Quoted install costs are subject change depending on a survey (which only happen once you have agreed in principle to going ahead with a provider). Lead times seem to be 60 working days (3 months).
Any info (particularily if you have experience of either of these WAN options), would be appreciated.
No idea on the WAN options themselves but going with propper Cisco layer 3 switches like 3750s would almost certainly make for a faster network as they are able to implement layer 3 switching which is an order of magnitude faster at routing packets than a standard router.
From a technology standpoint the 100mbit dedicated links are certain to be faster (both bandwidth and latency wise) and likely to be more robust as they are not shared and do not rely on a non-dedicated network to tunnel over. Depending on your usage and the QoS implemented by your provider though either is likely to be acceptable.
We use a LES100 circuit from BT to connect to our council/RBC. We don't use anywhere near the full capacity so I can't comment on that.
I can say that the latency is very low. 1ms ping times across the link are the norm, and you really can treat it like part of your LAN in that respect. The BT installers did a very neat and professional job.
Hope this helps somewhat.
LES100 is discontinued for new customers. Service is now called BT EES.
We use both, we started using BT then moved to Virgin, found BT to be much more expensive and Virgin seemed to do us a better deal plus personally I found the Virgin stuff doesnt take up as much stuff in the cabinet as we have the fibre tray and then a backup router at one end, so in our main server room we have around 4 to 6 Cisco backup routers there, Virgin have fitted us with this neat little 3U module rack. Finally I find the Virgin one to be a faster connection for some reason.
We use a BT circuit connection to connect to our ISP and Learning Centre. One connection is behind a router (ISP) the other has CISCO layer 3 switches at both ends.
Can't fault the connection, its always worked and have never had a problem.