Managed Router vs unmanaged

MadJuggla9

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 9, 2002
Messages
3,515
I run a small town ISP (~200 users) and our closest fiber tap is nearly 16 miles away. We have backhaul links setup with decent signal but obviously there is still a loss on some speed as it goes from one area to another; Basically we pay for a 100mb connection but can only utilize ~40mb by the time we get to our town to service people.

With that being said a main expense is a managed router from ATT ($2000 a month). It has our public IP information and subnets info in there. With minimal network stats after out netequalizer went out and the inability to log into ATT's equipment I'd like to know what all is involved in say, our Cisco router vs a router we can purchase (EdgeRouter for instance.

What goes into these expensive routers that can't be done with a self purchased one? Would I be able to optain enough information from ATT to setup my own static routes and information for it to work? I get the feeling their definition of 'managed' just means they see it and say 'oh it pings, not our problem'

Anyone else run an ISP and utilize a non managed router?

Any info would be appreciated.
 

/usr/home

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
6,160
You should look at upgrading your backhauls if you are loosing 60Mb along the way...

I don't see why you couldn't replace it. Are they running BGP on it for your statics do you know?
 

MysticRyuujin

Limp Gawd
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Oct 1, 2013
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our Cisco router vs a router we can purchase <-- You can purchase Cisco routers especially for $2,000/month...That's just insane. You can Ebay a Cisco ASR for less than 6 months payments there, and even then an ASR is total overkill for your 100mb link but I assume that you can't just replace the AT&T router? You must be paying for them to manage it or something (though that's insane too as it probably requires zero management after initial setup). There's also no such thing as an "unmanaged router" unless you count the quick setup wizards of a SOHO router...even then they all have management interfaces of some sort.
 

bds1904

Gawd
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Aug 10, 2011
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Depending on what fiber product you have, they may or may not work with you. You are most likely in contract with them which includes a managed service. The only thing they really manage is if you need something changed, like more ips.

Most of the time moving away from a managed service also kills your sla.
 

MadJuggla9

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Oct 9, 2002
Messages
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Depending on what fiber product you have, they may or may not work with you. You are most likely in contract with them which includes a managed service. The only thing they really manage is if you need something changed, like more ips.

Most of the time moving away from a managed service also kills your sla.

You are correct. It is in our contract and breaking the contract is a killer.

As far as our backhauls, 50mb for a dense foliage southern small down is pretty good for a 12 mile link. We do have another link going 7 miles (smaller dish) pushing nearly 40. So technically we get almost all of it. Just not all in one place.
 

firedrow

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
161
If it's in a contract you're probably stuck. But when it's time to re-new you might discuss removing the managed router portion. I assume they are using BGP routes to maintain routing tables, so you connecting a EdgeRouter Pro/Carrier or any other ISP level router should be fine (as long as your comfortable doing the troubleshooting).

I do suggest looking at some Line of Sight equipment and shooting over the trees from towers. Ubiquiti's AirFiber or just AirMax is meant for this kinda of setup. AirFiber would give you a 1+ Gbps backhaul. The AirMax has all sorts from 100 Mbps to 450+ Mbps. I would think the AirMax PowerBeam would be the best middle of the road options. They have the distance and throughput.
 

MadJuggla9

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Oct 9, 2002
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I currently have a 2 30dbi rocketdish m5s setup to deliver a main backhaul of 70mbit atm which is fantastic. The other has been cut off at town B since the link is renewed and no failover is manageable.

Air Fiber is not in the question at the moment due to weight distribution on main tower. I would love to deploy it but I could run a few 30-34dbi links for 10% the cost to deliver the 100mbit connection. I agree more throughput would be advised in a higher amplitude situation though.

Still looking to cut 2,000/month cost to plug directly into a router I can watch. I suppose I need to still risk breaking managed contract to do so.
 
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