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As part of upgrading our network infrastructure we are looking to traffic shape our bandwidth since we only have about 3Mb down / 1 Mb up. We're looking to prioritize it so that web browsing gets priority and in the future some VOIP might be added in as well. Internal LAN traffic doesn't need to be controlled just our outbound connection.

I've been looking at Cisco hardware and it seems that several of their products do shaping at the core switch, firewall, and router level. I'm wondering where does shaping normally take place? Is it normally done at the router, core switch, or firewall?

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It could be done at any of those points if any of your planned equipment supports it. That's a relatively low volume of traffic so there won't be much processing demand on the devices. If looking at Cisco then within the router component probably makes the most sense. You could also consider some of the low end dedicated devices from Riverbed or Packeteer, but watch for being tied to a bandwidth ceiling if you want to expand your capacity in the coming year or two. It could also be worth asking your ISP if they provide any capability for prioritizing traffic.

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It depends on amount of traffic you want to shape. From your parameters of internet connection I assume that you work in a small company (up to 10 employees?). In this case, router, firewall and shaper could be one device, for example from Mikrotik. Or homemade linux configuration, which gives you extensibility for the future.

Regards,

Martin

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