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I am looking for advice, comments and suggestions from anyone who has used Windows RRAS (2008 R2 Pref.) as the primary routers for our multiple offices. We have multiple physical office locations and are looking into utilizing Windows Server 2008 R2 Core as redundant Active/Active routers/gateways for our network as opposed to a physical router from Cisco or Juniper, it costs a lot less!

Any problems, issues or documentation anyone would recommend?

We will still most likely have a firewall on the edge but the majority of our traffic will be inter-office with some external services. We will be using multiple Class B networks across our two offices.

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I'm not sure where your edge router/firewall is going to play into this, or rather, if each office has an edge firewall, why bother routing with Win2K8? – gravyface Aug 2 '10 at 17:28
The idea was to offload the scanning and for IPS, DDoS, etc. plus block ports on the firewall/security device. Takes the load and burden off of the routers. Of course for our size as you pointed out there are some devices which do both. It all depends on the memory available and the processing speeds. – Brent Pabst Aug 4 '10 at 19:34
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'd never use general-purpose OS's and PCs for routers in a network with any kind of scale-- too many moving parts and points of failure for my taste. It would surprise me greatly that using a Windows host (or really, any general-purpose OS on a PC) would end up being cheaper, over the long-haul, than a dedicated embedded router. It may look cheaper, up front, but I suspect that years of applying Windows updates and dealing with hardware failures.

You can pick up used Cisco routers on eBay fairly cheaply. Get copious spares and you'll be good to go. (Whether or not it's "legal" to use them in production after purchasing them used is a topic for debate, I suppose. I think Cisco's attitude re: "transferrability" of their license is trumped the doctrine of first sale and is crap, but I'm not a lawyer.)

(Your use of the term "Class B" is dated, BTW. There are no "classful" networks anymore.)

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I forgot to mention one thing and that was I never intended to buy hardware to run these new systems. We already have a heck of a virtual environment with SAN storage available so in that case the only cost is really for the OS. Is it that you would not use Windows for a router or just not any OS on a PC. The other option for us is clearly Linux. That would be much cheaper than spending +/- $1K for a new Cisco or Juniper boxes. BTW, how else would you have referred to Class B to describe the number of available addresses? – Brent Pabst Aug 4 '10 at 19:33

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