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We are currently in the planning stages. In the initial phase, we're looking at 6 servers (2 Varnish, 2 web and 2 database). The Data Center we're planning on going with states they have "blended, Multi-Homed Bandwidth (Redundant uplinks for HSRP, BGP, Performance Routed)".

From what research I've made so far, HSRP is proprietary (Cisco), and BGP is a bit over my head. I'm not a fan of Cisco, but I'll consider it if I need to in order to maintain the redundancy.

My preference of router manufactures, based purely on gut feeling at this point, are HP, pfSense, Cisco, MikroTik (in that order), but I'll look at anything.

What routers would you recommend? Our budget is flexible, but I would prefer to stay as close to $1K/router as possible.

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closed as not constructive by EEAA, Shane Madden, Ward, Iain, Scott Pack Oct 26 '11 at 11:32

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3 Answers 3

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It sounds like the datacenter is doing all the dynamic routing and failover for you, so all you get is a default gateway from them and depending on your configuration/order: one or more external IP's.

Answering these kind of questions are hard without knowing what kind/how much traffic you're going to get, and how you're going to route it internally. Are you going to NAT for example?

With only 6 servers I'm tempted to tell you to get a decent Layer2/3 switch (Like a Cisco 2960S) and a good firewall (Cisco ASA might be a bit expensive here, so pfsense might be a great choice).

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In looking at your first paragraph, I think you answered the question I should have asked. And then you move on to answer the question. Well done - thanks. –  Doug Kress Oct 26 '11 at 20:21

Features put aside, it is mostly a question of what you can configure (in time) and what you can get good support for. Support is not just about "4 hours same day replacement" - you would need to be able to talk to qualified engineers in case you encounter trouble with your configuration or hit some obscure bug.

While HSRP is indeed a cisco-only feature, most routers should offer one or the other way to support redundancy like VRRP or CARP. You would not need the support from the datacenter's side for redundancy - the protocols work transparently from other IP hosts' point of view.

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I would go with a Mikrotik 1100x2 and a backend switch for traffic between the servers. You can hardly beat the price / benedit sode of the Mikrotik 1100 series and until you get LARGE it will be more than sufficient for you.

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