I have 200Mbps of streaming video traffic coming into my command center. How do I split the load between routers?

The setup is like this:

fiber ---> router ---> switch ---> workstations

This specific project is for our company's IP CCTV system. We have deployed over 100++ cameras all over a building/campus and we have estimated each camera to take about 2Mbps of bandwidth each. They're all connected to a switch and that's entirely fine.

But coming into our command center, they have to be on a router since it'll get more than 200++ cameras next year (and I don't want to have too many hosts on one subnet). My plan was to have the 1st hundred on a 172.16.9.x block and the 2nd hundred on a 172.16.10.x block (all /24).

The servers I have are currently sized to match (about 5 dual 6-core Xeons) and I'd have about 19 workstations all streaming video from the 5 servers. (Servers pull video from the cameras).

But 200Mbps of constant traffic? I haven't dealt with this much traffic before. How the hell do I even break this up? I need to have one gateway to manage the routes.

  • 3
    Happy to help and the answer will be straightforward I suspect but could you let us know a LOT more information please, seriously as much as possible, we never complain about too much detail :) – Chopper3 Nov 16 '11 at 10:19
  • Why not stick a L3 switch as your core instead: Cameras -> 1Gb fiber -> L3 switch -> switch -> workstations. You can put the (software?) router that's not capable of handling 200Mbps on a spar off the L3 switch. – James Cape Nov 17 '11 at 1:16
  • And let the L3 switch do the "routing" instead? Can the L3 switch act as the gateway? – Jared Nov 17 '11 at 1:22
  • There seems to be a core part of the situation missing here - what's stopping your 200Mb at the moment? Do you have a 100Mb router in the mix? – Mark Henderson Nov 17 '11 at 1:33

I think that James Cape's comment is probably the best way for you to go here. A Layer-3 switch will be able to handle this without any issues.

Because you're going to need hundreds of ports to connect these cameras, a nice big Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series (or similar from other providers) should fill your void quite nicely. Or, if you don't need 200+ ports in the one location, these switches still form a nice backbone for your network and you don't have to populate the whole chassis at once.

You might even find some on eBay (but be careful, you will still need to purchase a Cisco Service Contract if you expect any kind of support).

You can easilly get 200+ ports for your cameras into there. To keep costs down, you might chose to fill most of the switch with 100Mbps modules, with a final gigabit module for your servers and your streaming clients.

So you can still keep your broadcast domains small (/24), and just let the switch take care of all the routing and switching.

Note however that these switches are monsters to install, configure and to a certain extent, maintain. But what you can do is hire a Cisco qualified engineer to come in, set it all up, and get him to document and explain to you which ports are on which subnets, and where you should plug in your next 100 cameras.

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