Router vs Windows 2003

auosauos Posts: 186Member
Hi,

I reading in Windows 2003 Server and I found there in a great tools in (Administrative Tools) called (Routing and Remote Access), we can add a static and dynamic routing protocols and manage our server like a router.

My question is what is different between Server running with this technique (plugging with more that one NIC card) and router.

BR,
Auos.

Comments

  • BADfish10BADfish10 Posts: 88Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi auos

    It is not a very good idea! IMHO
    the comparison between a piece of hardware that is designed and built for a specific task is nearly always going to outdo a jack of all trades in it's own field.
    the Routing and remote access service that you speak about hit Microsoft as a feature pack for NT4 and has been in 2000 2003 and 2008 and in all fairness is fairly easy to use but has always come with limitations the same as for all MS based products.

    Cost
    Is it worth buying a sever and server nic $500 windows license
    This is really not normally the case and I would recommend against using a server doing anything else apart from the RRAS Job resource gets stretched to far esp. if you come under attack.

    Downtime
    Comparison Cisco routers to windows server I would say nearly always have much better uptimes with the router.
    Since 2003 came out we have had something like 1.5GB of updates for windows and some basic services that is about 7 reboots and up to 2 patch day issues. were some cisco routers have uptimes of somthing like 8 years!

    Resilient
    Windows has never been a great platform for its security being the most used platform more people write bugs for it then you could shake a stick at. Not to mention some of MS blinding oversights in the past and those that are still unnoticed.

    Fall back
    Say you lose your windows server it does happen what would be the quickest way to get it back? Without a dote it will take longer than a Cisco router.
    If you are lucky it bsod you and rebooted we are back take that time Vs a router you will not come close.
    if you are unlucky and the proc mem motherboard back plain power sup or hdd go pop you will if you are lucky have an image and the same hardware so build hardware, re-image and go forward.
    A router if it does break lobs another one in and tftp/paste the start config to it done!
    Now if you are remote it is allot easier to re-build a router via modem dial in!

    Anyway the above scratch the surface of why to go with a dedicated router over the MS shiny thing!
    There are lots or reasons to buy a proper router including cost and downtime.

    oh and RRAS on a SBS server is a really bad idea putting all your core services on a single box then plugging the internet into it directly and relying on MS to not of missed something!
    Just my 2 pence
    Cheers

    J
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    You have all these things listed that could go wrong with the server, what about all the things that could go wrong with the router? Do routers not have hardware failures? Also if your Cisco router has been up and running for eight years without an upgrade then it definitely needs some security updates of its own. Vulnerabilities are found in the IOS all the time, its not something isolated to Windows. I'm a big fan of Cisco also, but I think you are being a little biased here.

    I do agree that a router is a way better solution though icon_thumright.gif
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Met44Met44 Posts: 194Member
    Is routing in Windows all based on process switching, or do they have a CEF-like feature? It would probably be fine for a small office that has the server there for other purposes, if opening up a few potential security vulnerabilities isn't worth the cost of a router to prevent, and you have time in the evenings to take the server down for security updates.
  • APAAPA Posts: 959Member
    bad idea

    1) Software based... wouldn't want it performing all it's other tasks plus additional overheads of routing..

    2) It supports 1 dynamic routing protocol (RIPv1)

    The only time I've touched RRAS is when I was studying for 291... since then I haven't actively seen it used in any production environments... and if it was we were soon to migrate away from it. Most use it for VPN though not actual routing purposes....

    Good for small businesses if they can't afford other VPN appliances...however it's only PPTP VPN.

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
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    JNCIS:SP | JNCIP:SP
  • BADfish10BADfish10 Posts: 88Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I do agree I am a bit biased icon_redface.gif
    Just seen more servers on its back than routers.
    Hardware wise if you want to build a server to do the job of a router the cost involved is going to bin the project.
    first off bin Windows use a secure Linux distro buy a server DL380 or so and get some proper server nic's raid 5 dual PSU do some icon_study.gif and away you go.
    The need to patch a router is never going to be the same as a server much less to patch much less to go wrong.
    If you are just routing from point A to point B you use a known good ios and there you are.
    If you are using as a boarder Router then you keep an eye on the patch fix list from time to time. But then you might want to look at an ASA instead.

    if you are thinking about using a Server as a router the cost for a standalone would buy you a good router an ISR 1800 2800 3800 all that have hardware that is designed to do what you are trying to emulate why not go that way.

    If you are not going standalone then don’t be surprised with down time.

    oh Forgot Virus’s

    windows Vs Cisco not a fight as such IMHO

    Network had a good point to being a bit biased

    why do you not want to buy a router any way?
  • jb82jb82 Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Last time I checked, RRAS supported OSPF and RIP V2.

    Hardware VS. Software??? If RRAS works for you go ahead and use it. Just don't complain to any CISCO fanboys if it breaks coz you'll end up with burnt ears.
  • APAAPA Posts: 959Member
    jb82 wrote: »
    Last time I checked, RRAS supported OSPF and RIP V2.

    Hardware VS. Software??? If RRAS works for you go ahead and use it. Just don't complain to any CISCO fanboys if it breaks coz you'll end up with burnt ears.

    1) You could be right on OSPF and v2....It's been a while since I touched the stuff, I'm pretty sure it was only RIPv1 a while back...

    2) Hehe... Definately burnt ears!!!

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
    JNCIA:JUNOS | JNCIA:EX | JNCIS:ENT | JNCIS:SEC
    JNCIS:SP | JNCIP:SP
  • bertiebbertieb Posts: 1,031Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    jb82 wrote:
    Last time I checked, RRAS supported OSPF and RIP V2.

    In Server 2003 this is true. Server 2008 removed support for OSPF.

    BTW, +1 to using a dedicated router :)
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    WAN interfaces are easier to get for a dedicated router and usually you can fit more in.
    A dedicated router is usually smaller and has a lower power consumption than a server.

    etc...

    Why am I getting flashbacks to the SMTP vs POP3 thread?
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Back when I was still going out on service calls, it seemed most small offices that didn't have Cisco gear were using little Linksys router/access point combo boxes. I've never seen anyone use a Windows server as a router unless they were trying to get a handle on RRAS for the MCP test.

    Maybe we should all head over to the MCSE forums and see if we can talk those guys into getting rid of Windows and using Unix/Linux instead.

    icon_mrgreen.gif
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    1. Don't use a MS Server for a router if you have a Cisco or Juniper router available. Or just about anything else...

    2. It's true they mostly get used to support VPN's, not routing.

    3. Last I heard, it's all software. Ever hear of the Cisco IOS? Take that off your router and see how well your hardware router works. :p
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TalicTalic Posts: 423Member
    Linux has it's own router distro: Vyatta Open Networking - The Open-Source Alternative to Cisco

    Save those Windows licenses!
  • jb82jb82 Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I hope thats better than Freesco. I checked out the Freesco site the other day. It doesn't even have any support for dynamic routing protocols, which kind of got me scratching my head as to why you would name the product "freesco" in the first place......

    Lol, just checked out that Vyatta site. I like the 5 question quiz "Vyatta vs. Cisco Challenge"
  • APAAPA Posts: 959Member
    sprkymrk wrote: »
    3. Last I heard, it's all software. Ever hear of the Cisco IOS? Take that off your router and see how well your hardware router works. :p


    Process based routing.... heavy CPU utilization... is what I meant :p

    No ability for CEF, (in-hardware processing)

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
    JNCIA:JUNOS | JNCIA:EX | JNCIS:ENT | JNCIS:SEC
    JNCIS:SP | JNCIP:SP
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    A.P.A wrote: »
    Process based routing.... heavy CPU utilization... is what I meant :p

    No ability for CEF, (in-hardware processing)
    CEF isn't hardware.
  • APAAPA Posts: 959Member
    tiersten wrote: »
    CEF isn't hardware.


    and theres a comma between CEF and hardware processing..... Ignore the brackets :)

    Typing too fast for my own good sometimes.... ;p

    Really what it should say....Windows RRAS offers no abilities for options such as CEF switching, in-hardware processing etc....

    Point of my story.... If you want to route get a device ideally suited.... RRAS is not really a good option.

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
    JNCIA:JUNOS | JNCIA:EX | JNCIS:ENT | JNCIS:SEC
    JNCIS:SP | JNCIP:SP
  • tierstentiersten Posts: 4,505Member
    A.P.A wrote: »
    and theres a comma between CEF and hardware processing..... Ignore the brackets :)

    Typing too fast for my own good sometimes.... ;p
    Oops! That little comma makes all the difference. Sorry!
    A.P.A wrote: »
    Really what it should say....Windows RRAS offers no abilities for options such as CEF switching, in-hardware processing etc....
    Yeah. It really does depend on what level of performance you're aiming for. If it is a little router that just handles your office connection then a regular server will be able to cope with it. If you're a service provider and want something at the core of your network then you'll want a real router like a 7200 or above.
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    A.P.A wrote: »
    Point of my story.... If you want to route get a device ideally suited.... RRAS is not really a good option.

    Totally agree.

    Forget RRAS, Windows itself is not the OS of choice when it comes to routing/networking. You can do a lot more with Unix/Linux.

    :)

    Maybe this thread was meant as an April Fool's joke?

    ;)
  • hypnotoadhypnotoad Posts: 915Banned
    Netwurk wrote: »
    Totally agree.

    Forget RRAS, Windows itself is not the OS of choice when it comes to routing/networking. You can do a lot more with Unix/Linux.

    :)

    Maybe this thread was meant as an April Fool's joke?

    ;)

    If you guys want to get in to the linux/unix router world, Untangle is awesome. It gives you a virtual rack you drop pre-built appliances in.

    I am using it for all my SMB stubs. Router, Firewall, OpenVPN, Virus Scanning, Spam Filter, Phishing Filter. Has an active development community and is super-easy to install. All I need now is content caching, NAC, and wireless LAN controllers built in to Untangle and I will be set :)
  • NetwurkNetwurk Posts: 1,155Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    hypnotoad wrote: »
    If you guys want to get in to the linux/unix router world, Untangle is awesome. It gives you a virtual rack you drop pre-built appliances in.

    I am using it for all my SMB stubs. Router, Firewall, OpenVPN, Virus Scanning, Spam Filter, Phishing Filter. Has an active development community and is super-easy to install. All I need now is content caching, NAC, and wireless LAN controllers built in to Untangle and I will be set :)

    Checked out the site and it says it runs on VMware so I might try it (my VMware box has two NICs so it should work).

    I don't think I'd keep it up and running for long. My network devices are all Cisco and they might get mad at me.

    :)
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