Cisco 887VA Router Overview & Its USB
The Cisco 887VA is quite a capable unit, and you can see some of the specs as follows:
Cisco 887VA Integrated Services Router-Integrate Access and Security
New Cisco 887VA Routers support DSL multimode, including very-high-speed DSL 2 (VDSL2) and asymmetric DSL 2+ (ADSL2+). Part of the Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) portfolio, they support VDSL2 and ADSL2+ on a single WAN interface.
Cisco 887VA Integrated Services Routers provide:
- Multimode DSL (VDSL2 and ADSL2 and 2+) over a basic telephone system
- Business continuity with primary and backup connections
- VPNs at broadband speeds up to 20 tunnels
- Built-in security capabilities such as Network Address Translation (NAT) and firewall
- Four 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet switch ports
- Easy deployment with Cisco Configuration Professional
- Centralized management
- Universal software image for easy expansion with software activation
Available options include:
- Advanced security, including intrusion prevention, Group Encrypted Transport VPN, and dynamic multipoint VPN (DMVPN)
- Power over Ethernet (PoE) on two switch ports
More details you can visit: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11063/index.html
For a site that has a couple of PCs, but which need to be strictly separated (for example, staff and client PCs), the unit is great – it has a few VLANs, ACLs, firewall functionality, and even VRFs or L2TP if you want to go that far. Take note that to get the most options available and therefore the most flexibility with things like a choice of routing protocols, DMVPN, and IPSec tunnels, for a few extra dollars go for the Advanced IP feature set:
Another thing that we have been trialling is Scansafe content filtering; content filtering is a duty-of-care and in some cases legislative requirement for an organization that has under-18s in residential care. The Cisco 887VA with Advanced IP running 15.2 and up can natively integrate with Scansafe, meaning no configuration on the end-user; no pesky .Pac files to exclude the intranet sites from the filtering. I’ve had it running in a trial at two sites and it works a treat. At the management end, you can use user authentication or, as we are doing, the embedded local IP addresses to differentiate sites and groups for access and on the router only a handful of commands are required to set up a system with regex and IP whitelists. Like all content filtering, it has its flaws, and a savvy user will be able to circumvent it given enough time and effort, but at this stage, it is proving very effective.
In the image below, I just did a “dir?” to list the file systems, and then plugged in the USB, and lo and behold, there it was.
Plugging in a Toshiba 16Gb thumb drive
So now, just like any flash or nvram file system, I can copy to and from the USB drive.
Directory listing for my IOS images
Copy running config to USB drive
At this stage, you can boot with a config on the thumb drive; you can’t yet boot from an image on the drive.
We can certainly see where it could come in handy – non-technical people can usually be relied upon to plug in a thumb drive for you if you can’t do your software update remotely for some reason, or you could use the archive commands to regularly do local copies of configs, or copy logs or debugs for later analysis. Plus if you are on site, you don’t need a laptop with an ethernet and a TFTP client and a console cable to do a local update – just plug in the USB and the console cable.
The Cisco 887VA is a very capable small branch router, and if you are in the market for a fixed form factor router that gives you all the options you might need, you can choose it.