Network Equipment for Hotel Scenario

Posted on 2004-10-12
Last Modified: 2011-04-14

I need to provide a switch/router solution that provides the following for a Hotel:

Ability to load balance and fail over between different broadband (or possibly leased line if the central London bandwidth cost is competitive enough) providers on different exchanges(for fault tolerance).
Notification of fail over by SMS/email etc
Guaranteed Bandwidth for line of business hosted application
Provide Internet access for 68 rooms that must be secure: ie separate from the Hotel Lan and unable to hack from room to room.
Would like to be able to ensure that each room receives at least a guaranteed amount of bandwidth with the ability to burst up to what is available.
At the moment I am thinking of an Xrio Neteyes 1000 coupled with a Cisco switch that would provide QoS, however I have no experience of Xrio kit - does anyone else?
What would the spec of an all Cisco solution look like?
I noted lrmoore's answer to "VLANs with Cisco 2900 Switches" but this was in 2001, has anyone used Cisco's Long Range Ethernet line, if so what is involved in providing my needed solution? & I would value any comment on experience with this.
I need this help quickly as the manager is breathing down my neck:-(
Question by:Mark_Lawson
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Assisted Solution

netspec01 earned 20 total points
ID: 12294044
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Assisted Solution

Dr-IP earned 100 total points
ID: 12294146
I have no experience with Xrio equipment, on paper it looks good, for all that is worth, but I think you are jumping the gun on the router end of things until you have decided on internet connectivity. I think you should decide on your internet connectivity first, before choosing the router.

As for internet service for the rooms, instead of Ethernet, I’d consider going wireless. Since most travelers are going to have notebooks, and the majority of them are going to have wireless cards in them, and for those who don’t, you can always keep a few loners around. Also I’d drop the room to room isolation thing regardless of which way you go, as it could be problematic for groups of guests working together, since they wouldn’t be able to share information across the network. Additionally, I’d never want to imply any level of security to guests, as once you do that, you open the door for liability in my opinion.

For the switch, I’d go with one of the 3500 series. The real question is which ones. Do you just go with a 48 and 24 port switch, or get three 24 port units. Also you made no mention of how many ports you need for the hotel, or do the 68 ports cover both. In addition, what’s the layout like, after all, a lot of times it can save a lot of wiring if you don’t centralize the switches.  

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Accepted Solution

lrmoore earned 150 total points
ID: 12294193
Check out STSN solutions if you're not committed to anything yet..

Expert Comment

ID: 12301454
If you go to the CISCO BUILDING BROADBAND SERVICE MANAGER link above, there are quite a few case studies including a couple of Hotels.  The CISCO BUILDING BROADBAND SERVICE MANAGER is the management/firewall piece of the Cisco solution.  It will work with Cisco wired switches, Cisco LRE switches and wireless infratsructure.

Assisted Solution

AutoSponge earned 90 total points
ID: 12328592
Most of this is regarding the endpoint access solution.  For your fault tolerance you have a couple choices--but in general  you'll need to discuss these with your ISP *FIRST* before you settle on a solution.  Otherwise you will find yourself trying to match your topology to an ISP's and may have to shop a long time to find one that works for you (if available):

A second router running HSRP between the two.  The endpoints and switches point to the virtual network address between the two.  Should the primary fail, the secondary now takes over and transmits accross his leased line.  This can be more expensive but is the most fault tolerant method.  It's best to put the two routers at different ends of the building in case there is a disaster.  You'd also want to make sure you either order leased lines from two separate carriers and/or demand different POP central offices--meaning your last mile portion of the ckts go to different addresses.  Even then, check with the telcos to see how much your ckts rely on the same interoffice trunking to get to their destination (assuming both have the same destination).  The alternative is that you can order two separate ISPs as well for further fault tolerance.

While that works great for fault tolerance, if the second router isn't setup with a pay-by-bandwidth usage type agreement, you'll end up paying for two connections but only using one.  If that's not acceptable, you'll need an ISP that will share a routing protocol with you like EIGRP or BGP so you can balance the bandwidth on both routers.  Again, make your circuits as diverse as possible, but understand that you're at the mercy of the ISP if they go down.

Lastly, get a PRI for the router.  Now you're back down to one router.  You can have a second ISP for your PRI, but that's not usually needed.  If your ckt goes down, you start paying by use on the bearer channels that dial out.  The biggest problems with this are: 1) if the PRI dials due to ghost traffic (not really interesting traffic) and isn't needed, you still pay 2) if the leased line fails in the middle of the night when no one is using it the PRI proabably still dials and you pay 3) you need routine tests of the ISDN to ensure it will work when needed.  Benefits include less overhead in hardware and the possibiliy of two ISPs not related by geography.  You still may be on the same interoffice trunks and COs, so check with your telco about that.

Lastly, if you have only one router there, get the tools: spare flash and dram, t1 loop back plug, UPS, preferably an external CSU/DSU with an out of band modem, and lots of labels.  Unless you're living at the hotel, you want service to be a snap.
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Assisted Solution

fatlad earned 140 total points
ID: 12336610
Most of the hotels in the UK I have had discussions with who have already done a similar thing report take up figures of around 10%, do you think that you can justify diversly routed links and highly fault tolerant hardware for this sort of return?

You could of course save yourself a mass of hassle and expense and team up with one of the WISP working in London, I know that BT and T-Mobile were doing deals where they would install and manage the kit in return for a slice of the revenue. You take next to no risk of investing in hardware that nobody wants to use, your guests can roam with other places so are more likely to take up the solution and you don't have to worry about fixing kit if it falls over. The downside is obviously that the bunce in your sky-rocket may not be as plentiful in the long run if it is very popular.

Just a thought,


Expert Comment

ID: 12336617
P.S. AutoSponge in London we have E1s not T1s and most (all?) ISPs include the CSU/DSU as part of their equipment.

Expert Comment

ID: 12337811
There was no way to tell you were in London by the question.  That only changes two things in the suggestion: T1 loopback plug and external CSU.  Of course the PTT CSU will be used, but I still suggest an OOB connection via USR V.everything or something similar.

Expert Comment

ID: 12340280
Only the mention of London leased line costs in the third line. Call me Miss Marple but that was hardly an obscure reference!

Still not sure what the OOB modem would be for? Either you are suggesting the users will switch from leased line bandwidth to a dial up (like I would be happy with that service as a guest!) or as a way of remotely manageing the device when the leased line is out (war dialers ho!)

Author Comment

ID: 12399485
Thanks a lot for all who contributed their four pennorth. STSN have proved the most helpful recommend thanks lrmoore. Will split points between Dr-IP lrmoore and fatlad

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