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Windows server as router

Posted on 2014-04-21
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Last Modified: 2014-05-03
I am going to route my network with Windows Server. My network is about 600 devices.
What should I use, Windows 2003 or 2008 or 2012 ?
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Question by:soffcec
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Expert Comment

by:Hassan Besher
ID: 40012690
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by:Paul MacDonald
Paul MacDonald earned 336 total points
ID: 40012693
Any of the above versions should work similarly.  If you're concerned at all about ongoing maintenance/patches, choosing 2012 will give you the longest shelf life.
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 996 total points
ID: 40012698
2012 is the latest and greatest,but route is a pretty big description.
How many servers?
My advice,if you got vlan switches or a good router,let them do the work.
Let the file server be a file server.
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Author Comment

by:soffcec
ID: 40012723
I am going to route external ip addresses and no NAT. I am going to expand my ISP service from 100 users to about 600-1000 users. We have used Windows 2003 for about 10 years to route our network.
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 996 total points
ID: 40012839
then use 2012r2,all around better OS than 2008.

Plus ,you can visualize the routing server for redundancy and use virtual switches.
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Author Comment

by:soffcec
ID: 40012945
Can 2012 act as BGP router ?
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 996 total points
ID: 40012959
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by:bbao
bbao earned 668 total points
ID: 40018872
for a dedicated, non-BGP IPv4 router role with no any extra services in the future, Windows 2003 can handle the job very well.

if the Windows server may have extra roles in the future, such as DHCP and DNS server which are pefectly for a host logically sitting at the centre connecting all your subnets, you need at least Windows 2008 Server Core.

in consideration of product lifecycle, extended support of Windows 2003 will be expired in one year in 2015, this will also conclude that at least Windows 2008 is required.

if BGP routing is a must for the Windows based router, at least Windows 2012 Essentials is required. this latest version also has better protocols support in term of stability, compatibility and performance.

however, obviously, the hardware requirements such as CPU, RAM, and HDD are getting higher and higher from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012, you need to find a balance point between budget and functions.

also be aware of some networking limitations of different editons of Windows 2008 or Windows 2012, such as maximum RRAS connections and VPN etc, these not only have impact to performance and scalability but also cost you much differently. see detials below.

http://download.microsoft.com/download/F/C/6/FC6006B5-866E-42C1-88F8-9AC4B8BC610D/WS%20Brand%20Pages%20-%20Editions%20Comparison%20Guide.pdf
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38809

you make the decision. :-)
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Author Comment

by:soffcec
ID: 40019150
The plan is to run DNS & DHCP,Radius and router all on Hyperv 2012 (i5)
Will that work ?
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Accepted Solution

by:
bbao earned 668 total points
ID: 40019220
> Will that work ?

YES. be sure the server has significantly sufficient memory and HDD space. the number of NICs should also be sufficient for an optimised traffic control against your subnet topology and CIDR routing.
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