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Overcoming an ASA 10 User Limit

Posted on 2014-04-25
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Last Modified: 2014-05-05
I have a client that has a phone system that links up with another client at another location.

Before making changes, the PCs and Tablets at my clients site were using a cable internet connection, and the VoIP phones were running through some sort of Point to Point connection.  The phone connection would drop and to get it back online, someone had to climb a tower and reset a relay (not fun).  To stop having to do this, my client contacted the other company and they said they could put in an ASA and use the cable connection that is there to go through the internet, rather than the buggy relay system (not sure exactly how it was setup or if I'm describing it correctly).

The problem is the ASA the other company put in (and billed my client an arm and a leg for) has a 10 user limit.  Since the site has 4 phones, 2 PCs, and 3 tablets that are all constantly connected,  there aren't many available connections for phones, laptops, or other devices on the network.  As devices connect, other devices go offline causing problems.

Without upgrading the ASA to accommodate more users or getting a separate Internet connection, do I have any options?  The ASA is only there to link to the other company for phones.

Could I do this:  Get another static IP from the ISP and separate the connection, 1 static going to the ASA that would have the phones connected and another to a different router for the local PCs and other devices?
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Question by:pmitllc
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5 Comments
 
LVL 77

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 334 total points
ID: 40023160
You can buy a Smart Net contract (support contract) and an upgrade license to allow 50 or unlimited users, priced accordingly.  The VPN limit will stay at 10 tunnels, but that is not currently an issue.

Though I recommend buying from a local Cisco partner who can explain options, pros, and cons, the following link is a sample of one option. (For ASA 55050)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833422133

Locate a Cisco Partner:
https://tools.cisco.com/WWChannels/LOCATR/openBasicSearch.do
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Ernie Beek
Ernie Beek earned 166 total points
ID: 40025854
What you could do is: set up a proxy. All machines that use the asa to connect to the internet (so all except the phones) will go behind the proxy. From the asa point of view it will only see the phones (4 hosts) and the proxy (1 host though there are a number of tablets and pc's behind it).
If those machine aren't connecting to the internet in a fancy way, that should do the trick.
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by:pmitllc
ID: 40029367
I am having the other company get us a quote on either a new license or hardware.

I did look at the proxy option, but could not figure out how to run a wireless network through it.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Ernie Beek
ID: 40029373
Wireless with separate IP range?
You could try VLANs (depending on your switching hardware),
or have a proxy with 3 NICs (one for each network).
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LVL 77

Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Williams earned 334 total points
ID: 40029444
Depending on your network requirements you can also add a simple router between the existing router and LAN, however if you have any incoming traffic such as remote access, e-mail or web server, it complicates matters and if you have a VPN even more so.   For the few hundred dollars the license is probably worth it as it keeps it simple and you are not trying to thwart Cisco licensing.  For the record many commercial routers have licensing limits.
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