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LAN & WAN Reviews

Menu/Configuration

I generally like Cisco's menus on their small business products. The RV320's menus have the same look and feel of other Cisco small business products including RVxxx routers, SGxxx switches,WAPxxx access points and even the Cisco ISA550W.

Most options are either a check box or on a single page. For example, enabling remote access on the RV320 is just a check box, no firewall modifications are required. Configuring an IPsec VPN on the RV320 tunnel is a single page, which makes it easy to see all selected options, shown below.

IPsec VPN Configuration

IPsec VPN Configuration

The RV320 has configuration wizards for setup of the WAN / DMZ interfaces and for firewall access rules. There are 10 main menu options, each with submenus for configuration. I've listed the main and sub menus for the RV320 in Table 2.

Admin menu tree

Table 2: Admin menu summary

At the top right of the RV320 configuration utility is a Help link that brings up menu descriptions and configuration options. Additional help is available via the 122 page admin guide, available on Cisco's website.

One of the complaints I had with the Cisco RV180 and other members of the RVxxx family is menu lag and long boot times. The RV320's menu is far more responsive and it boots up in about 1 minute.

A software detail on the RV320 that could be corrected is the menu for configuring the device's time setting. It is important for a network device to have accurate time, so logs and event time stamps are accurate. The RV320 supports setting time zone, enabling daylight savings, and connecting to an NTP server. However, the RV320 only allows configuring a daylight savings rule following month and day, shown below, which doesn't line up with the US daylight savings rule going from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November.

Time Configuration

Time Configuration

Network

The Ethernet ports on the RV320 are all 10/100/1000, with two WAN ports and four LAN ports. The default for the WAN ports is Auto Mode, which load-balances traffic over both WAN ports using weighted round-robin load balancing. Optionally, you can set one WAN port as primary and the other as backup.

Using the default Auto Mode, my failover test on the WAN ports worked well. With both WAN ports enabled, I ran a continuous ping to google.com and disconnected one of the WAN ports. The RV320 dropped only one ping packet when it failed over to the other WAN port.

To optimize bandwidth utilization of each WAN port on the RV320, you can set your ISP's max bandwidth by WAN port, for both upstream and downstream traffic. Bandwidth utilization can then be managed by setting rate control or prioritization rules. Rate control rules can be applied by interface, traffic type, IP address, upstream or downstream direction, and rate. Priority rules can be applied by interface and traffic type, and then given a high or low priority.

I created a rate control rule for one of the WAN interfaces to limit iperf traffic to 256 Kbps to see the accuracy of the RV320's bandwidth controls. With the rule in place, my iperf test came back with a speed of 243 Kbps, closely matching the rule I set, shown below.

Rate Control

Rate Control

The bandwidth controls on the RV320 appear to be the primary QoS options on the device. There are two other menus that appear to offer additional QoS functionality, but they are confusing since the menu labels don't match the functionality in the menus. The RV320 menu labeled CoS/DSCP Setting is actually a menu for mapping DSCP values to one of four priority queues. The RV320 menu labeled DSCP Marking is actually a menu for mapping CoS values to DSCP values.

In addition to the two WAN ports, there are two USB 2.0 ports. The USB ports can be used to connect a 3G/4G modem as a primary connection or as backup to the WAN ports. 3G/4G modem support makes for a great backup option to wired WAN ports. A backhoe could take out your physical Internet connections, but won't affect wireless WAN connections! Cisco provided us this list of supported 3G/4G modems for the RV320.

When set as backup to the WAN ports, the 3G/4G modem can be setup in Hot Standby mode or Cold Standby mode. The difference is Cold Standby mode leaves the 3G/4G modem powered off until needed. Traffic controls can also be applied to the USB port so mobile data plan limits aren't exceed.

The other intended function for the USB ports is to upload new firmware to the RV320. I tried several USB drives in the RV320. Based on the indicator lights on the front of the RV320 and the lights on the USB drives, my USB drives seem to have been recognized by the RV320. However, I couldn't browse the content on the USB drives and thus couldn't have uploaded a firmware file from a USB drive.

The RV320 supports up to seven 802.1q VLANs. Three VLANs are already defined: the default VLAN (=VLAN1), a guest VLAN (=VLAN25) and a voice VLAN (=VLAN100). Only VLAN1 is enabled initially. By default, all four LAN ports are untagged members of VLAN 1 and tagged members of the guest and voice VLANs. The RV320 already has a DHCP server enabled for VLAN 1, 25, and 100.

To test 802.1q tagging on the RV320, I connected the RV320 to a Cisco SG200 switch, set up a VLAN trunk on the SG200 belonging to VLAN 1 and 100, and connected a PC to an access port on the SG200 assigned to VLAN 100. My PC connected to the access port on the SG200 assigned to VLAN 100 got an IP address from the DHCP server in the RV320 assigned to VLAN 100, validating the RV320's 802.1q tagging capability. Below is a screenshot of my RV320 VLAN configurations.

VLANs

VLANs

Cisco's RVxxx all support IPv6, including the RV320. The RV320's WAN ports have IPv6 options for DHCPv6, stateless autoconfiguration, manual IPv4 to IPv6 tunnels, automatic 6to4 tunnels and IPv6 Rapid Deployment tunnels. The RV320's LAN has IPv6 options for DHCPv6 and router advertisement to allow host stateless autoconfiguration.

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