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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A huge router for a tiny site

This has to be seen to be believed. First, look at this picture of a Cisco 3945 installed at some library in West Virginia. Notice the wires, or perhaps, the lack thereof. Up at the top right, there appears to be a square beige jack. Perhaps it is the NID.

It's hard to tell exactly where is goes, but it looks like it loops around a couple of times and then plugs in somewhere. Then there are a couple of shorter patch cables, one green and one blue, and those seem to cross-connect different ports on the same device, strangely enough. The green one definitely plugs the Cisco into itself, and the blue one almost certainly does, but it's hard to tell for sure from the picture.

What's going on here? Well, this is a huge router which has been installed for a library with four computers.

No, really, seriously. Check out the news article about it.

Remember my post about the Stratton Meadows shuffle? It appears this is business as usual with federal funding.

Take another look at that router picture. Notice the distinct lack of wires coming up to it. Subtracting the crazy apparent cross-connection patch cords, it seems it might just be sitting between that jack and some other device (like a switch) which is out of frame down below - follow the blue cord on the right side and you'll see what I mean.

So, let's recap. It's probably a copper T1 port, then a massive router, and what seems to be a single Ethernet interface dropping out to the local network. That local network can't be too big, given there are four public terminals.

Using that router for that kind of job is like sandblasting a soup cracker. It may be fun, but boy is it pointless.