4 Steps to Make Cisco Routers Microwave Bandwidth Aware

4 Steps to Make Cisco Routers Microwave Bandwidth Aware

Cisco routers remain the backbone of internet connections worldwide. Deep in the heart of networks, core routers perform the essential plumbing of the web. Further out on the edges, access routers provide connectivity for mobile devices via microwave radios (many of which are Eclipse radios from Aviat Networks). Generally, routers assume a full 1 Gbps bandwidth capability between Layer 2 connections provided by microwave radios.

However, modulation and channel size selections can vary the actual bandwidth between 1 Mbps and 1000 Mbps (i.e., 1 Gbps). This can also happen when Adaptive Coding Modulation (ACM) is activated on a point-to-point microwave link and the link’s bandwidth varies based on propagation conditions. If congestion occurs on the link, the router cannot quickly prioritize traffic nor select the optimal path, resulting in possible “black holing” of critical traffic.


Cisco routers. Powerful but microwave ignorant. Let Aviat Networks help make your Layer 2 connections microwave aware. Photo credit: Jemimus via Foter.com / CC BY

If the router is unaware of the microwave link capacity it cannot prioritize important traffic in case of congestion nor can it select the optimal path when multiple paths are available. If you have Cisco routers in your network—and who doesn’t—you should watch this short YouTube video that Hadi Choueiry, Aviat IP network solutions architect, created to demonstrate how you too can make your Cisco routers microwave bandwidth aware.

Or if you’d rather read all about the four steps of how to actually configure it yourself, download this white paper. Then you can set up your Cisco routers to become aware of the bandwidth available to them on Eclipse radios at your leisure. Perfect summer reading material for the IP expert on vacation!

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