Old Cisco Pix Box 501 & Replacements?

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
Bizegrama
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Old Cisco Pix Box 501 & Replacements?

Postby Bizegrama » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:30 pm

We have an old Cisco Pix Box 501 in our FHC. It was set up many years ago for the internet connection we had at the time. We have had a Sprint broadband connection for at least 4 years now, which can be very slow at times when everyone is getting out of school and work. The FM group is working on getting us faster internet. Hopefully, at some point we can get cable service as it is across the street, but not on the church side of road.

Question:

1) If we get newer and faster internet, will we also receive a new pix box? This does somewhat limit the speed. But I've heard the new ones are even slower?

2) As FHC director do I need to request a newer pix box or will they be replaced automatically?

Any info on Pix boxes will be appreciated.

Thanks

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:38 pm

Bizegrama wrote:1) If we get newer and faster internet, will we also receive a new pix box? This does somewhat limit the speed. But I've heard the new ones are even slower?


The replacement of the firewall is independent of a change in your Internet Service Provider. Your existing firewall (Cisco Pix 501) will work the same with a new Internet connection as it does with your existing connection. So there's no technical reason why it would need to be replaced simply because your ISP is changing

Bizegrama wrote:2) As FHC director do I need to request a newer pix box or will they be replaced automatically?


The FM group is responsible for both the Internet connection and the firewall. They pay for both, and they make decisions on both. The firewall is not replaced automatically. Those decisions may be influenced by a stake president's request, but are limited by the available FM budget funds and priorities.

Our stake has two Pix 501 firewalls. My FM group's position has been that the firewalls will be replaced only when they fail or have significant problems. But I know that different FM groups have widely different positions on this topic, so you would probably want to discuss this with your stake's PFR (physical facilities representative -- your stake's liaison with the FM group) and perhaps your stake technology specialist or stake president.
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Postby aclawson » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:54 am

All of our units are receiving the new firewalls - there are only two buildings left to go and now that the Gladys Knight events are wrapping up and the new cable connection is to be in place within the next "soon" everybody will be on the new firewalls.

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Postby bfromm » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Contact your FM Manager and ask if he'll replace your Pix firewalls with the new Cisco 881w. The FM Managers have received a lot of training on the new router, and many are able to replace them now if you ask and they have budget.

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Postby Bizegrama » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks to all for your comments. This is a great forum.

To update: I walked into our FHC on Thursday and was surprised to find the new Cisco 881 and another box. With wires running to chapel, clerk, etc from the second box.

No one seemed to let the FHC director (me) know what was happening :(! And it appears it is still be hooked up to the old Sprint broadband connection, which is very slow and will not support Webcasting, etc. I am going to contact our Stake Computer Specialist & FM to find out what's going on.

I still had to manually put up our cell phone booster antenna (which we do every week). No difference in speed. Still hoping we'll get a faster, preferably, cable connection.

Just a word to those who install (in our case through a suspended ceiling), please cover the equipment before doing any work. This is the second time someone has worked in the FHC and never bothered to cover the Canon MS300 microfilm viewer/printer or the computer right below where they were working. The equipment was covered in fine debris from ceiling tiles and pieces of wire & cable. The ceiling debris is very hard to get off the equipment and can damage it. Had I been notified I would gladly have been present to cover the equipment. My phone number was right there visible to whomever installed the boxes.

Just a couple of questions:

(1) I read on the Installing & Activating the Cisco 881W Meeting House Firewall, under Placement: Do not place the firewall near a lot of metal. The Cisco 881W, & other equipment is located in large metal two shelf container mounted above the microfilm viewer/printer & the computer. (Not to mention we have metal roof). I previously was able to bring the Sprint broadband router outside of metal container, but now I will have to re-thread the cable down differently so that I can place the cell phone router (Cradlepoint) down by the cell booster. If they ever get faster internet will the metal interfere with signal to other areas of the building?

(2) Why do they leave so much extra cable wound up in the metal box? I can't hardly get to the equipment with all the extra cable. As it is I have to stand on a chair to access everything in the metal container. I can see leaving a little extra cable, but it's so long & so tightly wound up I can't move the boxes to access them easily.

We are branch, over an hour from our Stake Computer Specialist, so I do all the updates, repairs, etc on the FHC computers. Just would love to be kept in loop.

Thanks for letting me express my concerns and questions.

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Bizegrama wrote:We are branch, over an hour from our Stake Computer Specialist, so I do all the updates, repairs, etc on the FHC computers. Just would love to be kept in loop.


This is a local issue that really needs to be directed to the STS. While the install network install was to support the FHC, the network has expanded beyond that to become the church network. As such, you may find that your role in the network has changed to "customer".

It would be interesting to know who did the wiring. You may find that all that mess was caused by a hired contractor.
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Bizegrama
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Postby Bizegrama » Sat Apr 21, 2012 2:49 pm

RussellHltn wrote:This is a local issue that really needs to be directed to the STS. While the install network install was to support the FHC, the network has expanded beyond that to become the church network. As such, you may find that your role in the network has changed to "customer".

It would be interesting to know who did the wiring. You may find that all that mess was caused by a hired contractor.


Thanks Russell

I'll be checking with our Branch President tomorrow, to see if he knows whether we're getting faster internet. I know FM was working on getting us faster internet access. (Not a lot of providers where we are located). I'm hoping that's why we finally have the updated Cisco 881.

I agree we are probably changing to "customer". The FHC doesn't have a problem with being a customer. I'm all for being able to stream the Stake Conferences, etc. Without faster internet service streaming & other services will be impossible. Sometimes we are as slow as dial up. I wish I could stream some of the newer FH videos, but video hangs up.

I'm not sure if contractor or STS installed new boxes. When they tried (2-3 years ago), to go wireless in the Clerk's office, I tried to tell STS the internet service is too slow and we have too many walls that interfere with the weak wireless signal. I had tried my laptop with wireless by clerk's office at that time, too slow. The STS finally came and wired the connection to clerks office. I had to the same mess to clean up then. I will probably cover the equipment before we close each time - might be safer.

I know contractors originally installed the Pix Box 501, many years ago, as I was present when they did the installation. I remember they had trouble configuring it as we had a unique set up at that time. Over the years we've had dial-up (shared with hall phone), a wireless internet provider (ever time we'd have thunderstorm it would burn out their dish on building & the charge us for another one-terrible service), then we finally went to a cell phone broadband (only 3g). Of course, it crawls at 3:30-6pm as everyone starts using their cell phones.

Thanks, again.

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Postby rbeede » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:50 pm

A change to the 881W may not really indicate your getting a better ISP and won't provide any speed difference between the PIX. They probably just had funds for it and decided to do the entire stake.

You should put a request in for a new ISP now, and it will have a better chance of making next year's budget.

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Postby aclawson » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:00 am

I just swapped out the last firewall in the stake (at the old Greek Orthodox church building, the only LDS building in the world with a dome). Unfortunately there is so much reinforced concrete everywhere (they built this place to last!) that even the built-in N doesn't get very far.

But it was noted that the new firewall is significantly faster than the older one, and the filtering on the older unit wasn't working quite right - instead of displaying a message about blocking a site it simply nullrouted the page. Since the new one was on order we never bothered to have them re-script the old one, especially since it is difficult to get inside the building without a lot of advanced planning (code on the parking lot gate and an alarm code, neither of which I have) and it isn't the best neighborhood to be in late in the day or alone.

Bizegrama
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Postby Bizegrama » Thu May 03, 2012 10:27 am

After talking with FM group, apparently they were changing out all the old pix boxes in Stake.

However, FM can still not find a faster provider. Part of the problem, though cable is across the street, the church won't allow lines or dishes outside, and they don't want to pay the additional $ to run the conduit under the parking lot. It's a shame, when they added our Stage 2 addition a few years ago, that they didn't contemplate running an extra conduit for a future internet connection or other needs. At time the parking ended where the conduit comes in from electrical connection and it would have been easy to run it across.

I am going to contact the person who oversaw the construction of the Stage 2 and see if he knows if anything was done at the time. We still have contact with them.

Thanks for everyone's input.


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