A customer of ours is opening a branch office. They will need an internal network with tens of devices and one or two servers. They will further have one normal uplink to the Internet and a dedicated connection to the head office, handled by the ISP. The uplink is with DLS technology, but from our standpoint, the ISP gives us an Ethernet cable with TCP/IP and Internet on it. Thus they can send all their outgoing traffic to the ISP, who will route the inter-office traffic down the private pipe. The office will also need a few VPN connections; initially only for off-site users but later we might add site to site connections for redundancy.
The customer has ASA 5510:s on their current two sites, which may be valid for the head office but overkill for the branch office. The main office has a hundred-odd hosts and less than ten servers on the internal network, and two servers on their DMZ; the existing branch office is pretty much like the upcoming one.
To my horror, the offices do not use VLANs (yet). They use "edge equipment" from Cisco but the internal switches are from HP.
The question is now what device they should put on their network rim on their new office.
My boss suggested the ASA 5505, but we're both a bit confused because with the new firmware, an 800 series router seems to be able to do the job, which is routing, firewalling and working as a VPN endpoint. So the question could also be phrased what are the principal differences between a small ASA and an 800 series router. Also, i'm under the impression that the 5505 is more a toy than a serious piece of networking equipment. Please tell me i'm wrong!
I've taken the ICND course (no cert - yet!) but this is the first time i'm working on an ASA device.