For the last while my home setup has comprised primarily of an ASA 5506W-X that I purchased on an NFR. This unit had integrated FirePower, which is Cisco's advanced IPS suite, and an integrated WAP/SAP702i access point, which supports AC. It was paired with a cheap Cisco SG200-18 gigabit switch. That setup replaced a previous ISR config with a 2960, which had replaced an ASA 5510. TLDR: I go through network gear regularly.
I just "upgraded" again, this time to a 2951 ISR G2 and another 2960 switch, which is actually a gigabit 48-port 2960S w/PoE, overkill in the port department, but I got a sweet deal on it. Wireless is now provided by an HP Aruba "Instant" AP, which I've become quite fond of, as they seem to be less finicky than the Cisco Aironet products.
So, some initial observations:
- The 2951 is no quieter than the 2921, of which I have a ton in service. They draw air through the back and blow it out the front and they aren't quiet in doing so, even on "low". Despite this, the unit only uses around 50W, so it isn't power hungry.
- The 2960S is massively quieter than the 2951, but louder than the SG200 it replaced which was passively cooled
Luckily, both of these units are installed in the basement, so the noise is really of no consequence.
- The HP Aruba AP has better range and better throughput than the SAP/WAP702i. This is readily apparent, and it also imposes less latency. I would say, at a similar price point, it is by far the superior offering.
This isn't a demanding setup, three VLAN's, three subnets, all isolated (no inter-VLAN routing), no SIP or IP Phone traffic, no VRF's, primarily just your typical home stuff. Kids are on a more locked-down SSID.
So far, I'd say this is the most responsive setup I've had in the house.
Plans are, presently, to try and obtain a Cisco Compute Engine, which is basically a small server that goes into the ISR as a module, which can be loaded with a FirePower VM to give me back the Advanced IPS functionality I'm now lacking. They are expensive, so hoping to score one on E-Bay or an environment pull.