Cisco branch routers, designed to address increasingly distributed and collaborative workforces, is the cornerstone of a new Cisco architecture called Borderless Network. Borderless Network is intended to support applications, processing cycles and services that are increasingly distributed and virtualized, such as those in cloud computing and software-as-a-service environments. Some analysts say it is more than another Cisco “marketecture,” though.
“Application and device borders are eroding,” says Rob Whiteley of Forrester Research. “This is not like SONA (Cisco’s Services Oriented Network Architecture) where it was very hard to point to things to implement. SONA was more of a marketecture, more of a religion that you adopted. It was trying to convince you of value, whereas (Borderless Networks) has value.”
Cisco branch routers (ISR G2 routers) — the 1900, 2900 and 3900 series — include new video digital signal processors key to delivering what Cisco calls “medianet” capabilities for TelePresence, surveillance, collaboration and digital signage.
Other medinet-enabled enhancements of Cisco branch routers include a video-ready media engine, scalable audio-conferencing, up to 1Terabyte of video storage per module, a multigigabit switching fabric for high performance, and WAN optimization and application acceleration.
The Cisco branch routers’ service-ready engine lets users dynamically deploy remote, virtualized services in branches without on-site support or network downtime. The ISR G2 services module includes up to 1 Terabyte of on-board storage for these virtualized services.
Cisco branch routers support Cisco IOS Release 15, the most recent version of the company’s routing software, which features enhanced security, voice support and manageability, and license-based activation for faster deployment of services.
Cisco is also introducing a fixed-configuration version of its ASR 1000 edge router. The ASR 1002-F is designed for small-scale WAN aggregation, private WAN and Internet edge applications. It features four integral Gigabit Ethernet ports and 4 Gigabytes of memory.
The Cisco 3900, Cisco 2900 and Cisco 1900 will eventually succeed the first generation Cisco ISR 3800, 2800 and 1800 platforms. Ninety percent of the interface modules can be carried forward to the new routers, and Cisco believes the transition period to the ISR G2 line will take two years or more.
Key Features of Cisco Branch Routers
- Delivers scalable rich-media services including TelePresence, highest density of service virtualization, and lowest TCO with energy efficiency
- Ideal for high-end deployments requiring business continuity, WAN flexibility, superior collaboration capabilities, and investment protection
- Field-upgradeable motherboard, circuit-speed WAN performance up to 350 Mbps with services such as security, mobility, WAN optimization, unified communications, video, and customized applications
- 3 RU modular form factor
- Provides rich-media services including TelePresence, service virtualization, and lower TCO with energy efficiency
- Ideal for mid-range deployments requiring business agility, WAN flexibility, and secure collaboration
- Circuit-speed WAN performance up to 75 Mbps with services such as security, mobility, WAN optimization, unified communications, video, and customized applications
- 1-2 RU modular form factor
- Entry-level secure WAN deployments, offers service virtualization, and low TCO
- Ideal for small offices requiring modular flexibility for highly secure mobility and customizable applications
- Circuit-speed performance up to 25 Mbps with concurrent services
- Factory-selectable 802.11n access point and double-wide HWIC support; desktop form factor
- Provides secure WAN connectivity with desktop form factor
- Ideal for telecommuters and small offices
- Wire-speed performance with secure data services for xDSL, cable, and Ethernet WAN environments
- Factory-selectable 802.11n access point, 3G WAN, and Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) options
- Services Ready Engines provide virtual services with “on-demand” delivery and operational flexibility.
- Media Services Engines deliver comprehensive rich-media capabilities such as high-density voice video connectivity, conferencing, transcoding, transrating, and highly secure voice.
- Enhanced EtherSwitches offer industry-leading Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching that support feature parity with Cisco Catalyst 3560-E and Catalyst 2960 Series Switches.