New Cisco NCS Router Line—Compare Features

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We knew that last week Cisco announced some enhancements to IOS XR, which is deployed across over 50,000 live network routers, include software modularity and extensibility; large-scale automation; and fine-grained visibility and control.

Cisco IOS XR, deployed across over 50,000 live network routers, now includes the following new capabilities:

• Software Modularity and Extensibility to Enable Agility and Innovation

– Increased service agility with granular software packaging and automated upgrade

– IT and network automation convergence with third-party application hosting, such as industry standard DevOps tools, Chef or Puppet

– Open innovation with IOS XR Software Development Kit (SDK) and Cisco DevNet Developer Program

• Large-scale Automation for Greater Operational Efficiency

– Predictable network programmability through data-model-driven APIs (YANG/OpenConfig)

– Extensive flexibility to adapt to customers’ operational environment (i.e., any data model, any encoding method, and any transport method)

• Fine-grained Visibility and Control for Simplification and Enhanced End-user Experiences

– Actionable and contextual network insight due to data-model-driven access to extensive operational state data (i.e., highly augmented visibility compared to mechanisms such as SNMP)

– Near real-time network programmability with enhancements to Application Engineered Routing solution – WAN Automation Engine (WAE) support for Telemetry and Segment Routing Traffic Engineering.

To run the newest IOS XR, Cisco added three more platforms to its NCS router line. They include the NCS 5000, with four routed 100G Ethernet ports for MPLS routing in metro aggregation; the NCS 5500, for up to 288 routed 100G ports for WAN aggregation; and the NCS 1000, which supports 100/200/250Gbps wavelengths over existing fiber at distances exceeding 3,000 km.

These new platforms and the enhancements to IOS XR will be available in December. Cisco said it also plans to extend the IOS XR enhancements to the ASR 9000 and CSR router lines as well.

What are the main features and specs of the new NCS routers? In the following part, let’s do some comparisons between the new NCS series routers and the former ones.

New Cisco Network Convergence System Routers

High-density, small-form-factor MPLS aggregation router for metro aggregation and MPLS-enabled data center networks.

New Cisco NCS Series Routers: NCS 1000 Series vs. NCS 5000 Series vs. NCS 5500 Series

New Cisco NCS Series

Product Series NCS 1000 Series NCS 5000 Series NCS 5500 Series
Optimal deployment scenario Scaling and optimizing inter-data center connectivity MPLS aggregation WAN aggregation
Area of the network Data center interconnect MPLS aggregation router for metro WAN aggregation
Operating system Cisco IOS XR Software Release 6.0 or later Cisco IOS XR Software Release 6.0 or later Cisco IOS XR Software Release 6.0 or later
Programmability protocols NETCONF (XML)






Rack and form factor 2 RU (NCS 1002) 1 RU (NCS 5001)
2 RU (NCS 5002)
1 RU (NCS 5011)
8-slot, 13 RU chassis (NCS 5508)
Dimensions Width:  17.4 in. (44.19 cm)
Depth:  23.5 in. (59.69 cm)
Height: 3.45 in. (8.76 cm)
Multiple (see data sheets) Height: 22.70 in. (57.78 cm)
Width: 17.50 in. (44.50 cm)
Depth: 31.76 in. (80.67 cm)
Performance and capacity Up to 2 Tbps Up to 960 Gbps 28 Tbps
Product models NCS 1002 NCS 5001
NCS 5002
NCS 5011
NCS 5508


NCS 2000 Series vs. NCS 4000 Series vs. NCS 6000 Series

Product Series NCS 2000 Series NCS 4000 Series NCS 6000 Series
3D model View 3D model View 3D model View 3D model
Optimal deployment scenario DWDM transport for ultra-long-haul, metro, and enterprise optical networks A converged optical service platform for IP multiservice capabilities, including dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM), Optical Transport Network (OTN), Multiprotocol Label Switching Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), Carrier Ethernet, and label switch router (LSR) Core, carrier-grade, programmable router that offers converged IP and optical networking
Area of the network Optical transport IP+optical transport
(IP and optical convergence of packet switching, OTN switching, and coherent DWDM interfaces)
Operating system   Cisco IOS XR Software Release 5.2.0 or later Cisco IOS XR Software Release 5.0 or later
Programmability protocols   SNMP
Rack and form factor 2 RU (NCS 2002)
6 RU (NCS 2006)
15 RU (NCS 2015)
16 RU (NCS 4009)
24 RU (NCS 4016)
Chassis (NCS 6008)
Dimensions Multiple Multiple Chassis height:  84 in. (213.36 cm)
Chassis width:  23.6 in. (59.94 cm)
Chassis depth: (inclusive of external cosmetic doors) 42 in. (106.68 cm)
Performance and capacity Up to 19.2 Tbps Up to 3.2 Tbps Up to 16 Tbps
Up to 1.2 PBps
Product models NCS 2002
NCS 2006
NCS 2015
NCS 4009
NCS 4016
NCS 6008

Comparison from


More Related…

Cisco Boosts IOS XR Software Solutions…for ‘Cloud-Scale’ Networking

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