Cisco Building Application Awareness with ISR-AX Routers

Cisco is updating its ISR router lineup with a refreshed bundling dubbed the ISR-AX. The ISR-AX leverages the existing ISR G2 hardware portfolio and integrates enhanced application awareness and delivery capabilities into the platform.

“We’re changing the role of the router with the ISR-AX,” Inbar Lasser-Raab, Cisco’s senior director for mobility, routing and WAAS, told Enterprise Networking Planet. “It has always been a services solution, but now we’re really making it more of an application tool, enabling consistent high-quality application experiences everywhere.”

The ISR G2 hardware was first announced in October 2009, extending the ISR platform that Cisco initially introduced in September 2004.

Lasser-Raab stressed that the ISR-AX bundling is more application aware than the ISR-G2 is out of the box. The ISR-AX includes additional hardware and software modules to enable a full application optimization and visibility tool.

As an analogy, Lasser-Raab compared the new ISR-AX bundle to a McDonalds Happy Meal combo.

“So before it was like you buy the burger, then the fries and the drink to go along with it and by the time you put all pieces together you have a $27 burger,” Lasser-Raab said. “What we’ve done is we have added all the required application capabilities and made the platform more cost effective by bundling the whole solution together.”

Lasser-Raab said that the ISR-AX will have a 20 to 35 percent lower cost than an ISR G2 with the additional standalone modules bought as extra add-ons. The ISR-AX option is set to be available on the existing ISR 3900, 2900 and 1900 ISR G2 models.

Raakhee Mistry, marketing manager at Cisco noted that a hardware refresh on the ISR G2 physical platform was not required to enable the ISR-AX portfolio.

“We continue to innovate on the software and services in our routers and there is a long and healthy roadmap ahead for all of these services on an ISR G2,” Mistry said.

Lasser-Raab added that there is extra memory and modules that get put into the total ISR-AX package.

“The idea here is we package it all together,” Lasser-Raab said. “We’ve run into situations in the past where customers didn’t plan enough and now we’re telling them for the size of their branch, they can have all the pieces they need and it’s priced more aggressively.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network,  the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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