Cisco Layers More Network Functions into the Router

Michael Vizard

Cisco is moving to lower the cost of enterprise networking by essentially adding more functionality to routers at the edge of the network.

Announced today, the Cisco Integrated Services Router with Application Experience (ISR-AX) simplifies the delivery of services by including functionality such as wide-area network (WAN) optimization, firewall, intrusion prevention and virtual private networking capabilities and the ability to optimize traffic for different classes of endpoint devices.

In addition, the ISR-AX series also includes tools that help predict future application performance along with new tools that automate the ISR-AX deployment process.

According to Raakhee Misty, senior marketing solutions manager for Cisco, these services make Cisco routers more application-aware, which results in better performance because more intelligence is being deployed at the edge of the network instead of at the core.

Misty says by including this functionality in the router Cisco is lowering the total cost of deploying that functionality by as much as 81 percent, largely because it eliminates the need for additional devices on the network. In addition, in some cases Misty says the ISR-AX can defer the need to upgrade to a 10Mbps network.

Over the years, building, deploying and managing enterprise networks has become overly complex. While there may still be performance advantages to be had by deploying separate network appliances at the edge of the network, the gains provided by those “router helpers” need to be weighed against the cost of additional complexity. For most organizations, simpler is almost always the preferred option.

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