The Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISR) revolutionize WAN communications in the enterprise branch. With new levels of built-in intelligent network capabilities and convergence, the routers specifically address the growing need for application-aware networking in distributed enterprise sites. These locations tend to have lean IT resources. But they often also have a growing need for direct communication with both private data centers and public clouds across diverse links, including Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPNs and the Internet.
The Cisco 4000 Series contains six platforms: the 4451, 4431, 4351, 4331, 4321 and 4221 ISRs (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers
Features and Benefits
Cisco 4000 Series ISRs provide you with Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) software features and a converged branch infrastructure. Along with superior throughput, these capabilities form the building blocks of next-generation branch-office WAN solutions.
Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN)
Cisco IWAN is a set of intelligent software services that allow you to reliably and securely connect users, devices, and branch office locations across a diverse set of WAN transport links. IWAN-enabled routers like the 4000 Series dynamically route traffic across the “best” link based on up-to-the-minute application and network conditions for great application experiences. You get tight control over application performance, bandwidth usage, data privacy, and availability of your WAN links—control that you need as your branches conduct greater volumes of mission-critical business.
Cisco Converged Branch Infrastructure
The Cisco 4000 Series ISRs consolidate many must-have IT functions, including network, compute, and storage resources. The high-performance, integrated routers run multiple concurrent IWAN services, including encryption, traffic management, and WAN optimization, without slowing your data throughput. And you can activate new services on demand through a simple licensing change.
Table 1 breaks out many of the features and benefits of the Cisco 4000 Series that create an intelligent WAN and a converged branch infrastructure.
Table 1. Cisco 4000 Series ISR General Feature Highlights
● Service reliability
● Concurrent software services at speeds up to 2 Gbps. Backplane architecture supports high-bandwidth module-to-module communication at speeds up to 10 Gbps.
● A distributed multicore architecture with the industry’s first internal services plane.
● Remote installation of application-aware services, which run identically to their counterparts in dedicated appliances.
Lower WAN expenditures
● Embedded IWAN solution for creating lower-cost, business-class Internet connections.
● Performance upgrade model
● Investment protection
● CapEx budget management
● Router capacity can be increased with a remote performance-on-demand license upgrade (no hardware upgrade) for exceptional savings.
Superior and secure user application experiences
“Application Experience” software bundle with advanced routing and network monitoring services.
● Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN), zone-based firewalls, intrusion prevention (Snort and Umbrella Branch) and content management using Cisco Cloud Web Security and OpenDNS protecting data, providing authentication credentials, and enabling transmissions that are not backhauled through the data center.
● Secure boot feature performs hardware-based authentication of the bootloader software to prevent malicious or unintended software from booting on the system.
● Code signing verifies digital signatures of executables prior to loading to prevent execution of altered or corrupted code.
● Hardware authentication protects against hardware counterfeiting by using an on-board tamper-proof silicon, including field replaceable modules. If authentication fails, the module is not allowed to boot.
IT consolidation, space savings, and improved total cost of ownership (TCO)
● Single converged branch platform integrates routing, switching, virtual server, storage, security, unified communications, WAN optimization, and performance management tools.
Business continuity and increased resiliency
● 4400 Series models (4451 and 4431 ISRs) support dual integrated power supplies
for backup. The entire 4000Series supports optional power supply capable of
delivering additional PoE power to endpoints. Defined models provide for a DC power supply.
● Modular network interfaces with diverse connection options for load-balancing and network resiliency.
● Modular interfaces with online removal and insertion (OIR) for module upgrades without network disruption.
● Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST), which serves as a resiliency complement to Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), a Cisco cloud-based UC service.
● Support for multiple, diverse access links: T1/E1, T3/E3, Serial, xDSL, Gigabit and Ten-Gigabit Ethernet.
Lower telephony costs with VoIP and rich media experiences
● High-performance analog/digital gateway, allowing VoIP over less expensive Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks.
Easier manageability and support
● Single, universal software image for all features and performance-on-demand licensing flexibility.
● No additional services and support needed for compute and storage.
● Supported by Cisco and third-party management tools, with programmability and automation.