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Cisco unveils new generation of branch routers

Jim Duffy | Oct. 20, 2009
Cisco this week unveiled a new generation of its Integrated Services Router, a branch office platform optimized for video and virtualized services.

InVentiv Health, a provider of commercialization services to pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, has 50 of the first generation ISRs installed at 30 sites. The Cisco customer is anxious to try out the video and service activation enhancements of the new line.

"The video integration…is a really big need throughout our business, especially the ability to optimize it and make it available for low bandwidth sites," says Sean Burke, vice president of network operations at the company. The license key service activiation feature will allow inVentiv to buy a service software license and turn it up during routine maintenance cycles, instead of taking a router out of commission to add new hardware, Burke says.

The routers also enable organizations to better manage their power consumption and costs through switch modules that include the company's EnergyWise software for power efficiency. EnergyWise debuted early this year for Cisco's Catalyst LAN switches to allow users to be able to control Power over Ethernet-connected devices and track energy consumption.

The 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 ISR G2 1900 starts at $1,595; the 2900 at $1,995; and the 3900 at $9,500. Services ready engine modules start at $1,000, and the video DSP modules start at $800. EnergyWise switching modules start at $1,295.

The 3900, 2900 and 1900 will eventually succeed the first generation 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.

The base price for the ASR1002-F is $20,000. All products are expected to be available in November.


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