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The Router is Dead. Long Live the Router!

October 28, 2009 - 2 Comments

New technology to play on this episode of TechWiseTV…welcome to the shownotes!

All I want for a new ISR

Matt Lambert waits patiently as Jimmy Ray shakes
the 2911 like an impatient kid at Christmas.

If you have not seen the entire show, please register and watch it here. This show premieres on October 29 at 10 AM PST with live Q&A but can be seen as a video on demand at that exact same location as early as the next day.   The entire focus of this show in on the most interesting changes we found in one of Cisco’s most popular technologies, the Integrated Services Router, announced on October 20 with Generation Two

Segment 1 – New Model, New Story

Time passes so much faster than we realize.  The current line of Integrated Services Routers did not ‘seem’ that old…but in reality, represent a 5 year old model.  They are still being deployed in large numbers but this new ISR G2 still manages to be not just a mild refresh of updated metrics…but yet another, ground up re-invention of what a router can and should be.  Clear signals (assuming they were not clear already) that video heavy multi-media is a foregone conclusion that we all need to admit is not a future state…but it is here and now.

So what is new? (source)

ISR compared to ISR G2

Press coverage was strong as many weighed in this past week providing coverage for the broader architectural vision of ‘borderless networking’ as well.

Information Week ‘Cisco Announced Borderless Networks’ “Cisco’s New Box Earns it an Upgrade”

Channel Insider “Cisco Overhauls Router Family”

InternetNews ‘Cisco Upgrades Routers to Generation Two’



Segment 2 – The ISR Autopsy

Jimmy Ray welcomes routing expert Matt Lambert to the lab as they begin taking apart one of the new ISR’s to examine exactly how much has physically changed and how it was done.  In depth exploration of Power over Ethernet and the Multi-Gigabit Fabric highlight this lab segment.

MGF Fabric



Segment 3 – New Modules for the ISR

New modules and new concepts for said modularity promise to bring you features you have only dreamed of integrating on single platform.  We will expose you to the options and get the low down on what you can do with your existing modules.

Etherswitch Network Module in a Service Module Adapter for use in an ISR G2:

etherswitch network module

Network Module Adapter that allows the use of existing NMs in the new Service Module (SM) slot in the ISR G2:

NM Adaptor

The new 48 port GE Etherswitch Service Module for the ISR G2:

48 port GE Etherswitch Module

An existing OC3 Network Module (NM) in a Service Module (SM) adapter for use in an ISR G2

OC3 Network Module in a Service Module Adaptor

The modular Services Performance Engine (SPE) offers upgradeable performance in the 3900 Series.  Users can optionally install an Integrated Services Module (ISM), voice DSP modules or increased memory directly to the SPE as demands change:

SPE - Services Performance Engine


Segment 4 – Collaboration Enablement

Video is poised to finally become the defacto expectation for effective communication – what role does the new ISR G2 play in this evolution and what will that mean for your business.

Teresa Newell joins me to review the enhanced video capabilities of the ISR G2 and reveal how ‘medianet‘ must be used to describe it.  This is a great reminder of the importance of architecture for being successful here and the urge to confine ‘video’ to only one set of technologies is way too limiting.




Segment 5– The Service Ready Engine

The Service Ready Engine may sound like a marketing term but the reality is anything but.  Anurag Gurtu explains how this one item may hold some of the most promising changes for getting your technology to work on your behalf like never before.

The new Services Ready Engine (SRE) with dual field-replaceable hard drives:

The new Services Ready Engine (SRE) with dual field-replaceable hard drives

The new Services Ready Engine (SRE) in SM form-factor:

The new Services Ready Engine (SRE) in SM form-factor

Segment 6 – Universal IOS

Anyone who has spent anytime researching an upgrade or attempting to maintain a reasonable level of sanity when dealing with IoS release trains will welcome these changes with open arms. Universal IOS promises the simplification of a historically complex topic. This is no simple engineering feat – TechWiseTV takes a close look at the code and tells you what to expect.

Which one do you prefer?

Old School vs New School IOS

Release Model:

IOS Release Schedule

From the Director of Product Management, Network Software and Systems Technology Group:

Cisco IOS Software Release 15 provides a more consistent user experience resulting from the evolution of Cisco’s software development model. This shift in development, coupled with an improved delivery model, accelerates the sharing of features and applications enabling Borderless Network Services. The new Integrated Services Router Generation Two (G2) Series takes advantage of these benefits immediately.

  • New Release Offers Consolidated Support Strategy and Extended Platform Support
  • Cisco IOS Release 15 M and T initiates a consolidated support strategy for short and long releases to provide greater consistency in new feature release and rebuild schedules and simplify the software selection process.
  • Release 15 M and T integrates a comprehensive portfolio of Cisco technologies, including leading-edge functionality delivered in Releases 12.4 and 12.4T.
  • Release 15.0(1)M, the first release, provides support for the broadest range of hardware in the industry, including Cisco ISRs, and Cisco 7200 and 7301 Series Routers.
  • New Capabilities Enabling Improved Services Delivery

 Release 15.0(1)M adds support for key capabilities such as:
·        Service Advertisement Framework (SAF), enabling network applications to dynamically discover the existence and configuration of other networked applications and services.
·        Flexible NetFlow and Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR) integration, combining the strengths of both features to provide Layer 2-7 per-flow application visibility and statistics.
·        Embedded Event Manager (EEM) Version 3.1, introducing significant enhancements for event detection, notification mechanisms, and command execution capabilities.
·        Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) 1900, 2900, and 3900 Series support, helping businesses and service providers transform the branch office experience and better enable rich-media applications.
·        Software Activation, enabling ‘Services on Demand’ model to realize operational savings through reduced truck rolls, ease of software ordering, simplified software management and efficient new feature deployment.
Additional Information


Guest Biographies

Matt Lambert, Technical Marketing Engineer

Matt Lambert has been an indentured servant of Cisco Systems since starting as a college intern in 1996.  His major qualification continues to be an unnatural ability to rack-mount large routers unassisted.  Since those humble beginnings as a poverty-stricken college student, Matt has gone on to work as a poverty-stricken Technical Marketing Engineer specializing in a wide range of technologies over the past decade including: ATM & Ethernet Switching, Broadband Aggregation, MPLS, Routing, policy management, network automation, Quality of Service, Deep Packet Inspection, and both Edge and Branch Architectures.  He’s also been an instrumental cog on several Cisco products including the Lightstream 1010, Catalyst 8500, Catalyst 5500, Catalyst 6500, Cisco 7200, 7500, 7300, 7400, 10000, BPM and currently the Integrated Services Routers and ISR Generation 2.  In general, he’s an all-around geek that’s afraid of commitment.
In his free time Matt enjoys sleeping with the fishes, literally.  He’s an avid scuba diver and can frequently be found at the bottom of the local watering holes.

Anurag Gurtu, Technical Marketing Engineer

Mr. Anurag Gurtu is a Technical Marketing Engineer at Cisco and holds over five years of experience working as an architect in various sectors including network security and consulting and has over ten years of experience in application development. His expertise is in application design, network security and policy & compliance. Mr. Anurag Gurtu is CISSP and CCNA certified and graduated with a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Networks from University of Southern California.


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  1. very exciting page and i had learn alotthanks

  2. LOVE the picture!