This blog is co-authored with David Keith, Product Marketing Manger


The Network is the Foundation

The pace of digital innovation is surging across the digital ecosystem in the post-pandemic era resulting in a sharp expansion of applications and cloud usage. Experiences such as 8K ultra-high-definition video streaming, immersive VR and AR apps, gaming, self-driving vehicles, high frequency stock trading, automation driven by AI/ML systems, and IoT use cases with 5G networks are expected by enterprises. In response, organizations are adopting hybrid cloud and multi-cloud frameworks in order to attain cloud networking benefits and improve their business outcomes.

The network has been and continues to be the foundation of the internet that underpins cloud services and capabilities. Today, networking is also the foundation for modern applications, connecting microservices, functions, and data into mission-critical business services.


The Enhancements

Here are just some of the enhancements Cisco is making to Cisco Cloud Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to help:

Cisco is introducing Cisco Cloud ACI’s new usage of Catalyst 8000v for it’s cloud routing capabilities, replacing CSR 1000v.

The Cisco Catalyst 8000V is a software router that an enterprise or a cloud provider can deploy as a virtual machine in a provider-hosted cloud or in its own virtual environment. It can run on Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) servers as well as on servers from leading vendors that support the Amazon EC2 cloud, Microsoft Azure cloud, or Google Cloud Platform. It contains Cisco IOS XE Software networking and security features.

Within cloud deployment, Cisco Catalyst 8000V will provide connectivity from cloud tenants to the on-prem environment as well as other clouds, in the case of multi-cloud deployment. Being deployed as a multitenant router, using Virtual R oute Forwarding (VRF) to maintain separate routing tables and feature configurations for each tenant it services, it will host your VPN connections as well and will allow you to stretch security and network policies across your entire infrastructure.

This will provide Cisco Cloud ACI customers a better way to connect their hybrid cloud and multicloud fabrics.

Catalyst 8000V licensing model is based on simple, standardized Cisco DNA licensing that can offer easy cloud consumption experience, including Pay-as-you-Go consumption model. It will also fully replace CSR 1000V in related bundle with Cisco Cloud ACI, allowing customers to benefit from the same level of discounts that were offered earlier.

In addition to licensing changes Catalyst 8000V offers upgraded bandwidth tiers that can significantly improve throughput available between cloud instances and on-premises datacenter.

Summary of new bandwidth tiers








Starting with release 25.0.3 Cisco Cloud ACI will support only Catalyst 8000V as a cloud router, since CSR1000V is going EOL. The license migration procedure is available here.

Replacement of CSR1000V with Cisco Catalyst 8000V will ensure that customers will be able to get all the benefits of their Cloud ACI deployment, including higher bandwidth, easier license management, and access to features and developments of the Catalyst 8000V platform, including integration with SD-WAN.


With Cisco Cloud ACI utilizing Catalyst 8000v, organizations will be able to keep up with rapidly changing and expanding digital ecosystem and network demands, including hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments, application and bandwidth intensive requirements that will improve benefits and outcomes.



Cisco Cloud Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

Catalyst 8000v


Eugene Vakulenko

Engineering Product Manager

DC Switching Marketing