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Best of Interop – Tokyo Winner: Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V !

Networking as a technology has been around for decades now and most people consider it to be mature with a crawling pace of innovation.  But with big market transitions like cloud computing, nothing can be further from the truth as the Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V has proven with its announcement at Cisco Live! – San Diego on June 12th as part of our Cloud Connected Solution launch

While the CSR announcement opened up to rave reviews by the press, analysts, and our customers alike and got referenced in our CEO John Chambers’ keynote and a live demo showcased during our CTO Padmasree Warrior’s keynote, there was another jewel being placed in the crown of CSR.  CSR was awarded the Grand Prix Prize in the Networking for “Carrier, SP, and Enterprise” category of the Best of Show Award at Interop Tokyo 2012 held from June 12 – 15th!






Now, for folks who haven’t heard about the CSR,  it is :

  • A software (IOS-XE) router that an enterprise or a cloud provider can deploy as a virtual machine (VM) in a provider-hosted cloud and run on any server that supports VMware ESXi or Citrix XenServer virtualization
  • Can be deployed as a secure VPN gateway, MPLS WAN termination point, DC network extension, or a control point for networking services (like WAN Optimization) for your hosted cloud.
  • Has the same look and feel as any other IOS router and same management tool with Cisco Prime Infrastructure.

With this, we now have a complete portfolio of routing products for every critical place in the network – the ISR G2 for branch offices and remote sites, the ASR 1000 for WAN Edge/Internet Edge/DC Edge and now the CSR for the public / vPC cloud environment.

The Best of Interop award is a great validation for the innovation and relevance that CSR brings to extend secure networking to the cloud. However, for me though, the best compliment for a product is really when its customers or potential customers talk about it and I hear that excitement in their voice.

At the end of a fun podcast session on CSR that I did with Packetpushers, Derick – the Network Engineer who was one of the interviewees – came up to me and said “This CSR is tickling my curiosity. I gotta run this in my home lab and get my hands dirty. Can’t wait.”  And Juzer Kopti, Manager of Advanced Services at Verizon said “…CSR provides Verizon with the opportunity to enhance selected services such as IPv6 and IPsec VPNs in the cloud. As a result, Verizon can better support its customers’ needs with the solid combination of improved performance and increased manageability of the infrastructure.”

And these have been the kind of responses we’ve received so far across the board – from our cloud service providers and MSP customers who want to provide value added network and security “as-a-service” to their clients to large enterprise customers who want to get a network footprint in a hosted cloud environment and provide direct secure access to their branch office and remote sites to the cloud – the use cases keep coming.

I’m no Justin Timberlake , but the CSR is really “bringing sexy back” to the networking field.

Are you tickled about the CSR too?  Here’s the product page . And of course, the TechWiseTV Fundamental VOD I posted at the beginning is a great video to get a quick primer.

So what do you think about the CSR? And what use cases do you envision for this router? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. Is there any thought of supporting encryption co-processors on pci-express cards in the servers that run the routing VM’s?

    Then the router software VM’s can be used where one wants to be able to maintain a high level of security.

    Some things, like diffie-hellman group 9, done to support IKEv2 for IPSec, are more efficiently done in hardware than in software.

    • Hi Thomas,
      Thanks for your comments. CSR 1000V is not tied to any particular underlying hardware, i.e. CSR 1000V is deployed as a standalone software product that runs on VM enabled server. So all traffic processing (data plane and control plane functions) is performed purely in software. We may in the future offload some cryptographic processing to hardware.

  2. Its a real shame this isn’t supported on Hyper-V. Like it or not there are a fair amount of public clouds built on this now and it is an up and coming.

    Are there any plans to create a Hyper-V image for it?

  3. Wow, I just ordered my first SRE module which can run a VMWare server in the router itself. This is a whole new ballgame.

    • Thanks for your comments, Greg. And congratulations on the UCS Express module. I’m really interested in knowing what specific applications you are running on this module.

      • We will be using the UCS Express modules in some of our satellite locations to run a domain controller and proxy integrated into a single IOS firewall chassis. This will allow us to eliminate the need to install any further infrastructure. We are excited to see a significant cost savings in power, infrastructure cost, and, of course, the need to buy a server.