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The Rise of the Machines: Cisco ISR 819 Machine-to-Machine Gateway to your rescue!

August 23, 2011 - 4 Comments

The future is here. To quote William Shatner in the original Star Trek Series “We are going where no man has gone before.”

Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist, recently posted an infographic in his blog that detailed the fascinating growth of the “Internet of things” – ATMs, kiosks, vending machines, smart meters, digital signage, refrigerator… And then he posted the question: “With this increase, how will you prepare your network for the future? “

Well… Today, Cisco announced the latest addition to the core routing infrastructure portfolio: the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) 819 Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Gateway as an answer to this question. This is the first step towards getting your network ready to face the barrage of machines that need 3G wireless network connectivity to your enterprise/corporate network.

Cisco estimates that technologies such as the ISR 819 will help connect more than 50 billion devices to the Internet by 2020. The ISR 819 will enable Cisco to deliver on its vision for the “Internet of Things” while illustrating its unique ability to create business opportunities for customers in even the most nontraditional of networking environments.

The ISR 819 is an innovative new platform specifically designed to meet the unique needs of M2M and micro-branch environments, with unique capabilities such as:

  • Compact size – lighter than a MacBook Air and smaller in length and width than an iPad
  • Hardened – built for the most challenging environments to address shock/vibe, humidity, splash water, temperature, dust and more
  • Rich IOS services – including comprehensive security, WAN optimization, IPv6, QoS, and more
  • Location based M2M services – including Mobile IP, native SMS gateway, standalone GPS, dual SIM for higher reliability, and more.

Many M2M deployments will consist of hundreds if not thousands of devices.  Thus, superior management and monitoring are critical for the success of these deployments; the Cisco ISR 819 provides the full solution as it can be remotely and centrally managed with Cisco Prime. This along with the support for extensive 3.5G and 3.7G MIBs provides network managers visibility into and control of devices, including devices connected to the router in these remote sites.

Just imagine the use cases –vending machines equipped with the ISR 819 can “find” and “talk” to the nearest replenishing depot / vehicle, so machines are refilled before popular products run out—this boosts customer satisfaction and revenue for both coin-operated machines that carry low-value goods such as snack foods and credit-card operated terminals that carry high-value goods such as MP3 players. Or the 819 which has a standalone GPS and native SMS support installed in trucks and passenger vehicles to track them and offer text updates on arrivals to passengers. This also enables organizations to cut costs with just-in-time processes and to improve functionality and safety for fleet management services. The list goes on…

For folks who will be attending the upcoming Interop – NY conference (Oct 3 – 7th), I’ll be presenting a session (Oct 5th 11AM Eastern, Room 2 Expo Floor at the Javits Center) on the machine-to-machine market and some of real-world use case scenarios across the retail, transportation, public sector, utilities, and healthcare industries.

Interested to know more about the ISR 819? Here you go.

And finally, please take a moment to check out this really fun video demonstrating how the ISR 819 withstood the toughest of stress test environments! And see for yourself the unique capabilities of this smallest, toughest member of our ISR family. We strongly advise people not to replicate what has been done in this video for safety of yourself, people around you and your router! We did all tests in a safe and controlled environment.

Got any interesting M2M use cases your company is thinking of deploying? Let us know.

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  1. How well will an in vehicle Wi-Fi using WPA2 Enterprise security or 802.1X protected switch port work on a Cisco 819 ISR when the vehicle is moving in an out of 3G/4G wirelless coverage?

  2. Couple of questions:

    1. Won’t integrating the 819 ISR make the “thing” (or product vending kiosk, for example) cost prohibitive?

    2. Does the fruition of this vision necessitate strategic alliances with the Independent Software Vendor community or is it all home-grown for now?

    • Hi Richa,
      Thank you for your query.. My quick take on this..
      1. Won’t integrating the 819 ISR make the “thing” (or product vending kiosk, for example) cost prohibitive?

      The upfront capex required for the 819 is offset by the OpEx savings gained through:
      1. Centralized management of these machines (using Cisco Prime and 3G/4G SNMP MIBs to give network managers complete visibility and control of the network configurations at all their remote sites
      2. Cost savings through efficient asset tracking/monitoring and inventory management. 819 allows lot of retail services organizations to dynamic manage their inventory and schedule routes for inventory refilling. As an example, various industry research have shown that using these M2M functionalities for the vending machine inventory management results in up to 30% few trucks and 50% less personnel.
      And there are several other tangible and intangible benefits gained through better customer service (Eg:real-time route information for passengers), better risk management of assets (using GPS on 819 to monitor and manage vehicles carrying sensitive information) etc

      2. Does the fruition of this vision necessitate strategic alliances with the Independent Software Vendor community or is it all home-grown for now?
      Today partners / software application developers can run their independent software on the UCS-Express module on ISR G2 . We are evaluating similar strategy for the ISR 819. However we need to engage with the partner in order to understand their software requirements for running on the 819.

  3. I want to work with u people over there