We have been asking more of our networks lately. The cloud has become the operating platform for the new enterprise, while SASE, multicloud architectures, and edge applications add new levels of complexity. It’s time for us to revamp the WAN edge devices that handle the network traffic, to address these needs. At the same time we need to keep IT teams agile, so they can support resilient businesses.

I am thus very proud to announce availability of an entire new line of edge devices, the Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms and Catalyst Cellular Gateway.

An upgrade path from several of Cisco’s ISR and ASR routers, the Catalyst 8000 line is built for SD-WAN, multicloud, security, and analytics — for managing traffic that is increasingly distributed across the cloud. The Catalyst 8000 family provides the security, performance, and agility our customers need. It will serve enterprises with seamless connectivity and consistent policy-based automation for all users, customers, and applications.

On top of that, our new Catalyst Cellular Gateways will allow networks to add cellular connectivity – including 5G – as primary or backup links to existing SD-WAN Installations.

The Catalyst 8000: Design Brief

We’ve built the Catalyst 8000 family with high availability, flexibility, and cloud scale at the core.

In addition to performing the intense requirements of routing traffic between locations and services, the Catalyst 8000 products embrace the SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) architecture. The products feature Cisco Umbrella integration — a single, cloud-native service for controlling security and integrating networking functions across an entire fabric of networking devices. Full-stack, powerful security options are also built into the Catalyst 8000 family for customers who need flexiblity for enforcing hybrid security (on-premise and cloud).

Cisco’s SD-WAN platforms extend into the major cloud platforms, too. Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp integrates with cloud services from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, for better end-to-end visibility and manageability of multicloud applications.

The platform is also open and programmable, with a fully developed API library that will enable powerful automation. The Catalyst 8000 products support container-based microservices for distributed analytics apps and other extensions, from Cisco and from third parties.

All these capabilities are delivered at scale and with operational resiliency. The platforms can produce rich telemetry, making it easy for Cisco vAnalytics to provide actionable insights into device and fabric performance and events. With Catalyst 8000 products, it will be easier than ever to spot anomalies in the network and to perform intelligent capacity planning.

The Catalyst 8000 line offers solutions for many use cases. The family comes in physical and virtual form factors to meet customer needs at the campus, branch, or colocation environments.

All products in the Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform family include a Cisco DNA software subscription, available in three tiers of service. Under our streamlined licensing plans, customers can quickly adapt services to their needs, and pivot their infrastructure at any time to take advantage of the latest innovations in network, cloud, and security services.

The Catalyst 8000 line offers solutions for numerous use cases.

Catalyst 8500 Edge Platform

The high end of the Catalyst 8000 line, the Catalyst 8500 is ideal for data center, colocation, and aggregation sites. It is powered by our third-generation Quantum Flow Processor, a proprietary ASIC purpose-built to provide high performance, while handling robust security processing and providing rich network services.

Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms

The Catalyst 8500 also features an SD-WAN industry first: integrated 40G and 100G Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 8300 Edge Platform

The Catalyst 8300 Series Edge Platforms are made to handle edge connectivity at branch sites. They also provide customers with up to four times better SD-WAN service performance than Cisco’s ISR 4400 routers.

Cisco Catalyst 8300 Series Edge Platforms

The Catalyst 8300 platform offers modular access with a diverse set of WAN connectivity choices. It offers an easy upgrade path to wireless WAN, including to 5G with a pluggable module. The Catalyst 8300 also supports modules compatible with the Cisco ISR 4000 family.

The platform makes it possible to create a fully software-defined branch, including connectivity, edge compute, and storage. Compute and switching capabilities can be added via our UCS-E Series blades and UADP-powered Switch modules. In addition, application hosting is supported using containers running on the Catalyst 8300’s multi-core, high performance x86 processor. Full software control means each Catalyst 8300 in an enterprise can be part of a unified fabric, operating in coordination with other WAN Edge devices via Cisco vManage.

Catalyst 8000V Edge Software

The Catalyst 8000V Edge Software is a flexible virtual routing platform that can run on any x86 platform, or on ENCS or CSP appliance in a private or public cloud. It extends connectivity, visibility, and security into multicloud environments, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

The Catalyst 8000V software can embed the full functionality of the Catalyst 8000 in a cloud platform.

Catalyst Cellular Gateways

Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateway

A new line of small form-factor devices will provide Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms, as well as Cisco ISR and ASR routers, with a simple way to connect to 4G LTE and, soon, 5G networks. These devices can be used to make cellular a back-up option or a primary SD-WAN link — a useful option in locations without wired service. The new Cisco Catalyst Cellular Gateway provides a wireless WAN option without requiring a hardware upgrade to Catalyst 8000 devices themselves.

The same SD-WAN management console used to control the Catalyst 8000 platform and all our edge devices also runs the Catalyst Cellular Gateway. Customers can seamlessly provision remote networks at scale and get enhanced visibility of their wireless WAN network with this easy plug-and-play device.

Flexibility for All Customers

Designed for intent-based networks, the Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family is the gateway to hybrid and multicloud applications across the cloud, data center and edge locations.

To learn more:


JL Valente

Vice President, Product Management, Enterprise Routing and SD-WAN

Networking Experiences Team