Cisco Catalyst 8000V Edge Software was launched in November 2020 as an evolution of the widely adopted Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V, which is deployed by more than 5,000  customers globally.  As the successor to the widely adopted CSR 1000V, the Catalyst 8000V offers the next generation of secure multicloud networking and cloud-smart capabilities in software, required by enterprise workloads for the public cloud and SaaS.  As public cloud solutions become more ubiquitous, with Gartner predicting spending on public cloud services to grow 23.1% in 2021 to $332.3 billion [1], customers will look to accelerate their journey to multicloud with a trusted enterprise-grade and cloud-smart solution.

Catalyst 8000V, the Cloud-Smart Router
Figure 1: Catalyst 8000V, the Cloud-Smart Router

Powering secure multicloud networking, the Catalyst 8000V, can integrate with cloud formation templates, DevOps tools, Cisco’s vManage Controller, and be deployed by enterprises to programmatically connect to multicloud architectures as shown in Figure 1.  Automation tools, such as Terraform, are also widely popular with Catalyst 8000V, allowing customers to easily manage their infrastructure deployment.  Cisco SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp integrates with the Catalyst 8000V to offer an easy-to-use, end-to-end solution.

Evolution of Cisco’s Cloud Router The CSR 1000V was launched to bring the industry-leading Cisco IOS® XE Software networking capabilities to address virtualization and cloud needs.  As customers’ needs evolved, a smarter solution was needed, which is where the Catalyst 8000V was conceived.  A single, ‘cloud-smart’ router which powered customers multicloud networks and interoperates  across disparate deployment environments was needed.

“Cisco SD-WAN enables us to securely leverage AWS as a worldwide transit network. The time to connect can be very fast … reduced to the time to send the router to the remote site, which is less than a week.”
– Adrien Geniller, Lead Network Architect, ENGIE

Evolution of Cisco’s Cloud Router
Figure 2: Evolution of Cisco’s Cloud Router
Catalyst 8000V is the anchor tenant in Secure SD-WAN for Multicloud and SaaS
Figure 3: Catalyst 8000V is the anchor tenant in Secure SD-WAN for Multicloud and SaaS

A simple cloud consumption experience was also foundational to the definition of the Catalyst 8000V, as licensing was simplified with the launch of the Catalyst 8000V using standardized Cisco DNA licenses [3].

Catalyst 8000V, the Cloud-Smart Router
Purpose built for the cloud, the Catalyst 8000V provides a smart, enterprise-ready, and simplified experience for easy deployment as shown in Figure 3.  Customers with a “Cloud First” mindset should consider Cisco’s cloud-smart router,  which has enjoyed great success with various SD-WAN Cloud OnRamp use cases for site to cloud automation for AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Ali Cloud.



“AWS has been working closely with Cisco to provide a cloud native way for customers to seamlessly onboard Cisco SD-WAN to AWS. The latest launch with AWS Transit Gateway Connect enables Cisco SD-WAN to significantly increase throughput up to 20x. Customers can utilize a single orchestration platform from Cisco SD-WAN to consume AWS workloads across regions worldwide and extend enterprise segmentation policies into AWS,”
– Mayumi Hiramatsu, Vice President, Amazon EC2 Networking

“Cisco’s qualification as a partner in the Microsoft 365 Networking Partner Program.. The Cloud OnRamp integration allows for intelligent application classification while adhering to all the Microsoft informed network routing principles. We at Microsoft look forward to building on the work we have done with Cisco and fulfilling our customer’s cloud networking needs.”
– Jeff Mealiffe, Principal Architect, Microsoft

“The strategic relationship between Google Cloud and Cisco continues to yield innovations for our joint customers …,” says Shailesh Shukla, Vice President and General Manager, Networking at Google Cloud. “Integrating Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud’s Network Connectivity Center provides …. providing a highly reliable and high-performance site-to-site option leveraging Google’s global cloud infrastructure.”

Catalyst 8000V Integrates into Multiple Workflows
Figure 4: Catalyst 8000V Integrates into Multiple Workflows

Acting as the anchor tenant, the Catalyst 8000V underpins forward looking solutions such as software-defined cloud interconnect (SDCI), on-demand global networks, and colocation solutions, with partners like Megaport and Equinix .  Figure 4 shows how Catalyst 8000V, with vManage, can be deployed and managed across the different use cases in a single, intuitive dashboard.  The Catalyst 8000V simplifies the complexities in managing customers varied network requirements and operational approaches.

For insights into the performance of the Catalyst 8000V, Cisco vAnalytics is an option, which can provide customers with contextual network visibility and actionable insights into device and fabric performance and events. The visibility makes it easier than ever to spot anomalies in the network and to perform intelligent capacity planning.

Moving forward, as enterprises workloads evolve to require consistent secure access to public cloud providers, SaaS vendors for application optimization, colocation, SDCI, and traditional on-prem use cases, the Catalyst 8000V has established itself as the cloud-smart router to meet current and future challenges.

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[1] Gartner,  Press Release, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 23% in 2021, Katie Costello, Meghan Rimol, 21 April 2021
[2] Internal Cisco Data
[3] DNA Tier License Model
[4] Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family


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Raj Gulani

Senior Director, Product Management

Cisco SD-WAN and Cloud Networking