130A0355The Interop Las Vegas team chose April Fools’ as the day to announce the Best of Interop winners – a curious choice some may say. But, there was no fooling when the Interop team announced the Cisco ISR 4451-X Converged Branch Infrastructure for the Best of Interop Networking category.

Here is what judge Kurt Marko wrote about the solution:

“Convergence has been a persistent theme at Interop for several years, yet it’s typically been applied to data center infrastructure. With the ISR 4451-X branch office router platform, Cisco is … transforming a product line that began as a way to connect remote sites to corporate networks and the Internet into a small-scale data center in a box…a very small, 2U box. … The product’s innovative hardware design splits the control and data planes between two multi-core CPUs. … The 4451-X is poised to address the gap between networking functions that are fully virtualized and those that are still embedded in dedicated networking devices. While edge devices with varying degrees of virtualization have preceded it, Cisco has exploited its UCS expertise to meld the traditional networking features of its branch platform with a general-purpose compute engine, opening the door to levels of integration that allow a blurring of where computing ends and networking begins. As organizations transition to greater virtualization of applications and network services, as embodied by NFV, the 4451-X will facilitate the shift and could serve as a model for future converged hardware designs.”

It is great validation that industry experts like Kurt Marko and other Interop judges understood the importance of convergence in the branch with an architecture that delivers unprecedented compute and WAN service performanceThis advancement in routing comes at a very important time, when the industry is quickly migrating to mobile-cloud architectures and preparing for the Internet of Things. Both trends have dramatically changed branch requirements and have raised the dependency on the network to support business operations.

Gone are yesterday’s silo architectures and IT sprawl. For resource and budget constrained IT teams, the old model simply will not scale to today’s business requirements. To ensure a high quality user experience in today’s distributed networks, IT will need to deploy advanced WAN services in order to fully see what applications are moving through their network, control traffic at a granular level, off-load the WAN with a variety of approaches and secure all traffic from any device to any cloud over any transport.


With Cisco ISR 4451-X, rather than dedicating a set of resources to a particular service function, application, or line of business, this new converged infrastructure creates a pool of virtualized server, storage and networking capacity that is shared by multiple applications and lines of business.

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This is especially useful as the Internet of Things emerges, and organizations move to Fog Computing, where large amounts of data will be collected and analyzed right at the branch site. Having a platform that can scale to data center class compute power into a compact branch platform will be essential. Customers can get ready now, with the Cisco ISR 4451-X.

For those of you who want to learn more about the most innovative branch router and how it can transform your business, you can read the solution overview or watch a brief video from Matt Bolick, one of our lead senior technical marketing engineers who worked closely with the engineers who brought the revolutionary architecture of the Cisco ISR 4451-X to life.


Raakhee Mistry

Senior Director

EN & Cloud Marketing