Posted on behalf of contributing author:  Travis Carlson

Travis has worked in networking and telecommunications for 10 years with experience in device programmability, routing, Network Function virtualization (NFV), Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. In Enterprise Routing he is the Product Manager for IaaS networking which includes the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000v and SD-WAN technologies.

According to a recent IDC survey 85% of organizations are evaluating or using the public cloud1. As customers begin deploying workloads in the public cloud having a high-performing solution that allows them to securely extend their on-premises network to the cloud is critical. The Cisco CSR 1000V is a full-featured IOS-XE router that provides a secure way to connect your public cloud deployment to your on-premises network.

We are constantly working with our cloud partners to deliver new features and improved scale and performance. The latest software release for CSR 1000V (IOS-XE 16.10.1) delivers a number of significant enhancements for CSR 1000V on Microsoft Azure.

First, the release adds support for Microsoft Accelerated Networking which will enable customers to achieve 4x the throughput of the current CSR 1000V software release. Also, CSR 1000V will be launching support for customers to leverage pay-as-you-go, allowing for hourly consumption of the CSR. All of these improvements mean customers will be able to leverage better scale and performance for the CSR in Microsoft Azure.

Improved performance with Accelerated Networking

Cisco is adding support for Microsoft Accelerated Networking in the IOS-XE 16.10.1 software release for the CSR 1000V. By leveraging Accelerated Networking CSR 1000V is able to achieve up to a 4x increase in throughput performance across the existing instance types.

Figure 1 – Image from Microsoft Azure Documentation on Accelerate Networking

With accelerated networking, network traffic arrives at the VM’s network interface (NIC), and then is forwarded directly to the VM by-passing the host and the virtual switch. By allowing the CSR 1000V direct access to the network interface (NIC) Cisco and Microsoft are able to achieve significant improvements in the maximum throughput of the virtual router.

Azure Pay-as-you-Go

This new release for CSR 1000V also marks the launch of a new way to consume CSR 1000V on Azure. Customers will now be able to launch an hourly pay-as-you-go instance of CSR 1000V from the Azure Marketplace. With hourly pay-as-you-go, users can spin up CSR 1000V and consume it for a defined period of time based on their needs. When they are finished they can spin it down and only pay for the length of time they used it instead of being locked into an annual or multi-year contract. This pay-as-you-go instance of CSR 1000V will support all of the existing deployment models that are available today for customers who choose the bring-your-own-license consumption model for CSR 1000V. Pricing information is available here.

Smart Licensing Only

In this release CSR 1000V will support only Smart Licensing. In previous release the CSR 1000V also supported classic ePAK licensing. Going forward all future releases of software for CSR 1000V will support only Smart Licensing which greatly simplifies licensing for the customer and provides greater flexibility and visibility to the licenses they own. Customers can use the Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM) to view all of the smart licenses they own in one place. For customers who have classic ePAK licenses they should convert their classic license to a smart licenses using the Licenses Registration Portal prior to upgrading to the 16.10.1 release.

This video provides step-by-step details on how to convert your existing classic ePAK licenses to a smart license.

If you experience any issues converting your classic ePAK licenses please contact licensing@cisco.com.

Take advantage of the free 30-day trial for CSR 1000V on Azure and get started today. Make sure to visit us in the Power a Multicloud World in the World of Solutions, January 28-31st at Cisco Live EMEA in Barcelona. We’d be happy to give you a demo and discuss your deployment needs.

Comment below or follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter @CiscoEnterprise to continue the conversation!

1 – Source: IDC CloudView, April, 2017, n=8,293 worldwide respondents, weighted by country, company size and industry


Kiran Ghodgaonkar

Senior Manager, Enterprise Marketing

Intent-based Networking Group