The digital disruption

The next generation of networking has arrived. Driven by the growth in devices connecting to multiple networks and clouds, large and small enterprises alike demand secure, software-defined networks. Finding the right platform that offers high performance, comprehensive security, next-generation connectivity, and ease of provisioning is critical for businesses to succeed and reduce OpEx. At the heart of these requirements are robust, digital-ready Integrated Services Routers (ISRs), which are deployed in enterprise branches and remote sites and optimized for the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) era of management.

Consider several use cases

  • Enterprises needing full-capability branch routers with low OpEx
  • Managed service providers needing a multiconnectivity customer premises equipment router at the perfect price and performance
  • Small businesses and home offices needing a robust, versatile, low-cost router

Consider the requirements of a branch-office environment

  • Straightforward remote administration
  • A high degree of remotely administered security, including data capture, threat detection, and mitigation
  • Support for one or more high-speed, secure WAN links. Typically, WAN links send data encrypted to the organization’s headquarters, or to some other intermediate access and routing point, as well as decrypt incoming data
  • The ability of the branch-office router to interact effectively and efficiently with appropriate upstream “peer” routers
  • Ideally, the branch-office router will also deliver Wi-Fi service to the branch office, including, as necessary, the administration of multiple wireless access points

What does this mean to the CxO, network buyer, and IT engineer?

Answer:  Cisco builds the best branch-office router solutions, based on rigorous, independent testing of throughput as well as an examination of the “soft” aspects of routers, such as Wi-Fi features, setup and management, and traffic analysis.

Miercom’s evaluation found that Cisco’s 1000 Series ISRs not only outperformed the competition on robust throughput testing, but also demonstrated a compelling advantage in wireless features and ease of use due to Cisco’s Mobility Express wireless architecture.

Miercom summed it up nicely: “Cisco ISR1100 routers provide throughput performance and wireless support in a ‘branch-in-a-box’ solution that outpaces competitive branch office routers from Huawei and HPE.  As a result, we proudly award the ‘Miercom Performance Verified’ certification to Cisco’s ISR1100 router models ISR1111-8P and ISR1117-4P.”

How was the test conducted?

The testing for this comparative analysis included both “hard” performance measurement and “softer” test components, where aspects including security and Wi-Fi ease of use were assessed. Based on the branch-office deployment, all router performance was compared using maximum bidirectional throughput over a Gigabit Ethernet WAN link, which all tested routers support (except the Huawei AR201, which is Fast Ethernet). To reflect realistic private networks with branch offices and data centers, all traffic was secured with IPsec encryption.

 What were the key findings and observations?

  • The 1111-8P ISR consistently delivered the highest average IPsec encrypted WAN throughput, at 365 Mbps, and the 1117-4P ISR followed with 281 Mbps. Huawei routers delivered 84 to 245 Mbps, and HP Enterprise routers delivered 59 to 68 Mbps.
  • Huawei routers exhibited wide variability in throughput for the same test; the Huawei AR1220E delivered throughput varying by more than 100 percent.
  • Cisco’s NetFlow can capture complete traffic flows without compromising performance, making a big difference in the ability to analyze traffic and spot threats. Huawei and HP Enterprise only sample traffic.
  • Cisco 1100 ISRs deliver the richest set of Wi-Fi features using built-in Mobility Express architecture, and deliver the best integrated, scalable, and easy-to-use Wi-Fi deployment and management.
  • Unlike competing routers, Cisco 1100 ISRs offer integrated, feature-rich, and scalable SD-WAN.
  • Cisco’s unique Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA) capability identifies the threats (malware, Trojans, botnets) hidden inside encrypted traffic, such as HTTPS, without infringing on privacy. HPE and Huawei both lack this capability.

For the full details, download the comprehensive Miercom report and accompanying test results.


Prashanth Shenoy

Vice President of Marketing

Enterprise Networking and Mobility