Innovation, quality and customer focus are part of Cisco DNA. Our customers expressed the need to have a platform that is compact, dense, flexible, feature rich and supports programmability.

I’m thrilled to announce the availability of ASR 9901 – a compact Two-Rack-Unit (2RU) platform designed for a wide variety of use-cases across Service Provider, Enterprise and Hyperscale Web providers. It complements nicely our impressive ASR 9000 portfolio.

The platform is scalable and delivers incredible 800 Gbps of throughput while also providing flexibility in terms of port speeds supporting 1/10/100 Gbps with industry leading MACsec encryption support on all ports. The ASR 9901 platform shares the same Operating System (OS) and custom silicon as the ASR 9000 family thereby providing operational consistency and advanced features such as Segment Routing, Ethernet VPN (EVPN), model-driven programmability & telemetry and other enhancements we brought into IOS XR.

Where does this box fit?

The ASR 9901 fits well into small Points of Presence (PoP), Colocation Centers (CoLo), where typical bandwidth demand is sub 500G but requires port flexibility, high 1G/10G density. The platform paves the way for customers to move to 100GE without having to sacrifice on Edge features. This platform supports broader applications such as Broadband Network gateway (BNG), Distributed Provider Edge, Internet Peering, Metro Aggregation, Data-Center Interconnect (DCI), Data-center/WAN Aggregation and Backbone router functions for Enterprises.


ASR 9000 as a Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) provides the fastest, densest and most reliable solution in the market. With industry leading geo-redundancy solution, you can let the network take care of maintaining the session states as well as management. The IOS XR BNG solution runs the same code base from a fixed 2RU solution to a multi-terabyte full rack chassis. This gives customers a huge portfolio of options without having to worry about re-validating their solution on every node. Now with BNG being pushed closer to the user, deploying ASR 9901 makes more sense with the system supporting higher BNG scale than the existing fixed chassis with support for automation, telemetry etc.

Distributed Provider Edge

Service Provider customers have been predominantly using the fixed systems as Aggregators and distributed PE’s because the platforms support the same scale as their modular counterparts. Continuing the tradition, the ASR 9901 will support the industry leading multidimensional scale (FIB, QoS) on the new compact chassis.


ASR 9000, more specifically ASR 9001 (fixed 2RU), has been deployed by customers as a Layer2 & Layer3 DCI, primarily supporting 10/40G speeds within data-centers. The ASR 9901 with the full support for EVPN & VXLAN capability will be a more viable solution for our customers as the DCI router with Nexus 9K integration through OpFlex .

Central Office Fabric

With customers looking for programmable fabric (CO Fabric) with Segment Routing (SR) underlay and EVPN overlay, ASR 9901 provides the smallest building block for feature rich service termination. Customers can drop in additional service PE’s if they need to support more services. This platform addresses the SR requirements with multiple MPLS label stacks (10 Labels) as well as deep buffers, hierarchical QoS and faster convergence.

In a nutshell, this new platform provides our customers with greater flexibility without having to compromise on features and also move to 100G in Small PoP’s, Colo’s. To learn more about ASR 9K portfolio, listen to this Cisco Knowledge Webinar.

For those attending Cisco Live US next week in Orlando, don’t miss this session: Compact and Powerful – ASR9901 Router Powered by 64-bit IOS-XR [SOLSPG-1002] on Tuesday, Jun 12, 02:30 p.m. – 02:45 p.m. at WoS, Campus Solutions Theater.


Sudarshan Muralidharan

Senior Product Manager

Service Provider