At an annual rate of 20-30 percent, internet traffic continues to grow exponentially, fueled by a sharp increase in new subscribers and devices along with changes in traffic patterns, as enterprises store more data in the cloud. All this puts existing network infrastructures under tremendous strain, precipitating the need for Service Providers to reimagine their network to meet the traffic growth and maintain profitability.

Built to address explosive traffic growth, Cisco’s converged SDN transport architecture delivers mass scale capacity with an industry-leading routing portfolio designed to support high-density 100GbE and 400GbE connectivity. By converging services over a common, trustworthy infrastructure, network operators can reduce cost and operational complexity while delivering new services faster across multiple network domains.

The edge is essential to delivering both legacy and new services. It needs to provide unprecedented flexibility, elasticity, and scale, particularly for cloud-centric services, where compute and content are increasingly distributed to the edge. This is mission-critical for service providers as they roll out new services enabling billions of devices and anytime-anywhere access to applications.

For edge routers to support these new services, they need to be highly programmable, deliver advanced features at scale, and offer high capacity in compact form-factor, while consuming power efficiently.

With more than 100,000 systems shipped, the Cisco ASR 9000 is one of the most widely deployed routers with a proven, long-lasting feature set specifically designed for service provider edge deployments with unmatched scale and performance.

In a recent announcement, Cisco introduced the 5th generation line cards and a new fixed form factor router to the ASR 9000 product family. Thanks to a focused development strategy, Cisco is providing customers with continuous investment protection and a path to evolve from 1GbE up to 400GbE ports with peace of mind and at minimal impact on network operations.

The latest generation of line cards and the ASR 9000 bring some noteworthy benefits:

Power consumption efficiency and lowest cost per bit – the Network Processing Unit (NPU) powering the 5th generation line cards is based on 7 nanometer (nm) ASIC technology that yields higher throughput rates while optimizing power consumption and reducing the total cost to operate. Service providers can now roll out unprecedented capacity in smaller, power-constrained locations.

Increased flexibility for optics & port configurations – customers can upgrade to support 25GE and 400GE links without the need for chassis upgrades. They can also leverage Cisco’s latest investment in DWDM technologies and use pluggable coherent optics DCO optics (from 100GbE up to 400 GbE) embedded in the routers to greatly simplify metro network and data center interconnect architectures.

One OS, Built for Automation – powered by Cisco’s IOS XR, the ASR 9000 can be integrated into the full operational lifecycle – plan, design, implement, operate, and optimize with closed-loop capabilities. And with Cisco Crosswork Qualification Environment, service providers can bring hardware and software online in hours thanks to automated certification processes. Lastly, IOS XR makes it easy to use 3rd-party device management and provisioning applications such as Ansible, Puppet, Chef and others.

The new line cards also have hardware capabilities for Class C timing, FlexE functionality, BNG functionality, business VPN services, and the ability to support 3rd party applications. Together these make the ASR 9000 best equipped to support any future service requirements.

The Cisco ASR 9000 supports the most comprehensive Segment Routing (SR) and EVPN feature set in the industry. As service providers and enterprises prepare to deliver a range of services with different needs over a converged infrastructure, these two network slicing technologies will play a major role in improving network control. With their advanced traffic engineering capabilities, service providers can use Segment Routing (SR) and EVPN to ensure each service gets its own dedicated networking slice and SLA.

As an integral component of Cisco converged SDN transport architecture, the ASR 9000 brings unmatched capabilities to build a service-oriented edge for the future.

For more detailed insights on the recent ASR9000 portfolio updates, listen to our podcast on Apple or Spotify.


Vipul Deokar

Vice President, Engineering

Global Service Provider