Cisco Live: New Cloud Routing Software, Services

Cisco Partner Summit in April

Among the various new products, which were scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday at Cisco Live in San Diego, are what Cisco calls Cloud Connectors -- software embedded into Cisco's Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2 platform to improve access, availability and security of cloud applications. Cisco is making Connectors available for Cisco Hosted Collaboration Services (HCS), as well as its ScanSafe Web security service and the CTERA Cloud Storage that appears on E-series Cisco UCS platforms.

Cisco service provider and channel partners can develop their own Cloud Connectors using Cisco's open framework as a way to further customize the experience for users, Cisco said.

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Along with the Connectors comes the Cisco Cloud Services Router 1000v -- a virtual router for extending VPNs via the cloud -- plus a new ASR router: the 1002-X router, offering 36 Gbps performance. Further still is the addition of UCS E-series server modules on the ISR G2 to better offer hosted services to branch and remote offices.

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Cisco is also adding what it calls application visibility and control technology (AVC) to its ISR and ASR routing platforms to optimize how cloud applications are delivered on the network. It's also updating its Cisco WAAS physical and virtual WAN optimization appliances with clustering technology: a scale-as-you-grow deployment model called "AppNav" that can be offered as hardware on Cisco's Wide Area Virtualization Engine (WAVE) devices or as software on the Cloud Services Router.

Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Services Routing Technology Group, noted that customer adoption of cloud services require smarter routing platforms and better WAN optimization wares.

"The Cisco Cloud Connected Solution redefines the WAN architecture with key innovations that leverage the network intelligence as a critical link in cloud deployments by putting more functionality into traditional enterprise routing, allowing customers to connect to the cloud with an optimal user experience," Akkiraju said in a statement.

All of the new Cisco products are available now, except for the CSR 1000v and UCS E-series on ISR G2, both shipping in Cisco's fourth quarter, and the ASR 1002-X router, available in September. Pricing information was not immediately available from Cisco.

Cloud Connected Solution touches two areas of focus for Cisco: its evolving cloud computing strategy, which already includes Cisco channel partner programs, marketing materials and a framework called CloudVerse, and a major refresh around several key Cisco routing lines, particularly the ISRs.

Akkiraju told CRN in January that the routing upgrades are a defensive move, too. Cisco's first-generation ISRs will hit end-of-sale in November 2012, and competitors like Juniper will be looking to attack Cisco's enormous installed base. According to researcher the Dell'Oro Group, Cisco maintains a 78.6 percent market share of global enterprise routers.