Cisco Equips Integrated Services Routers With Application Monitoring Capabilities

The solution, called Integrated Services Router with Application Experience (ISR-AX), will give way to a new family of Cisco routers the company says converges network optimization, security and application management services onto a single box.

Raakhee Mistry, senior marketing solutions manager with Cisco's Enterprise Networking Group, said ISR-AX still provides Cisco's flagship routing and WAN optimization technologies, but it is aimed more at helping organizations monitor and optimize the performance of business-critical applications.

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"[ISR-AX] is really to address a key concern that we are hearing from customers," Mistry told CRN. "There has been a lot of complexity with delivering applications with a good user experience due to a lot of migrations of those applications to the data center and the cloud, and the result of BYOD coming into their organization."

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The ISR-AX solution integrates three specific Cisco solutions, including ISR G2 routing technologies with IOS security, Wide Area Application Services for WAN optimization, and Application Visibility and Control (AVC) for application management.

The AVC functionality -- and stand-out feature of the ISR-AX offering -- allows users to optimize the performance of the applications running on their network while also providing network-wide visibility to accelerate application deployments and even prioritize the delivery of mission-critical applications to end users.

For Cisco partners, Mistry said the new ISR-AX routers represent an opportunity to remotely monitor and manage their clients' applications based on a managed services model.

"We really see this AVC functionality as being something partners, in particular, can take to their customers and offer as a differentiated service," Mistry said. "[If partners'] customers are interested in understanding how their applications are performing, [partners] can work to collect this information out of our routers, they can use different management tools because we have open APIs, and they can display to their customers, as a differentiated service, how their applications are performing."

Mistry said the integration of application management services with Cisco's routing technology underscores the networking giant's overall aim of redefining the traditional router

"Much like the phone has become the smartphone and our idea of what a phone should do has changed, we want the traditional router concept to move to where it's an application router. We want our customers to realize that routing is not just about connecting to the networking and routing packets -- routing is much more than that."

The new ISR-AX solution is now available for Cisco 3900, 2900 or 1900 series routers, but the company said it plans on extending the AX capabilities to its Cisco 800 ISR, Cisco ASR1000 and Cisco CSR1000V series, as well, to provide application services for the teleworker, network edge, data center and the cloud.