Review: ASR 1000 ready to replace aging Cisco routers

Exclusive Tests show ASR 1000 to be powerful, versatile swap for 7500-series routers

Cisco ASR 1006 router

Midrange router boasts excellent performance and many useful features

In Network World's exclusive Clear Choice test, the ASR not only moved traffic at 20Gbps but also did so while running QoS, security and monitoring functions on 120 million flows from hundreds of concurrent routing sessions. The ASR also proved a capable performer when handling multicast and IPSec VPN traffic. And with a 40-core processor, the ASR has enough headroom to run firewalls, load balancers and other services without requiring additional hardware.

Clear Choice NetResults from Cisco ASR 1006 router

Product: Cisco ASR 1006

Score: 4.38 out of 5

Price as tested: $250,400

Pros: Lengthy list of packet inspection and classification features, strong multicast and IPSec performer

Cons: 6:1 oversubscription with current hardware, Linux-based OS doesn't leverage Unix/Linux features

Cisco 7500 Series

The official Cisco position is "nothing". While it stopped selling its Cisco 7500 Series routing platform in December 2007 and industry watchers point to the fact that it could replace a whole stack of 7200 routers easily, Cisco marketing folks will only say that the ASR 1000 Series "completes the price/performance edge routing portfolio for Cisco - essentially fitting between the 7200 and the 7600 routing platforms."

ASR 1000

In our testing, Cisco's new router moved traffic at 20Gbps while running QoS, security and monitoring functions on 120 million flows from hundreds of concurrent routing sessions. It also showed itself to be capable performer when handling multicast and IPSec VPN traffic.

QuantumFlow processor

The ASR 1000 is powered by Cisco's new QuantumFlow processor, which sports 40 cores and 800 million transistors and reportedly cost Cisco over $100 million to develop.

High Availability chart

In failover tests of the ESP and RP modules included in the ASR 1006, failover was virtually instantaneous with both near zero packet loss. In our software upgrade and downgrade tests, the time lapse is attributable to the fact that the SIP modules were not redundant.

Cisco Nexus

The ASR 1000 joins the Nexus 7000 data center switch, announced in January, as an example of Cisco overhauling its product line. In another Network World exclusive test, we pushed the Nexus to its limits as well.

David Newman

Newman, who has been involved with testing network gear for over 15 years, is president of Network Test, an independent test lab in Westlake Village, Calif. He can be reached at dnewman@networktest.com

We want to hear from you!

Have we tested the right features of this router? What else should we include in future router tests? Do you have any questions about our results? Let us know.