Does the Cisco 4000 router series redefine the traditional role of routers?

Cisco’s 4000 router family is a serious upgrade from the older 1900/2900/3900 router families.

Does the Cisco 4000 router series redefine the role of routers?
Axel Schwenke (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Last month it was Catalyst 9000 switches, and this month its routers. Yes, my project engineering staff have had a surprising amount of inquiries regarding routers.

Routers vital to enterprise networks

When looking at distribution for an enterprise network, well-planned routing is the key to success. Routers can be absolutely vital for networks, as they connect a large amount of worksites within one large, umbrella-like network. At the enterprise level, they provide redundant paths, connect ISPs, and can translate data between different media.

In addition to routing packets to the right place, routers will select alternate routes when a link is compromised or traffic is heavy. Routers, Cisco routers in particular, work as a default gateway. And Cisco’s 4000 router family, while it has been out for a while, is worth another look.

Cisco's 4000 router family is a serious upgrade from the older 1900/2900/3900 families — but not so different that they blow your mind.

What’s new in the Cisco 4000 router series?

The Cisco 4000 series has the following features:

  • Broad range of performance levels – from 35 Mbps to 2 Gbps
  • All but the smallest 4221 model have OIR (online insertion and removal) capability for the NIMs
  • Significant increase in max RAM (up to 16 gig on some models)
  • Utilize the same IOS software feature sets/licensing model as the older ISR G2s

Here’s the list of available models from Cisco:

cisco models

And here’s a table that shows performance levels, port, and module count:

cisco model specs

Notice the row labelled “aggregate throughput”? There are two performance numbers per router – Cisco has taken the performance licenses originally found on their mighty ASR router line and adapted them. If you purchase any one of these routers, they will come standard with the lower of the two performance numbers. Later on as your requirements grow, you can purchase a performance upgrade license from Cisco and voila! Your router now is faster.

These routers have many other features and capabilities. Take a look at the links for more helpful information:

We use Cisco routers in the solutions we provide to manage a variety of challenges and to keep our partners’ organizations running smoothly and efficiently. Having the right Cisco router will let you not only manage network switches, but it will give you more time to switch your many hats throughout the day.

Whether you’re babysitting the call center, helping the president get his or her WebEx to work, or planning how your network can keep up with your company’s growth, selecting the right Cisco router makes all the difference.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT