Cisco

With new support for third party apps, Cisco routers start to look like servers

Cisco on Thursday said that it has opened up its family of integrated services router (ISR), which combines security, switching, routing and unified communications in one box, to third party developers.
This is a guest post from Larry Dignan. You can read the original article on Larry's blog Between the Lines on TechRepublic's sister site ZDNet.

Cisco on Thursday said that it has opened up its family of integrated services router (ISR), which combines security, switching, routing and unified communications in one box, to third party developers.

The announcement, being made at Cisco's partner summit in Hawaii, is designed to take advantage of the trend of application centralization and take it to branch offices. Think of it as hosting an application in a branch specific cloud.

These applications, built on Linux, will be developed by third party software vendors and be delivered via a module that plugs into 3 million of the 4 million ISRs that Cisco has sold over the last four years. Applications are being hosted on modules so they don't gobble up routing processing power.

Inbar Lasser-Raab, Cisco's senior director of network systems, says it's the first time the network giant has opened its platform to third party developers. "A lot of businesses are moving applications into the data centers, but how do they reconstruct their branches?" says Lasser-Raab.

Initially, applications are being tailored to specific verticals--healthcare, banking and retail that have numerous branches with little IT support--but Lasser-Raab added that there are no limits to what applications could be ported to Cisco's platform.

Here are a few highlights from the Cisco presentation:

The ecosystem and application detail:

csco1.png

The ISR family (applications module plug into every ISR above the 800 series):

csco2.png

And pricing and availability:

csco3.png

3 comments
jdclyde
jdclyde

All-in-ones are nice because you just have one box to support, but if any one part goes, it is all down. Another major minus is not all devices on your network are outgrown as quickly, but you will end up replacing everything anyways. I am a fan of just the opposite, and like to put only a few eggs in each basket. would be nice if you were an installer though. drop the one box and run. in a few years, they will be ready for the new box.

No User
No User

I would add that it creates an odd situation that you may not need to have a direct link to the main office at all. In that case having a Router that doubles as a server at the Remote site you are connecting via secure Internet link to the main office which out having a PPP or Cloud/relay to the main office. Each site would act like an independent company that dumps necessary information to the main office via secure internet. Which I think is different from the intended purpose of the all in one Router.

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