Cisco adds lower-end routers to Catalyst 8000 line

The 8200 and 8500L are for branch and aggregation use cases, respectively. The 8200 is for companies requiring an entry-level device for running a Cisco SD-WAN in the branch.

Cisco has added a couple of lower-end products to its Catalyst 8000 line of branch and aggregation routers.

Introduced this week, the Catalyst 8200 and 8500L series are the latest additions to what Cisco calls its edge platforms. The products mark the first expansion of the Catalyst 8000 line launched last October as replacements for outdated ISR hardware.

The Catalyst 8200 branch router supports 8 CPU cores for packet forwarding, 8 GB RAM for running security services, and Intel's QuickAssist Technology for faster data compression and encryption.

The 8200 provides up to 1 Gbps of aggregate forwarding throughput and is an upgrade to the ISR 4300 and 2900. The new hardware has twice the performance of the ISR 4300, according to Cisco.

The 8300 series introduced last year has a maximum throughput of 18 Gbps. Cisco designed the 8300 and the 8200 for its Viptela software-defined WAN product.

The latest hardware comes in a smaller form factor with a physical depth of fewer than 12 inches. Cisco built the device for companies that need to deploy SD-WAN software in remote and mobile locations.

Aggregation routing

The 8500L adds to the 8500 series of aggregation routers introduced in October. Cisco has designed the hardware for use in private data centers and colocation facilities.

Cisco Catalyst 8200
Cisco Catalyst 8200 branch router

The 8500L is for 1G/10G aggregation use cases, the series' entry-level. The hardware has 12 x86 cores and up to 64 GB of memory, and companies can rack or stack its 1RU form factor.

The 8500L is an upgrade for the Cisco ASR1x and the ASR2x.

Along with the latest routers, Cisco introduced universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) for running virtualized network services, such as firewalls and WAN optimizers, in the branch.

The Catalyst 8200 uCPE has eight CPU cores to support up to 500 Mbps of aggregate IPsec throughput and third-party services. Companies can deploy the uCPE in SD-WAN mode and use Cisco's vManage software to configure the overlay and underlay. VManage is the management product for Cisco's SD-WAN.

Antone Gonsalves is the news director for the Networking Media Group. He has deep and wide experience in tech journalism. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked for UBM's InformationWeek, TechWeb and Computer Reseller News. He has also written for Ziff Davis' PC Week, IDG's CSO Online and IBT Media's CruxialCIO, and rounded all of that out by covering startups for Bloomberg News. He started his journalism career at United Press International, working as a reporter and editor in California, Texas, Kansas and Florida.

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