Cisco ASR

Cisco ASR routers are powerful, reliable, and versatile networking devices that cater to a wide range of use cases and network requirements. With advanced features, scalability, and performance, ASR routers are an ideal choice for modern service providers, enterprises, and data centers. By understanding the different ASR models, their key features, use cases, and licensing options, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right router for your network.


Cisco ASR (Aggregation Services Routers) are a series of high-performance routers designed to meet the demands of the modern networking era. These routers provide scalability, flexibility, and reliability for service providers, enterprises, and data centers. ASR routers are built to support high-bandwidth applications, cloud-native services, and converged infrastructures. This document will provide an overview of the Cisco ASR family, key features, use cases, configuration and management, and licensing options.

ASR Family Overview

Cisco ASR routers are available in various models, catering to different network requirements and performance needs. The primary models in the ASR family are:

  • ASR 9000 Series: High-performance edge routers designed for service providers and large enterprises. These routers provide exceptional scale, service flexibility, and high availability. The series includes ASR 9001, ASR 9006, ASR 9010, and ASR 9904.
  • ASR 5000 Series: Designed for small to medium-sized enterprises and branch networks, these routers offer cost-effective solutions with the necessary performance and reliability. The series includes ASR 5001, ASR 5002, and ASR 5004.
  • ASR 1000 Series: Midrange routers that offer carrier-class features, reliability, and performance. These routers are ideal for enterprises, service providers, and data centers. The series includes ASR 1001, ASR 1002, ASR 1004, ASR 1006, and ASR 1013.

Key Features

Cisco ASR routers offer various advanced features that make them stand out in the market:

  1. Scalability: ASR routers have a modular architecture and support for high-density interfaces, which allows scaling up to meet growing network demands.
  2. Performance: ASR routers are built with high-performance hardware and software, ensuring smooth operation even under heavy loads.
  3. High Availability: Cisco ASR routers support various redundancy and resiliency features such as Nonstop Forwarding (NSF), Stateful Switchover (SSO), and In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) to minimize downtime.
  4. Security: ASR routers provide robust security features, including firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and virtual private network (VPN) support.
  5. Quality of Service (QoS): Advanced QoS features on ASR routers ensure optimal performance for latency-sensitive and mission-critical applications.


Use Cases

Cisco ASR routers are suitable for a wide range of networking scenarios:

  • Service Providers: ASR routers can be used in service provider networks to support high-speed broadband, mobile, and video services.
  • Enterprise Networks: ASR routers provide high-performance connectivity and advanced services for large campus networks, data centers, and wide area networks (WAN).
  • Data Centers: ASR routers enable data center interconnect (DCI), cloud connectivity, and virtualization with support for VXLAN, EVPN, and segment routing.
  • Branch Networks: ASR routers offer small to medium-sized branch offices reliable and secure connectivity with advanced services such as SD-WAN, security, and application optimization.


Configuration and Management

Cisco ASR routers can be configured and managed using various tools and methods:

  • Command-Line Interface (CLI): Cisco IOS XR (for ASR 9000 Series) or Cisco IOS XE (for ASR 1000 and ASR 5000 Series) provides a powerful and familiar CLI for manual configuration and management.
  • Cisco Prime: A centralized network management solution that offers provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting for Cisco ASR routers and other network devices.
  • APIs and Automation: ASR routers support programmability through APIs, enabling automation with tools like Ansible, Python, and other scripting languages.
  • Cisco SD-WAN: ASR 1000 and ASR 5000 Series routers can be managed as part of a Cisco SD-WAN solution, providing centralized management, policy-based routing, and advanced analytics.



Cisco ASR routers require software licenses for certain advanced features and performance levels. Licenses are available as either perpetual (lifetime) or term-based (1, 3, or 5 years). Some common licenses include:

  1. Performance licenses: These licenses unlock higher throughput levels on the router, allowing it to handle more traffic.
  2. Feature licenses: These licenses enable specific advanced features such as firewalls, IPS, VPN, and MPLS.
  3. Cisco DNA: Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) licenses provide access to software-defined networking (SDN) features, automation, and analytics tools.
  4. Cisco SD-WAN: For ASR 1000 and ASR 5000 Series routers, separate SD-WAN licenses may be required to enable full SD-WAN capabilities.

It’s essential to choose the appropriate licenses for your specific use case and requirements. Cisco offers various licensing bundles and packages to simplify the process and provide cost-effective solutions.


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