In case you missed it…

Cisco recently announced the end-of-sale and end-of-life dates for the Cisco ISR 4000 family of routers. This includes all models except the ISR 4461. The ISR 4000 series routers were introduced in 2014 and were the third generation of the integrated services router (IRS).


Integrated Services Routers: A Brief History

Cisco released the Cisco 2500, their first modular branch office router, in 1993. This was followed by the Cisco 2600 series and Cisco 3600 series in 1998. The first generation for the integrated services router was introduced in 2004 and included the ISR 1800, 2800, and 3800 series. The second generation of ISR routers — which included the Cisco 1900 series, Cisco 2900 series, and Cisco 3900 series — was released in 2009.

The Cisco 2600 series introduced the concept of integrated services with hardware-accelerated VPN encryption:

  • This first generation of ISRs expanded on integration services by adding support for voice, wireless LAN, network analysis, and an increase in interface options.
  • The second generation ISR improved on many of the existing services while adding in cloud enablement features.

The ISR 4000 series introduced several new concepts for the branch office:

  • Multi-core control/data/services plane CPUs
  • The move from traditional IOS to IOS-XE
  • Increased performance through an add-on license
  • Virtual machines on the router using service containers
  • New management options, such as REST or DNA Center


Should I Keep the Aging Cisco 4000 Series Router?

If you are considering keeping the aging Cisco 4000 series routers, it is important to consider the potential risks and costs associated with this decision.

  • Increased Downtime: An aging router is more prone to failures, which can lead to increased downtime for the network.
  • Reduced Network Performance: An aging router may need help to handle the increasing traffic and demands of modern networks.
  • Security Risks: An aging router may not have the latest security features and updates, making it more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  • Higher Maintenance Costs: An aging router may require more maintenance and repairs, leading to higher costs. In addition, finding replacement parts for an aging router may become more problematic and expensive.
  • Incompatibility with New Technologies: An aging router may need to be compatible with new technologies and applications, limiting the organization’s ability to take advantage of the latest innovations.
    Compliance Issues: An aging router may need to meet the latest regulatory and compliance requirements, which can result in fines, penalties, and legal issues.

Looking to the Future

The Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform, introduced in 2020, will be the go-to router moving forward for branch offices, data centers, and the cloud edge. Options include:

  • The Catalyst 8200 series offers three models and will be the replacement for the ISR 4300 series routers.
  • The Catalyst 8300 series offers four different models and will be the replacement for the ISR 4400 series routers.
  • The Catalyst 8500 series offers four different models and will fill a new gap for 10/40/100G datacenter core, colocation and aggregation routers.
  • The Catalyst 8000v series offers a cloud-centric virtual routing platform that can be deployed on any x86 hardware platform, whether in a public cloud or on-premises.

The new Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform was designed with Cisco’s software-defined WAN technologies in mind.

As the industry has shifted towards a cloud-first strategy, how we build and design our networks has significantly changed. While speed and agility remain important, enabling secure access to applications wherever users may be located is a top priority.  This requires an infrastructure that can keep up with the demands of modern applications while still providing a high level of security and control. To meet these evolving demands, the Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform offers a range of solutions:



The Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform is powered by the third generation QuantumFlow Processor (QFP), enabling greater IPSec throughput and support for higher throughput interfaces as well as supporting emerging technologies such as 5G, IoT, and cloud services.

Run Containerized Applications

The Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform supports platforms such as Docker and Kubernetes, enabling businesses to run applications and services in a containerized environment on the router.


The Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform provides enhanced security features that help protect businesses from cyber threats. The router has advanced security protocols such as IPsec, VPN, and SSL VPN, providing a secure and encrypted connection between the router and the end users. The router also offers advanced threat detection and mitigation capabilities, which help protect against malware, phishing, and other cyber-attacks.


Our Recommendation

The Cisco 8000 series router offers a range of benefits over the Cisco 4000 series router, including:

  • Enhanced speed
  • Capacity
  • Security
  • Simplicity
  • Future-proofing
  • Cost savings

The router’s multi-terabit speeds, advanced security protocols, and automation capabilities make it an ideal solution for businesses that require high-performance and secure network infrastructure. In addition, the router’s modular design and future-proofing capabilities also make it a wise investment for companies that want to stay ahead of the technology curve. Therefore, we recommend that businesses consider upgrading their network infrastructure to the Cisco 8000 series router for better performance, security, and cost savings.

Ready to upgrade your existing routers? Starting to plan for your next refresh cycle and have questions? Our CyKor team is available to help.