News Release

Cisco 'Empowered Branch' Delivers More Applications and New Business Models; Opens Routers to Customers and Third- Party Applications

Company Introduces Cisco 880 and 860 Series Routers, Innovations in Wireless Networking, Security and Unified Communications
Apr 10, 2008

HONOLULU (Cisco Partner Summit 2008), April 10, 2008 - Cisco today announced new solutions that further optimize branch offices of all sizes, allowing companies to customize branch networks to meet their unique business needs. By opening its industry-leading Cisco® Integrated Services Router (ISR) and Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) platforms to customers and third-party application developers, Cisco enables its customers to optimize the branch infrastructure while extending their accessibility to business resources. It also provides Cisco channel partners with new opportunities to deliver differentiated solutions and services that better align with customers' business needs.

Cisco also introduced an array of new security, wireless and unified communication products and service innovations that elevate branch-office worker productivity and deliver information technology (IT) operational efficiencies.

Cisco continues to enhance its Empowered Branch solution set (see press release titled "Cisco Integrated Services Router Achieves 4 Million Milestone"), and highlights of today's new offerings include:

  • Cisco Application eXtension Platform. The Cisco AXP consists of open, Linux-based Cisco ISR hardware modules for application development and hosting to support a tighter integration of the network and applications. Multiple off-the-shelf and custom applications are available today, along with a development and support ecosystem that includes a downloadable software development kit (SDK) and application programming interface (API) for application developers.
  • Cisco WAAS WAE-674 Wide Area Application Engine with Virtual Blade Technology. Further opening the branch to third-party applications, the newest Cisco wide-area network (WAN) optimization platform, the Cisco WAE-674, takes advantage of unique "virtual blade" technology to host third-party applications, beginning with Microsoft Windows Server 2008.
  • Cisco 880 and 860 Series ISR. These are the first fixed-configuration routers to provide integrated lightweight access points supporting Cisco Unified Wireless and IEEE 802.11n wireless local-area network (LAN) technology, 3G wireless WAN support for improved high availability, and specialized support for managed services.
  • Enhanced Unified Communications and manageability. Cisco also introduced enhancements to Cisco Unified Border Element and integrated management of voice, security and data services with new Cisco Configuration Professional Management Software.

Cisco Opens Network Platform to Third Parties for Application Innovation

The Cisco AXP offers tighter integration between the network and business applications to help customers achieve greater business efficiencies and innovation. Based on an open Linux architecture with an open interface to Cisco IOS® Software, the Cisco AXP is delivered via network modules and Advanced Integration Modules (AIMs) on the Cisco ISR. Multiple applications can be supported on a single AXP module concurrently, optimizing the footprint in branch offices.

Cisco also introduced a new AXP category in its Technology Developer Program (TDP) to provide customers, independent software vendors, system integrators and service providers with the technical and marketing support they need to create, develop and distribute AXP-based solutions. The Cisco AXP SDK allows developers to create specific solutions for industry verticals and unified communications-based applications, and network and management utilities. They take advantage of the underlying security, mobility, WAN optimization and unified communication capabilities provided by the Cisco ISR.

This flexible integration and customization of the Cisco ISR opens new business opportunities and routes to market for Cisco channel partners, enabling them to differentiate their service offerings and reach a broader customer base.

"The Healthcare Connector based on the Cisco Application eXtension Platform is an ideal answer to our requirements. It is a single box with multiple technologies combined into a highly secure, cohesive end-to-end solution," said Valeri Tzekov, M.D, the deputy minister of health for Bulgaria. "It could be a key element for the e-health infrastructure we are currently introducing in Bulgaria. It can help us contain administration and transaction costs in healthcare, reduce fraud, cut down on costly errors, and improve quality of primary healthcare."

Multiple applications are available today from Cisco TDP AXP partners Avocent (branch IT infrastructure management), InterComponentWare (healthcare solution provider), NICE (branch VoIP recording), OSISoft (utilities infrastructure monitoring), Precidia Technologies (IP payment processing), ProSyst (management), Sagem-Interstar (IP fax), Verint (branch VoIP recording), and Workbrain (workforce management) that demonstrate the power of the Cisco AXP platform.

"We're excited about creating a vibrant third-party developers community that has the potential to deliver hundreds of network-aware applications for the popular Cisco ISR platform," said Ian Pennell, senior vice president of Cisco's Access Routing Technology Group. "Our goal is to help our customers meet their business objectives quickly, more efficiently and with high security. The Cisco Application eXtension Platform offers greater flexibility and is a big step in that direction."

Opening Cisco WAAS Platform to Third-Party Applications

Committed to delivering greater customer flexibility in branch offices, Cisco is introducing the WAAS WAE-674 Wide Area Application Engine to provide acceleration of centralized data center applications and local application hosting. The WAE-674 provides high performance WAN optimization services, and can be upgraded with embedded virtualization software to support "virtual blades" for hosting Microsoft Windows Server 2008 as well as future off-the-shelf applications. With this new capability, Cisco enables customers to select which IT assets to centralize from the branch into the data center while delivering high application performance across the WAN and retaining a Microsoft Windows platform in the branch for essential IT services.

The integration of Windows Server 2008 and Cisco WAAS technology was announced in February 2008, and the Cisco WAAS WAE-674 is the first Cisco WAN optimization platform to enable this capability. More information is available at

Increased Network Performance with Advanced Security: Cisco 880 and 860 Series ISR

The Cisco 880 and 860 Series ISRs are the first fixed-configuration routers that combine Cisco Unified Wireless and IEEE 802.11n wireless LAN technology for small branches and virtual workers. Select models of the Cisco 880 Series ISR offer an integrated 3G wireless WAN interface, addressing growing customer demand for wireless WAN as both a primary and backup data communications solution. Other modules provide specialized support for managed services, including managed voice and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking support.

"The new Cisco 880 and 860 Integrated Services Routers enhance our existing managed services portfolio by offering best-in-class integration of data services for small branch customer-premises solutions," said Philip Jones, executive director for Telstra Product Management. "Working with Cisco technology means lower capital and operational costs, allowing us to offer a complete range of fixed and wireless WAN and LAN service offerings that deliver great value to our customers."

Continued Innovation in Management for Cisco ISR Platform

Cisco also introduced enhancements to Cisco Unified Border Element, a set of Cisco IOS Software features that provide advanced Session Border Controller functionality for the Cisco ISR with support for SIP profiles, SIP video, and interconnect enhancements for device interoperability. Cisco also introduced its Configuration Professional Management Software, a tool that enables the integrated management of voice, security and data services on Cisco routers.

Pricing and Expected Availability

Product U.S. List Price Expected Availability
Cisco Application eXtension Platform Shipping today
Advanced Integration Module (AIM-102) $1,795
EtherSwitch Network Module (NME-302) $3,500
EtherSwitch Network Module (NME-522) $5,000
Cisco 880 and 860 Series ISR
Cisco 861 Series
Cisco 881 Series (Fast Ethernet)
Cisco 888 (G.SHDSL)

Starts at $449
Starts at $649
Starts at $1,295
June 2008
Cisco Wide Area Application Services WAE-674 Appliance $16,000 Shipping today