Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers Data Sheet
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Cisco ® 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers build on 25 years of Cisco innovation and product leadership. The new platforms are architected to enable the next phase of branch-office evolution, providing rich media collaboration and virtualization to the branch while maximizing operational cost savings The Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 platforms are future-enabled with multi-core CPUs, support for high capacity DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) for future enhanced video capabilities, high powered service modules with improved availability, Gigabit Ethernet switching with enhanced POE, and new energy monitoring and control capabilities while enhancing overall system performance. Additionally, a new Cisco IOS ® Software Universal image and Services Ready Engine module enable you to decouple the deployment of hardware and software, providing a flexible technology foundation which can quickly adapt to evolving network requirements. Overall, the Cisco 2900 Series offer unparalleled total cost of ownership savings and network agility through the intelligent integration of market leading security, unified communications, wireless, and application services.
Cisco 2900 Series builds on the best-in-class offering of the existing Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers by offering four platforms (Figure 1): the Cisco 2901, 2911, 2921, and 2951 Integrated Services Routers.
All Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers offer embedded hardware encryption acceleration, voice- and video-capable Digital Signal Processor (DSP) slots, optional firewall, intrusion prevention, call processing, voicemail, and application services. In addition, the platforms support the industries widest range of wired and wireless connectivity options such as T1/E1, T3/E3, xDSL, copper and fiber GE.
Key Business Benefits
The Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) provide superior services integration and agility. Designed for scalability, the modular architecture of these platforms enables you to grow and adapt with your business needs. Table 1 lists the business benefits of the Cisco 2900 Series.
Table 1. Key Business Benefits of the Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers
Services On Demand
High Performance with Integrated Services
Platform Architecture and Modularity
The Cisco 2900 Series is architected to meet the application demands of today’s branch offices with design flexibility for future applications. The modular architecture is designed to support increasing bandwidth requirements, Time-Division Multiplexing (TDM) interconnections, and fully integrated power distribution to modules supporting 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Cisco Enhanced PoE (ePoE). Table 2 lists the architectural features and benefits of the Cisco 2900 Series.
Table 2. Architectural Features and Benefits
Embedded IP Security (IPSec) VPN Hardware Acceleration
Multigigabit Fabric (MGF)
TDM Interconnectivity Fabric
Integrated Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Innovative Universal-Serial-Bus (USB)-Based Console Access
Optional Integrated Power Supply for Distribution of PoE and Universal DC Power Supply
Optional External Redundant Power Supply (RPS)
Designed for Flexible Deployments
Modularity Features and Benefits
The Cisco 2900 Series provides significantly enhanced modular capabilities (refer to Table 3) offering investment protection for customers. Most of the modules available on previous generations of Cisco routers, such as the Cisco 2800 Series, are supported on the Cisco 2900 Series. Additionally, modules can be used on other supported Cisco platforms to provide maximum investment protection. Taking advantage of common interface cards across a network greatly reduces the complexity of managing inventory requirements, implementing large network rollouts, and maintaining configurations across a variety of branch-office sizes.
A complete list of supported modules, including a list of supported SFPs for the Cisco 2900 Series, is available at: https://www.cisco.com/go/2900.
Table 3. Modularity Features and Benefits
Cisco Service Module
Cisco Enhanced High-Speed WAN Interface Card (EHWIC)
Cisco Internal Services Module (ISM)
Cisco High-Density Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Module (PVDM3) Slots on Motherboard
Compact Flash Slots
Cisco IOS Software
Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers deliver innovative technologies running on industry-leading Cisco IOS Software. Developed for wide deployment in the world’s most demanding enterprise, access, and service provider networks, the Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 platforms are supported on Cisco IOS Software releases 15M&T. Release 15.0(1)M is available immediately and provides support for a comprehensive portfolio of Cisco technologies, including the functionality and features delivered in releases 12.4 and 12.4T. New innovations in 15.0(1)M span multiple technology areas, including security, voice, high availability, IP Routing and Multicast, Quality of Service (QoS), IP Mobility, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), VPNs, and embedded management.
Cisco IOS Software Licensing and Packaging
A single Cisco IOS Universal image encompassing all IOS technology feature sets is delivered with the platforms. You can enable advanced features by activating a software license on the Universal image. In previous generations of access routers, these feature sets required you to download a new software image. Technology packages and feature licenses, enabled through the Cisco software licensing infrastructure, simplify software delivery and decrease the operational costs of deploying new features.
Four major technology licenses are available on the Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers; you can activate the licenses through the Cisco software activation process identified at https://www.cisco.com/go/sa. The four licenses are as follows:
● IP Base: This technology package is available as default.
● Security (SEC) or Security with No Payload Encryption (SEC-NPE)
For additional information and details about Cisco IOS Software licensing and packaging on Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers, please visit https://www.cisco.com/go/2900l.
Cisco ONE Software
Cisco ONE ™ Software offers a valuable and flexible way to buy software for the WAN, access, and data center domains. At each stage in the product lifecycle, Cisco ONE Software helps make buying, managing, and upgrading your network and infrastructure software easier. Cisco ONE Software provides:
● Flexible licensing models to smoothly distribute customers’ software spending over time
● Investment protection for software purchases through software services–enabled license portability
● Access to updates, upgrades, and new technology from Cisco through Cisco ® Software Support Services (SWSS)
Cisco ONE for WAN gives organizations broad capabilities for branch offices and the enterprise edge. Cisco ONE Foundation for WAN connects and secures your branch office while optimizing for cost. Cisco ONE WAN Collaboration integrates voice and video into your branch office and network edge.
Key Branch-Office Services
The Cisco Integrated Services Routers are industry-leading platforms that offer unprecedented levels of services integration. Designed to meet the requirements of the branch office, these platforms provide a complete solution with voice, video, security, mobility and application services. Businesses enjoy the benefit of deploying a single device that meets all their needs, reducing capital and operational expenses.
Unified Communications, Collaboration, and Voice-Gateway Services
The Cisco 2900 Integrated Services Router is the foundation for collaboration in the small and midsize branch office, serving as a critical component of a Cisco’s video architecture (Medianet) and enterprise Unified Communications solution. With embedded voice services and a wide range of supported telephony interfaces, the Cisco 2900 Series delivers maximum deployment flexibility for the distributed enterprise. Unified communications is enabled through a rich signaling and media-processing infrastructure, including a variety of protocols, media interworking, signal and media security, transcoding, conferencing, and QoS. Cisco Integrated Services Routers also feature a wide range of voice-gateway interfaces, supporting a broad array of signaling and physical network interfaces.
The Cisco 2900 Series enables a full range of existing and emerging video services, with scaling improvements to support Cisco TelePresence ® conferencing, security, and session control. The Cisco Unified Border Element extends these capabilities for business-to-business TelePresence communications. The Cisco 2900 Series adds support for the new Cisco High-Density Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor (DSP) Module (PVDM3), which has been optimized for voice and video support. The new PVDM3 modules support all voice-gateway functions of earlier generations of PVDMs and add higher density and more processing power to support emerging rich-media applications. The Cisco 2900 Series provides 2 or 3 onboard PVDM3 slots, depending on the platform.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express and Survivable Remote Site Telephony
The Cisco Integrated Services Routers natively provide optional unified communications services within the Cisco IOS Software, minimizing the IT hardware footprint and total cost of ownership at the branch office. Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CME) provides a broad range of IP Private-Branch-Exchange (PBX) and key‑system features integrated into the router for the small and midsize branch office. Cisco Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST), also inherently available in Cisco IOS Software, and an option on the Cisco 2900 Series, helps ensure that branch-office employees have uninterrupted telephony services and features, even if the connection to a centralized Cisco Unified Communications Manager is disrupted.
Coupled with Cisco Unity ® Express, the integrated solution for voicemail, Automated Attendant, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR), the Cisco 2900 Series offers the branch office a complete range of unified communications services while delivering industry-leading security within a single platform.
VoiceXML Application Services
The Cisco 2900 Series also supports standards-certified VoiceXML browser services. VoiceXML is an open-standard markup language used to create voice-enabled web browsers and IVR applications. Just as HTML enables you to retrieve data with a PC, VoiceXML enables you to retrieve data using voice or Dual-Tone-Multi Frequency (DTMF) telephony input. The Cisco 2900 Series can deliver a much higher range of concurrent voice‑gateway services combined with VoiceXML browser services, for up to 200 sessions on the Cisco 2951.
Cisco Unified Border Element
The Cisco Unified Border Element capabilities supported on the Cisco 2900 Series address the emerging requirements in an IP-centric interconnect for branch-office unified communications between enterprises and service provider networks. Cisco Unified Border Element provides intelligent border-element functions such as physical and logical ingress and egress demarcation points, signaling and media control, and consolidated security and management features. The Cisco 2900 Series supports higher scale than previously provided on the Cisco 2800 Series, up to three times the number of sessions.
Integrated Network Security for Data, Voice, Video, and Mobility
Security is essential to protect a business’ intellectual property while also ensuring business continuity and providing the ability to extend the corporate workplace to employees who need anytime, anywhere access to company resources. As part of the Cisco’ SAFE architectural framework that allows organizations to identify, prevent, and adapt to network security threats, the Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers facilitate secure business transactions and collaboration.
The Cisco IOS Software Security technology package for the Cisco 2900 Series offers a wide array of common security features such as advanced application inspection and control, threat protection, and encryption architectures for enabling more scalable and manageable VPN networks. The Cisco 2900 Series offers onboard hardware-based encryption acceleration to provide greater IPSec throughput with less overhead for the route processor when compared with software-based encryption solutions. Cisco Integrated Services Routers offer a comprehensive and adaptable security solution for branch offices that includes features such as:
● Secure connectivity: Secure collaborative communications with Group Encrypted Transport VPN, Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN), or Enhanced Easy VPN
● Integrated threat control: Responding to sophisticated network attacks and threats using Cisco IOS Firewall, Cisco IOS Zone-Based Firewall, Cisco IOS IPS, Cisco IOS Content Filtering, and Flexible Packet Matching (FPM)
● Identity management: Intelligently protecting endpoints using technologies such as Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
Detailed information about the security features and solutions supported on the Cisco 2900 Series is available at https://www.cisco.com/go/routersecurity.
Wireless and Mobility Services
The Cisco Integrated Services Routers supporting the Cisco Unified Wireless Architecture enable deployment of secure, manageable Wireless LANs (WLANs) optimized for remote sites and branch offices, including fast secure mobility, survivable authentication, and simplified management. The Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module on the Cisco 2900 Series allows Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) and enterprise branch offices to cost-effectively deploy and manage secure WLANs. Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers work in conjunction with Cisco lightweight access points and the Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) to provide system-wide WLAN functions, managing up to 6, 12, and 25 access points.
Cisco Third-Generation (3G) Wireless WAN (WWAN) modules combine traditional enterprise router functions, such as remote management, advanced IP services such as Voice over IP (VoIP), and security, with mobility capabilities of 3G WAN access. Using high-speed 3G wireless networks, routers can replace or complement existing landline infrastructure, such as dialup, Frame Relay, and ISDN. Cisco 3G solutions support 3G standards High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Evolution Data Only/Evolution Data Optimized (EVDO) providing you with a true multipath WAN backup and the ability to rapidly deploy primary WAN connectivity. For more information about 3G solutions on Cisco Integrated Services Routers, please visit https://www.cisco.com/go/3g.
Integrated LAN Switching
The Cisco 2900 Integrated Services Routers (Cisco 2911 through Cisco 2951) support the new Cisco Enhanced EtherSwitch ® Service Modules, which greatly expand router capabilities by integrating industry-leading Layer 2 or Layer 3 switching with feature sets identical to those found in the Cisco Catalyst 2960 and Catalyst 3650-E Series Switches performing local line-rate switching and routing.
The new Cisco Enhanced EtherSwitch Service Modules take advantage of the increased power capabilities on the Cisco 2900 ISRs. Additionally, the Cisco Enhanced EtherSwitch modules enable the newest Cisco power initiatives, Cisco EnergyWise, Cisco Enhanced Power over Ethernet (ePoE), per-port PoE power monitoring, and RPS-enabled PoE boost. These technologies allow you to meet increased endpoint power requirements without increasing the total power consumption of the branch.
As organizations continue to centralize and consolidate their branch-office IT infrastructure in an effort to reduce cost and complexity, they are challenged to provide an excellent user experience, ensure continuous service availability, and deliver business-relevant applications when and where they are needed. To address these challenges, the Cisco 2900 Series provides the capability to host Cisco, third-party, and custom applications on a portfolio of high-performance Cisco Services Ready Engine (SRE) modules that transparently integrate into the router. The modules have their own processors, storage, network interfaces, and memory that operate independently of the host router resources, helping to ensure maximum concurrent routing and application performance while reducing physical space requirements, lowering power consumption, and consolidating management.
The Cisco 2900 Series seamlessly combines industry leading security, IOS-based traffic control and visibility, with Cisco application acceleration solutions. Cisco IOS Software features such as NBAR, IP SLA, and NetFlow provide visibility and monitoring of traffic patterns and application performance while IOS features such as QoS, ACLs, and PfR intelligently control the traffic to maximize the quality of the user experience and employee productivity. The user experience can be further enhanced through the addition of a Cisco WAAS Network Module which can be used to securely provide more advanced WAN optimization techniques such as TCP optimization, caching, compression, and application acceleration. Cisco Integrated Services Routers combined with Cisco WAAS Network Modules, provide optimal performance for applications delivered from a central data center to branch-office users. The solution allows you to consolidate costly server, storage, and backup infrastructure into data centers while maintaining LAN-like service levels for remote users.
Cisco Services Ready Engine
The Cisco Services Ready Engine solution is available in a Service Module (SM) and Internal Service Module (ISM) form factor. The Service Module hardware offers up to a seven times performance improvement over the previous generation Network Modules and provides a multi-core x86-64 processor. The SRE modules also support up to 1 terabyte of storage, RAID configurations, hardware-assisted virtualization and cryptography options. The Cisco SRE module enables on-demand provisioning of branch-office applications on the Cisco 2900 Series platforms so that you can deploy the right application, at the right time, in the right place. The hardware and software decoupling provided by the service-ready deployment model enables applications to be provisioned on the module at the time of its installation or remotely anytime thereafter. Supported solutions include Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Cisco Unity Express, Cisco Application Extension Platform (AXP), Cisco Wireless LAN Controller (WLC), Cisco Video Surveillance, and other applications under development. The Service Ready Engine enables organizations of various sizes to future-proof their network by allowing them to quickly deploy new branch-office applications without deploying new hardware, reducing the cost of rolling out branch-office services.
Organizations today face several unique wide area network (WAN) challenges: the need to provide employees with constant access to centrally located information, the requirement to continuously back up and replicate mission-critical data to centrally managed data centers, the desire to provide satisfactory experience for IP phone and video communication, and the mandate to control bandwidth costs without sacrificing application availability and performance.
Cisco WAAS Express is designed to help organizations address these challenges. Cisco WAAS Express extends the Cisco WAAS product portfolio with a small-footprint, cost-effective IOS-based software solution integrated into the ISR G2 to offer bandwidth optimization and application acceleration capabilities. Cisco WAAS Express increases remote user productivity, reduces WAN bandwidth costs, and offers investment protection by interoperating with existing Cisco WAAS infrastructure. Cisco WAAS Express is unique in providing network transparency, improving deployment flexibility with on-demand service enablement, and integrating with native IOS-based services such as security, NetFlow, and QoS.
Cisco WAAS Express is fully interoperable with WAAS on SM-SRE modules, WAAS appliances and can be managed by a common WAAS Central Manager.
Cisco WAAS Express is available in IOS from version 15.1(2)T1.
Further information on Cisco WAAS Express can be found at https://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11211/index.html.
Medianet for 2900 ISRs
As video becomes pervasive in an organization and more video devices are used, new demands are placed on the network. It can be challenging to accommodate video needs while reducing complexity, planning for capacity, and providing the best possible user experience.
Smarter Network, Endpoints, and Services
Traditional IP networks need to evolve to medianets to accommodate these changes. A medianet is an end-to-end IP architecture that helps to enable pervasive media experiences.
The medianet architecture includes a smarter network, smarter endpoints, shared media services, cloud services, and shared media services.
More Medianet Benefits
A medianet reduces total cost of ownership and scales video through features such as auto-configuration and media monitoring. At the same time, it helps to ensure a quality user experience while optimizing bandwidth use and efficiency.
For more information on Medianet for 2900ISR, please go to https://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns1094/index.html.
Managing Your Integrated Services Routers
Network management applications are instrumental in lowering operating expenses (OpEx) while improving network availability by simplifying and automating many of the day-to-day tasks associated with managing an end-to-end network. Day-one device support provides immediate manageability support for the Integrated Services Router, enabling quick and easy deployment, monitoring, and troubleshooting from Cisco and third-party applications.
Organizations rely on Cisco, third-party, and in-house developed network management applications to achieve their OpEx and productivity goals. Underpinning those applications are the embedded management features available in every Integrated Services Router. The new Integrated Services Routers continue a tradition of broad and deep manageability features such as IP Service-Level Agreement (IP SLA), Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager (EEM), and NetFlow which allow you to know the status of your network at all times. These features, along with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and syslog, enable your organization’s management applications.
Refer to Tables 4 and 5 below for details about network management and manageability support on Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers.
Table 4. Cisco 2900 ISR G2 Series IOS Software Features and Protocols Support
IPv4, IPv6, Static Routes, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Enhanced IGRP (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), BGP Router Reflector, Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS), Multicast Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMPv3) Protocol Independent Multicast sparse mode (PIM SM), PIM Source Specific Multicast (SSM), Distance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol (DVMRP), IPSec, Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE), Bi-Directional Forwarding Detection (BVD), IPv4-to-IPv6 Multicast, MPLS, L2TPv3, 802.1ag, 802.3ah, L2 and L3 VPN.
Ethernet, 802.1q VLAN, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), Multilink Point-to-Point Protocol (MLPPP), Frame Relay, Multilink Frame Relay (MLFR) (FR.15 and FR.16), High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC), Serial (RS-232, RS-449, X.21, V.35, and EIA-530), Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), and ATM.
QoS, Class-Based Weighted Fair Queuing (CBWFQ), Weighted Random Early Detection (WRED), Hierarchical QoS, Policy-Based Routing (PBR), Performance Routing (PfR), and Network-Based Advanced Routing (NBAR).
Note: For a more comprehensive list of features supported in Cisco IOS software refer to the Feature Navigator tool at https://www.cisco.com/go/fn.
Table 5 lists the embedded management features available with Cisco IOS Software.
Table 5. Embedded Management Features Available with Cisco IOS Software
The Web Services Management Agent (WSMA) defines a mechanism through which you can manage a network device, retrieve configuration data information, and upload and manipulate new configuration data. WSMA uses XML-based data encoding that is transported by the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) for the configuration data and protocol messages.
Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager (EEM) is a distributed and customized approach to event detection and recovery offered directly in a Cisco IOS Software device. It offers the ability to monitor events and take informational, corrective, or any desired EEM action when the monitored events occur or when a threshold is reached.
Cisco IOS IP Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) enable you to assure new business-critical IP applications, as well as IP services that use data, voice, and video in an IP network.
Cisco 2900 Series Integrated Services Routers also support SNMP, Remote Monitoring (RMON), syslog, NetFlow, and TR-069 in addition to the embedded management features previously mentioned.
The Cisco network management applications listed in Table 6 are standalone products that you can download or purchase to manage your Cisco network devices. The applications are built specifically for the different operational phases; you can select the ones that best fit your needs.
Table 6. Network Management Applications
Device staging and configuration
Cisco Configuration Professional is a GUI device-management tool for Cisco IOS Software-based access routers. This tool simplifies router, security, unified communications, wireless, WAN, and basic LAN configuration through easy-to-use wizards.
Network-wide deployment, configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting
CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) is a suite of integrated applications for simplifying day-to-day management of a Cisco end-to-end network, lowering OpEx while increasing network availability. CiscoWorks LMS offers network managers an easy-to-use web-based interface for configuring, administering, and troubleshooting the Cisco Integrated Services Routers, using new instrumentation such as Cisco IOS EEM Generic Online Diagnostics (GOLD).
In addition to supporting basic platform services of the Integrated Services Router, CiscoWorks also provides added-value support for the Cisco Services Ready Engine, enabling the management and distribution of software images to the SRE, thereby reducing the time and complexities associated with image management.
Network-wide staging, configuration, and compliance
CiscoWorks Network Compliance Manager (NCM) tracks and regulates configuration and software changes throughout a multivendor network infrastructure. It provides superior visibility into network changes and can track compliance with a broad variety of regulatory, IT, corporate governance, and technology requirements.
Security staging, configuration, and monitoring
Cisco Security Manager is a leading enterprise-class application for managing security. It delivers provisioning of firewall, VPN, and intrusion-prevention-system (IPS) services across Cisco routers, security appliances, and switch service modules. The suite also includes the Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis and Response System (Cisco Security MARS) for monitoring and mitigation.
Voice configuration and provisioning
Cisco Unified Provisioning Manager provides a reliable and scalable web-based solution for managing a company’s crucial next-generation communications services. It manages unified communications services in an integrated IP telephony, voicemail, and messaging environment.
Staging, deployment, and changes of licenses
Easily manage Cisco IOS Software activation and licenses for a wide range of Cisco platforms running Cisco IOS Software as well as other operating systems with the secure client-server application Cisco License Manager.
Staging, deployment, and changes to configuration and image files
Cisco Configuration Engine is a secure network management product that provides zero-touch image and configuration distribution through centralized, template-based management.
As your business strives to lower the total cost of ownership in running your network and increase your overall employee productivity with more centralized and collaborative network applications, you will need more intelligent branch-office solutions. The Cisco 2900 Series offers these solutions by providing enhanced performance and increased modular density to support multiple services. The Cisco 2900 Series is designed to consolidate the functions of many separate devices into a single, compact system.
Table 7. Cisco 2900 Integrated Services Router Product Specifications