Cisco announced the Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms designed to accelerate the next generation of WAN, 5G, and enable connectivity to hybrid and multi-cloud applications. The Catalyst 8000 Edge Platform includes the 8500 Series for aggregation, Catalyst 8300 Serries for access, and Catalyst 8000V Edge software for virtual/cloud deployments.
The Catalyst 8000V will be available with Cisco SD-WAN 17.4, so you will have to wait just a bit longer.
It’s an “edge platform.” Not a router.
Typically the Catalyst family line is analogous to Cisco switching; however, the branding and messaging align with Cisco’s intent-based networking (IBN) portfolio. The “Catalyst” name now unifies the LAN and the WAN.
With distributed locations, flexible deployment models, and hosting containerized services, the term “router” has evolved to be more of a WAN edge device. Calling these devices “edge platforms” versus “routers” seems to be more appropriate.
The platform fits nicely into the Cisco SD-WAN portfolio as it addresses security, on-box, and support for Umbrella’s cloud base FWaaS. Cloud-native agility provided by Cloud OnRamp for IaaS and SaaS for distributed applications. (If you haven’t seen this in action, it’s eye-opening!)
Expect other vendors to begin adopting these features into one solution as Gartner has already coined the term “SASE” (Secure Access Service Edge) pronounced “sassy” to describe the solution.
In addition to the above, the edge platform functions as an edge router like you’d expect with some new beefiness to it.
Catalyst 8300 Series, compared to the ISR 4400 Series offers:
- Up to five times faster data plane performance
- Up to 12 Core CPU
- Native support for 10GE
Catalyst 8500 Series, compared to ASR1001-HX and ASR1002-HX offers:
- Improved data plane with Cisco’s custome 3rd gen ASIC Quantum Flow Processor (QFP)
- Inline Cyrpto
- Native support for 100GE and 40GE
Catalyst 8000v Series, compared to CSR1000V offers:
- Support for up to 16vCPUs
- 25Gbps Interfaces
and Many more
Lastly, there is no End-of-Life announcement for the previous platforms that the Catalyst 8000 line intends to replace, as of 10/20/20. I’d be willing to bet that these platforms adopt ThousandEyes at some point, which is an absolute game-changer.
Valente, Jean-Luc “Introducing the Catalyst 8000 Edge Family, Cisco’s New SD-WAN Platform” Oct. 20, 2020, Retrieved From https://blogs.cisco.com/networking/catalyst-8000-edge-platforms
Cisco “Cisco Catalyst 8000 Edge Platforms Family” Oct. 20, 2020, Retrieved From
Lener, Andrew “Say Hello to SASE (Secure Access Service Edge)” Dec. 23, 2019, Retrieved From