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ASK THE EXPERT - ISR G2 ROUTERS

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Nov 30th, 2009
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Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn about the new video-ready capabilities, and how to deliver on-demand services and higher performance on the ISR G2 with Cisco experts Matt Lambert and James Ng. Matt has been with Cisco since starting as a college intern in 1996.  His major qualification continues to be an unnatural ability to rack-mount large routers unassisted.  Since those humble beginnings as a college student, Matt has gone on to work as a Technical Marketing Engineer specializing in a wide range of technologies over the past decade including: ATM & Ethernet Switching, Broadband Aggregation, MPLS, Routing, policy management, network automation, Quality of Service, and both Edge and Branch Architectures.  He’s also been instrumental on several Cisco products including the Lightstream 1010, Catalyst 8500, Catalyst 5500, Catalyst 6500, Cisco 7200, 7500, 7300, 7400, 10000, BPM and currently the Integrated Services Routers and ISR Generation 2.  James Ng, 10-Year CCIE #1981, is a Technical Marketing Engineer with Cisco's Access Routing Technology Group. He is responsible for supporting Cisco's ISR product lines. A part of James' job is to educate, and he does so by working with customers directly, as well writing whitepapers and speaking at various Networkers/Cisco Live conferences. He is currently the Session Group Manager for Product Architecture for Cisco Live (US).  Within the 14+ years James has worked at Cisco he has held various positions ranging from TAC Escalation, Customer Deployment, Scalability Analysis & Testing, to Product Marketing and has become known for his experience with Routing Protocols as well as ISRs. He has contributed to several IETF drafts and holds several patents in routing technologies.


Remember to use the rating system to let Matt and James know if you have received an adequate response.


Matt and James might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through December 11, 2009. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

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Overall Rating: 4.5 (15 ratings)
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CiscoFAQs Wed, 12/02/2009 - 10:53
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Will I be able to use my existing modules from the ISRs in ISR G2s

gregory wenzel Wed, 12/02/2009 - 11:12
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Where is the DSP Calculator link for partners for these new ISR G2 Gateways ?

mrrussell Fri, 12/04/2009 - 00:43
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Hi, several questions....


As there are no longer any AIM cards will there be Crypto accelerator cards in the future for the G2 router?


Is the 892 considered to be part of the G2 range given it has a "9" in the number, despite being out much longer?


Is the USB port now usable for a memory sick to store images and configs?


Will the fast ethernet (and higher speed) Service module interfaces have faster packet rates in a G2 than the same card running in the eqivalent older G1 ISR ?

Will the in-built GigE ports always give faster throughput rates?


Many Thanks

Mick

mattl Fri, 12/04/2009 - 05:14
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Let me hit each of these in turn.


As there are no longer any AIM cards will there be Crypto accelerator cards in the future for the G2 router?

There are no longer any AIM cards available on the ISR G2.  The AIM slot type has evolved into the new Internal Services Module (ISM) slot that serves the same function.  By dropping the AIM and the AIM requirement for two modules per ISR, we were able to make the ISM footprint and power budget greater meaning that we'll be able to build more powerful ISMs in the future than we ever could have with AIMs. 


As you point out, the AIM-VPN was the most popular AIM on the ISR for hardware acceleration of encryption.  All of the ISR G2s include an encryption co-processor as part of the CPU with performance that exceeds an AIM-VPN.  You basically get AIM-VPN functionality as part of the base system without having to purchase an AIM.  There are currently no plans to build a crypto ISM accelerator card although the possibility does exist in the future.


Is the 892 considered to be part of the G2 range given it has a "9" in the number, despite being out much longer?

The 860, 880 and 890 Series are considered part of the ISR G2 portfolio.  We started introducing these families a little over a year ago along with several concepts now available across the 1900, 2900 and 3900 Series such as a Universal Image and Cisco Software Activation.  They bare more similarities with the rest of the ISR G2 portfolio than they do with the ISRs and they are also relatively new platforms so they are included as part of the broader ISR G2 portfolio.


Is the USB port now usable for a memory sick to store images and configs?

The ISR G2 still has the same USB type A connections that were available on the ISR.  These can be used for basic file manipulation although the recommended storage is still the on-board compact flash especially with the larger, faster flash supported on the ISR G2.  There is now also a compact flash guard that prevents "accidental" removal of the filesystem during operation.


The ISR G2 also introduce the concept of a USB Console to the industry.  This is a mini USB type B connector that emulates a serial port over a USB connection to the host PC.  This connection can only be used as a serial console and does not have any file storage capabilities.


Will the fast ethernet (and higher speed) Service module interfaces have faster packet rates in a G2 than the same card running in the eqivalent older G1 ISR ?

Current ISR modules supported in the ISR G2 will operate at the same speed in any platform.  The backplane connection essentially has to run at whatever rate the module understands so there is no difference in module performance.  However, the increased processing power of the ISR G2 means that the system CPU will be lower in an ISR G2 than in a comparable ISR for the same packet stream.


Will the in-built GigE ports always give faster throughput rates?

That's a tricky question since a GE interface running at linerate in an ISR will still run at linerate in an ISR G2 so I can't say that an ISR G2 GE interface will ALWAYS be faster.  With GE interfaces now across the family from the 1941 through the 3945 there are more higher speed built-in ports than on the ISR.  Also with the much greater processing capabilities of the ISR G2 compared with the ISR the new systems will be able to drive a much higher overall system throughput including through the on-board GE interfaces.

jamng Wed, 12/02/2009 - 11:20
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The ISR G2 PVDM3s were designed to be video ready and for the future. We have definite plans for Video on the ISR G2s, but we don't have a publicly available roadmap for it at this time that we can share.

tenaro.gusatu.novici Wed, 12/02/2009 - 08:23
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Hi there,


there are lot's of rumors about video integration inside ISR G2 and I would appreciate if you can put some light on this. For example, can you compare ISR G2 and 3500 series of video gateway (i.e. RAD devices with Cisco label)? What about H.320, can I generate and terminate calls using ISDN B channels?


Best regards,

Tenaro

TODD BERNARD Sat, 12/05/2009 - 20:53
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On the 2900/3900 series G2 ISR's, is the network clocking in similar to the way it is in the 2800/3800 isr's? I have a customer that wants

to mix a WAN and voice in the same PRI. Before we would do separate  vwic modules, one for the voice and one for the data circuits. I would assume

the PVDM's are still clocked off the backplane?


Thanks


Todd

mattl Sun, 12/06/2009 - 05:16
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Correct.  Clocking behavior in the ISR G2 is the same as on the ISR.

tenaro.gusatu.novici Mon, 12/07/2009 - 02:59
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Hi there,


I hope my question is not out-of-scope: can you compare clocking behavior between 2600, 2800 i 2900 routers? I find it hard time to configure clocking if routers are connected back2back via MFT cards and modified UTP cable. There are always some slips involved. It will be nice if you can let us know what commands should be configured on both devices to be sure slips will be eliminated.


Best regards,

Tenaro

mattl Mon, 12/07/2009 - 14:47
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Clock distribution works the same on the ISR G2 as it does on the ISR.  Modules also behave the same way whether they're in an ISR or ISR G2.  You'll probably find the best information and recommendations on best practices in the documentation for the modules you're using.

tenaro.gusatu.novici Tue, 12/08/2009 - 00:27
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Thanks Matt,


any chance you know how it goes with 2600? Can it be the source of the clock by itself? Do I need any special card to generate the clock on 2600?


This is my config from 2800 box that should provide the clock for the second side (another 2800):


controller e1 0/2/0

  clock source free-running


Both devices have "network-clock-participate wic 2" in global config mode and that is all relevant to clock config. Obviously I'm missing something as slips are still there.


Regards,

Tenaro

jamng Tue, 12/08/2009 - 06:07
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The 2600 is a completely different box. I'd recommend a TAC case here if you're still having problems with it.

tenaro.gusatu.novici Tue, 12/08/2009 - 09:23
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No problem, let's forget 2600. Still, I would appreciate an answer to that question regarding commands on 2800 (and this should be completely the same config for 2900, right)? Any ideas why I'm still having slips?


Regards,

Tenaro

mattl Wed, 12/09/2009 - 06:11
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This forum isn't really set up to troubleshoot technical issues.  Since there could be several different things going on in your configuration or in the network, a call to TAC is probably the best course of action.  We don't really have the capability to dig through configuration details or perform recreates in this forum.

tenaro.gusatu.novici Fri, 12/11/2009 - 02:04
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Seems like we have a big misunderstanding here guys. For me, ASK-THE-EXPERT means I'm NOT talking with MARKETING people but person(s) who understand particular topic in depth. First, I would advise you to check how your colleagues are doing the same job: not just they are posting links with detailed instructions or discussing about particular commands, there are also pleased to receive and analyze any kind of traces/logs/configs.

I tried to go easy with this: I offered you are chance to mention that 2600 doesn't have PLL built-in as 2800 and 2900 have, you could do great marketing explaining how this evolved and how Cisco is learning together with a customer and improving its products. You could also mention what upgrades were made on MFT cards (again, comparing with first ones introduced in 2600).

So, you not just missed a chance to put some light on a topic that is very poorly covered in various Unified Communications courses but also to market those products in a neat way. This way, I have just two possible explanations: you really don't have any clue about clocking or you are real experts trying to hide some big flow in design which is not allowing two boxes to be in sync.


Best regards,

Tenaro


P.S. I hope you'll take something positive from this; this is the reason I've scored you just once hoping "two stars" will give you motivation to prepare better answer. I didn't want to express my disappointment scoring you again.

paolo bevilacqua Fri, 12/11/2009 - 02:41
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Tesaro,


Matt was right in stating that this discussion should not cover technical aspects or customer cases.

Starting from that, all your lengty considerations are simply off base.

Beside, your configuration appears to be wrong. Open a new thread and post all details there if you want to be helped on that.


The rating you've left is inappropriate and I've tried to compensate it a little leaving a 5 to Matt.

Please be more considerate in the future.

mattl Tue, 12/08/2009 - 04:16
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There are currently no committed plans to build a new cable modem interface for the ISRs.

mattl Tue, 12/08/2009 - 07:53
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The decision not to build a new cable interface yet was more of a practical choice than anything else.  Most cable operators like to highly customize the modems that run on their network which makes it very difficult to build a single internal cable interface for the ISRs that will meet the needs of all operators worldwide.  There may be a sufficient business case in the future to build one, but there aren't any committed plans right now.


The new SM Etherswitch modules have two connections to the ISR G2.  The primary connection for most traffic going through the router is the PCI Express bus represented by a Gigabit Ethernet uplink from the switch module.  There is also a second Gigabit Ethernet connection to the Multi-Gigabit Fabric which can be used for direct module to module communication.

bapatsubodh Wed, 12/09/2009 - 09:01
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Hi,

What exactly is "Video ready"  for ISR G2. It is any way different than applying QoS services by access-list and ports or by using queuing methods.

Or it is able to detect the video application data  without supplying any inputs from configuration and adjust the QoS as per the configuration.

This may sound weird but still it is confusing to me.

Thanks

Subodh

mattl Wed, 12/09/2009 - 09:24
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"Video Ready" refers to several design aspects of the ISR G2 that are converging to deliver video capabilities in branch architectures.  The first of these is the new PVDM DSP modules in the ISR G2 that are capable of handling transcoding and conferencing for both voice and video.  Second, the ISR G2s also introduce the Multi-Gigabit Fabric which will allow modules to communicate directly with one another to enable future smart services such as streaming of branch video surveillance traffic directly to a storage module within the ISR G2 without the need to burden the system CPU with forwarding that traffic.  Finally, the ISR G2s were designed to enable faster WAN connections with and without WAN acceleration as well as increased processing horsepower to do more of the QoS necessary in a video network.  These are all emerging while video codecs are becoming more efficient, WAN speeds are generally increasing and Cisco Telepresence units are becoming available in smaller sizes making HD video conferencing more of a real possibility in smaller branches.


Some of these things like the video features on the PVDM modules and the service integration with the MGF will be available with a software upgrade but the hardware is designed to support all of these future features without a physical upgrade so that branches that are deploying video today or thinking about it in the future can deploy an ISR G2 today and turn on video features when they are available.

rchilcote Wed, 12/09/2009 - 10:57
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From my understanding, these new routers use a new major IOS version and require the installer to install license keys for specific functionality.  Can you explain this licensing process and how long will it take to receive a license key once purchased?  I deal quite a lot with voice products and licensing can be a pain since sometimes it takes several weeks or longer to receive the PAK key.  Also, will the older ISR routers require these licenses if upgraded to the 15.x code?  I have several older ISRs in a lab environment.  Will this mean we now have to license advanced functionality even for lab equipment?


Thanks,


Bob

mattl Thu, 12/10/2009 - 04:39
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For the current ISRs (1800, 2800, & 3800), absolutely nothing is changing whether they're running 12.4, 12.4T or 15.0M/T.


For the ISR G2 we are introducing Cisco Software Activation along with a new simplified packaging model.  That means that each family has a single universal image that provides all capabilities.  Individual components can be turned on or off with Software Activation.  This is a very similar model as is used with some of the voice products and the 860, 880 and 890 Series.  These technology packages of features within the universal image can be activated when the system is manufactured making the process transparent to the end-user.  They can also be upgraded after purchase by using a PAK to generate a license.  This PAK can be purchased and delivered any length of time before a license is generated.  PAKs can also represent any quantity of licenses.


Most customers already ordering systems with the correct software bundle will only notice that they have a much simpler packaging decision when ordering an ISR G2.  Many folks planning to do large amounts of post-purchase upgrades will be purchasing PAKs that represent multiple licenses and actually generating those licenses over time.  Some customers will continue to order a PAK on a case-by-case basis for software upgrades.


PAK delivery can be instantaneous with electronic delivery.  When you select this option you can obtain the PAK 11 digit identifier immediately after ordering from the Cisco.com website.  The process of obtaining a PAK and activating a technology package on an ISR G2 is actually much quicker than ordering a new IOS feature set then downloading and installing the full IOS as you have to today.  You can find more information at http://www.cisco.com/go/isrg2 and http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps10616/index.html.

b.gamble Thu, 12/10/2009 - 12:52
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What are the IPSec throughput metrics for 3900 and 2900 series routers?

jamng Fri, 12/11/2009 - 12:56
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With IPSEC/AES we can do 848Mbps on a 3945 and 1400byte packets and the 2900s range from 150-280Mbps or so depending on which 2900.

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