Cisco ASR 900 Series Aggregation Services Routers

Cisco IOS XE Software for Cisco ASR 903 Router

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The Cisco® ASR 903 Router (Figure 1) is a full-featured aggregation platform that runs Cisco IOS® XE Software. Cisco IOS XE Software is a result of the continuing evolution of Cisco IOS Software, and provides a modular structure that delivers full Cisco IOS feature functionality. Cisco IOS XE Software helps to prepare your network for future developments and changes. The software’s modular structure significantly enhances quality and performance by separating the data plane and control plane. Cisco IOS XE Software on the Cisco ASR 903 Router continues to evolve and to offer new benefits to help customers manage their networks.

Figure 1. Cisco ASR 903 Router

Software Releases and Options

The Cisco ASR 903 Router is supported in Cisco IOS XE S Software, which is designed to provide modular packaging, feature velocity, and powerful resiliency. The router is supported as of Cisco IOS XE Software Release 3.5.0S, which introduces Cisco software activation to the Cisco ASR 903 Router.

Consolidated Software Packages

Two consolidated software packages contain a superset of all features. The individual feature sets can be enabled once the correct feature licenses are applied to the router. Table 1 describes the two Cisco IOS XE universal consolidated packages supported on the Cisco ASR 903 Router, and the functionality supported in each of these universal images. The functionality is enforced through the appropriate technology package licenses.

Table 1. Universal Cisco IOS XE Software Consolidated Packages for Cisco ASR 903 Router

Cisco IOS XE Consolidated Package

Part Number


Cisco ASR 903 Series RSP1 IOS XE Universal


Provides a consolidated package
Offers only basic feature support without a license
Satisfies export requirements for noncryptographic software

Cisco ASR 903 Series RSP1 IOS XE – No Payload Encryption


Provides a consolidated package
Offers only basic feature support without a license, including SSH and SNMPv3 support

Flexible Software Activation

The Cisco ASR 903 Router supports the Cisco IOS software activation feature. With this capability, Cisco IOS Software feature sets can be activated with software licenses, supporting a “pay as services grow” model. This model allows service providers to invest in software resources only when their businesses need it. All Cisco ASR 903 Router software licenses are on a per-chassis basis. The Cisco ASR 903 Router offers three Cisco IOS Software licenses:

Metro Services license: offers advanced quality of service (QoS), Carrier Ethernet Layer 2 features, Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) and Ethernet operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) capabilities.

Metro IP Services license: offers all capabilities of the Metro Services license with the addition of IEEE 1588-2008 Ordinary Clock and Transparent Clock, Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD), Layer 3 features for advanced IP routing protocols, multi-VPN routing, and Layer 3 Multicast and Forwarding Customer Edge (multi-VRF CE) capabilities.

Metro Aggregation Services license: adds the following capabilities to the Metro IP Services license: Muliprotocol Label Switching Transport Profile (MPLS-TP); MPLS, Ethernet over MPLS (EoMPLS), Circuit Emulation Service over Packet Switched Network (CESoPSN), and Structure Agnostic TDM over Packet (SAToP) pseudowires; MPLS traffic engineering (TE); MPLS Fast Reroute (FRR); and MPLS VPN support.

Table 2 lists the main features in the Cisco IOS licenses for the Cisco ASR 903 Router. Availability of features is dependent on software release and implementation schedule.

Table 2. Feature Sets in Cisco ASR 903 Router Licenses

Metro Services

Metro IP Services

Metro Aggregation Services

All features in Metro Services plus:

All features in Metro IP Services plus:

QoS, with deep buffers and hierarchical QoS (HQOS)



Layer 2: 802.1d, 802.1q

PIM (SM, DM, SSM), SSM mapping


Ethernet Virtual Circuit (EVC)



Ethernet OAM (802.1ag, 802.3ah)

Multi-VRF CE (VRF lite) with service awareness (ARP, ping, SNMP, syslog, trace-route, FTP, TFTP)


Multiple Spanning Tree (MST) and Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP)

IEEE 1588-2008 Ordinary Clock and Transparent Clock

Pseudowire emulation (EoMPLS, CESoPSN, and SAToP)

Synchronous Ethernet


IPv4 and IPv6 host connectivity

Pseudowire redundancy

Additional Feature Licenses

In addition to the preceding Cisco IOS feature-set licenses, two additional licenses are used to enable new software functionality for the Cisco ASR 903 Router in addition to the feature-set capabilities.

ATM license: allows service providers to enable ATM functionality on TDM interfaces when required. One license is required for each Cisco ASR 903 Router that needs ATM functionality to be enabled in the system. This includes support for ATM pseudowires over MPLS (ATMoMPLS), ATM local switching, ATM interworking, and local ATM termination. This license requires the system to have at least one T1/E1, OC-3/STM-1, or OC-12/STM-4 card installed.

IEEE 1588-2008 BC/MC license: allows service providers to enable IEEE 1588-2008 Boundary Clock (BC) or Master Clock (MC), or both, when required. One license is required for each chassis that needs IEEE 1588-2008 BC or MC functionality to be enabled in the system.

Cisco IOS XE Software Release Schedule

The Cisco IOS XE software delivery schedule allows customers to qualify releases more quickly and have a definitive release schedule for new software images. This schedule is summarized in the following highlights.

Time-based releases: Releases are planned for delivery three times a year (every four months). New software features and hardware are introduced in each release. Releases have fewer incremental features included when compared with traditional Cisco IOS Software releases, reducing customer qualification time.

Two release support durations: Each Cisco IOS XE Software release is classified as either a Standard Support or Extended Support release. A Standard Support release has a total engineering support lifetime of one year, with two scheduled rebuilds. The Extended Support release provides a total engineering support lifetime of two years, with four scheduled rebuilds. For more information about the Cisco IOS XE Software end-of-life policy and associated support milestones for specific Cisco IOS XE Software releases, visit

Rebuilds scheduled at regular intervals: Rebuilds are created only for bug fixes, and no new features are included in a rebuild image. For Standard Support releases, the first rebuild image is released two months after the parent image's first customer shipment (FCS). The second rebuild image is released four months after the parent image's FCS. The Extended Support release provides four scheduled rebuilds. The first two of these rebuilds are released at two-month intervals after FCS of the affected Cisco IOS XE Software release, and the second two rebuilds are released at four-month intervals thereafter. Releases to correct critical problems (such as those identified by the Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team) are introduced as needed.

Part Numbers for License Options and Activation Keys

Table 3 lists part numbers for the Cisco ASR 903 Router software feature options.

Table 3. Cisco ASR 903 Router Software Options

Part Number

Product Name

Feature Set License Options


ASR 903 Metro Services


ASR 903 Metro IP Services


ASR 903 Metro Aggregation Services

Feature Set Product Activation Keys


ASR 903 Metro Services Paper PAK


ASR 903 Metro Services E-Delivery PAK


ASR 903 Metro IP Services Paper PAK


ASR 903 Metro IP Services E-Delivery PAK


ASR 903 Metro Aggregation Services Paper PAK


ASR 903 Metro Aggregation Services E-Delivery PAK

Feature Set Upgrade Product Activation Keys


ASR 903 Metro to Metro IP Paper PAK


ASR 903 Metro to Metro Aggregation Paper PAK


ASR 903 Metro IP to Metro Aggregation Paper PAK


ASR 903 Metro to Metro IP E-Delivery PAK


ASR 903 Metro to Metro Aggregation E-Delivery PAK


ASR 903 Metro IP to Metro Aggregation E-Delivery PAK

Feature Licenses


ASR 903 ATM License


ASR 903 IEEE 1588-2008 BC/MC License

Feature Licenses Product Activation Keys


ASR 903 ATM License Paper PAK


ASR 903 ATM License E-Delivery PAK


ASR 903 IEEE 1588-2008 BC/MC License Paper PAK


ASR 903 IEEE 1588-2008 BC/MC License E-Delivery PAK

Major Features

Table 4 lists the features supported by Cisco IOS XE in the Cisco ASR 903 Router. Availability of features is dependent on software release and implementation schedule.

Table 4. Cisco ASR 903 Router Software Features


Ethernet Services

Ethernet Flow Point (EFP) with support for:

- 802.1q

- Selective QinQ

- Inner and Outer VLAN classification

- VLAN local significance

- One VLAN tag ingress push

- Pop one VLAN tag

- Pop two VLAN tags

- Trunk-EFP construct for configuration simplification

IEEE 802.1s Multiple Spanning Tree (MST)
Resilient Ethernet Protocol (REP)
ITU G.8032
802.3ad / 802.1ax Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP)
Layer 2 Protocol Tunneling (L2PT)
Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), Hierarchical VPLS (HVPLS), Virtual Private Wire Service (VPWS), Ethernet over MPLS (EoMPLS)
Static Multicast MAC addresses
Link Pass Through
Pseudowire redundancy
Hot Standby Pseudowire
Multi-segment Pseudowire

TDM and ATM services

Clear Channel and Channelized T1 and E1 ports on the 16 port T1/E1 interface module
Channelized OC-3/STM-1 mode on the 4 port OC-3/STM-1 Interface Module
Packet over SONET (PoS) mode using PPP over SONET/SDH on the 4 port OC-3/STM-1 Interface Module – RFC 2615
Point to Point Protocol (PPP) – RFC 1661
Multilink PPP (ML-PPP), with maximum 8 links per ML-PPP bundle – RFC 1990
PPP Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) – RFC 1994
Pseudowire setup and maintenance using the Label Distribution Protocol (LDP) - RFC 4447
Structure-Agnostic Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) over Packet (SAToP) - RFC 4553
Encapsulation methods for transport of ATM over MPLS networks for AAL 0 and AAL 5 - RFC 4717
Pseudowire Emulation Edge-to-Edge (PWE3) ATM Transparent Cell Transport Service - RFC 4816
Circuit Emulation Service over Packet Switched Network (CESoPSN) - RFC 5086
Pseudowire redundancy
Hot Standby Pseudowire
Multi-Segment Pseudowire
ATM N:1 (N = 1) virtual channel connection (VCC) cell mode and ATM N:1 (N = 1) virtual path (VP) Cell Relay Mode
ATM cell packing
ATM IMA v1.0, 1.1 on the 16 port T1/E1 and on the 4 port OC-3/STM-1 interface module
ATM AAL0 (for AAL2 voice and data)
ATM Class of Service (CoS) features constant bit rate (CBR) and unspecified bit rate (UBR) and per virtual circuit queuing
Egress Quality of Service (QoS) on ML-PPP, PPP, PoS and HDLC interfaces

Layer 3 and MPLS Services

Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP)
Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)
Layer 3 routing on Routed interfaces and Bridge Domain Interfaces (BDI)
Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) load sharing of Equal Cost Paths (ECMP)
Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
BGP TCP Path MTU Discovery
BGP Prefix-Independent Convergence (PIC) Edge and Core for IPv4 and MPLS VPN
Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS)
Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, and static routes
BFD over Ethernet, Routed port, HDLC and PPP interfaces
BFD for HSRP group client
Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS)
LDP with Label Edge Router (LER) and Label Switch Router (LSR)
MPLS Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) for Ethernet, TDM and ATM interfaces
MPLS Traffic Engineering Fast Re-Route (TE-FRR)
IP Loop Free Alternate Fast Re-Route (LFA FRR)
Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) version 1 – RFC 1112
IPv4 multicast
Protocol Independent Multicast sparse mode (PIM-SM), PIM Source Specific Multicast (PIM SSM), PIM SSM mapping
PIM version 2 (PIMv2)
IGMPv2 – RFC 2236
IGMPv3 – RFC 3376
IGMP group limiting


Hardware based IPv6 data forwarding
Addressing and discovery
Manual IPv6 interface addressing
ICMPv6 (RFC 4443)
IPv4 and IPv6 dual stack
IPv6 static routing
OSPF for IPv6 (RFC 5340)
DHCPv6 with relay function
BFD for OSPF, IS-IS, BGP and IPv6 static routes
IPv6 Provider Edge (6PE)
IPv6 VPN Provider Edge (6VPE)


Modular QoS CLI (MQC)
Hierarchical QoS (HQoS)
Port shaper and Low Latency Queuing (LLQ) in the presence of an EFP
IEEE 802.1p Class of Service (COS) based QoS
Classification based on inner and outer CoS
IP Precedence Type of Service (ToS) based QoS
Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) based QoS
Egress marking of COS, ToS, DSCP and MPLS EXP QoS fields
Classification using Access Control List (ACL)
2-rate 3-color (2R3C) ingress Policing
Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) traffic shaping
Class-Based Weighted Fair Queuing (CBWFQ)
Priority Queuing with up to 2 priority queues
Weighted Random Early Detect (WRED)
Egress shaping per queue
Egress policing per queue
Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) Call Admission Protocol (CAC)


IEEE 1588-2008 Ordinary Clock
IEEE 1588-2008 end-to-end Transparent Clock
IEEE 1588-2008 Boundary Clock over IP and MPLS
IEEE 1588-2008 precision time protocol (PTP) telecom profile for frequency synchronization – ITU-T G.8265.1 /Y.1365.1
Hybrid clocking
T1/E1 line timing
OC-3/STM-1 Line Timing
Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) ports; Time of Day (ToD), 10MHz, 1 Pulse Per Second (1PPS)
Building Integrated Timing Supply (BITS)
ITU-T SyncE with Ethernet Synchronization Messaging Channel (ESMC)
Synchronization Status Messages (SSM)


IEEE 802.1ag Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) over EFP
IEEE 802.3ah Link OAM
ITU-T Y.1731 Fault Management (FM) over EFP
ITU-T Y. 1731 Performance Management (PM) over EFP for Delay Measurement (DM) and Synthetic Loss Measurement (SLM)
Ethernet Local Management Interface (E-LMI), as a provider edge (PE) device
CFM extensions for microwave adaptive code modulation (ACM) actual air bandwidth exchange


Authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) with TACACS+ and RADIUS
Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol v2
MAC limiting per bridge domain (BD)
Layer 3 ACLs
IPv4 unicast reverse path forwarding (uRPF) strict mode
MAC security
Dynamic Arp Inspection (DAI)
DHCP Snooping with option 82 insertion
DHCP Option 82 Configurable Circuit ID & Remote ID


Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
Port Level Local SPAN
Generic Online Diagnostics (GOLD)
Onboard Failure Logging (OBFL)
Cisco IOS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Cisco Prime™ Network: fault, provisioning and performance management
Cisco® Network Virtualization (nV) technology Satellite mode for Ethernet interfaces

Warranty Information

Find warranty information on at the Product Warranties page.

Service and Support

Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative services programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco Services help you protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare your network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco Services, refer to Cisco Technical Support Services or Cisco Advanced Services.

Cisco is committed to minimizing your total cost of ownership. Cisco offers a portfolio of technical support services to help ensure that Cisco products operate efficiently, remain highly available, and benefit from the most up-to-date system software. The services and support programs described in Table 5 are available as part of the Cisco Carrier Ethernet Switching Service and Support solution and are available directly from Cisco and through resellers.

Table 5. Service and Support

Advanced Services



Cisco Total Implementation Solutions (TIS), available directly from Cisco

Cisco Packaged TIS, available through resellers

Project management
Site survey, configuration, and deployment
Installation, text, and cutover
Major moves, adds, and changes
Design review and product staging
Supplement existing staff
Help ensure functions meet needs
Mitigate risk

Cisco SP Base Support and Service Provider-Based Onsite Support, available directly from Cisco

Cisco Packaged Service Provider- Based Support, available through resellers

24-hour access to software updates
Web access to technical repositories
Telephone support through the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
Advance Replacement of hardware parts
Facilitate proactive or expedited problem resolution
Lower total cost of ownership by taking advantage of Cisco expertise and knowledge
Minimize network downtime