Table Of Contents
Migrating from Cisco 7200 Series Routers
First Published: January 28, 2014
This document provides information about how to migrate from Cisco 7200 Series Routers to more modern hardware. The advantages of migration and the process for successful migration are detailed in this document. Note that in many cases, the most suitable replacement will be Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers. In certain circumstances, it will be more cost-effective or more suitable to choose Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR) 4451-X or Cisco ISR G2 3945E platform. The circumstances to choose Cisco ISR 4451-X or Cisco ISR G2 3945E platform are described in this document.
Cisco 7200 Series Routers Summary
The Cisco 7200 Series Routers (which includes the Cisco 7301 Router) have been popular for both enterprise and service provider customers. They are found in networks that required high throughput and a very rich set of Layer 3 or Layer 2 features. In enterprise deployments, the Cisco 7200 Series Routers were typically used for WAN aggregation, IPsec aggregation, and Internet edge scenarios.
The Cisco 7200 Series Routers performed well in earlier deployments, but new features cannot function on the old hardware. Internally, the Cisco 7200 Series Routers have a single CPU responsible for some router functions and line cards (Port Adapter cards) responsible for some functions such as hardware offload. For secure VPN capability, an external IPsec card, known as the Cisco VPN Service Adapter module (VSA), provides encryption based features. Furthermore, the Cisco 7200 Series Routers had a replaceable Network Processing Engine (NPE) card that was responsible for the core router functions, and was upgradable over time to keep the performance high. However modern features, especially IPv6 and application visibility, consume a large amount of resources, which the Cisco 7200 Series Routers do not possess. Route reflector capabilities are poor due to the limited memory on the Cisco 7200 Series Routers. Modern encryption technologies such as Internet Key Exchange Version 2 (IKEv2) and MACsec require specialized hardware support.
Twenty years since the introduction of the Cisco 7200 Series Routers, there have been dynamic changes in customer needs, and many customers will have requirements for next generation networks. Cisco has announced End-of-Sale (EoS) and End-of-Life (EoL) dates for the Cisco 7200 Series Routers, and in most cases the direct replacements are the Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers. In some cases, a more suitable replacement may be the Cisco ISR 4451-X routers or the Cisco ISR G2 3945E routers.
In course of time, support for the Cisco 7200 Series Routers will be stopped. See the following link for details about the EoS and EoL announcements:
Do I Need to Migrate?
Many customers have already migrated off the Cisco 7200 Series Routers by now. The table below helps you determine if a platform replacement is essential and what benefits exist for your desired requirements:
Migration Hardware Options
Table 1 provides summary of suitable replacements for the modern networks. All these routers provide a comparable or an increased level of performance combined with support for all the modern feature richness in Cisco IOS and Cisco IOS XE. These routers are considered feature-rich; they offer built-in Layer 2, Layer 3 and higher layer features such as secure VPN, deep layer 7 application visibility, voice and video features and cloud application performance, and acceleration enabling. The Cisco ISR G2 Series Routers run the traditional Cisco IOS operating system. The Cisco ISR 4451-X and Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers runs the same Cisco IOS as a process on top of a hardened Linux kernel and is named Cisco IOS XE. From a configuration and management standpoint, there is no difference between Cisco IOS and Cisco IOS XE; both look identical. Internally, Cisco IOS XE allows for massive scalability and high performance because certain feature execution can be moved off the Cisco IOS process into multi-cored CPUs within the data plane.
Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers
Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers were developed as a direct replacement for Cisco 7200 Series Routers. Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routes are feature-rich edge routers that address the complex requirements of the modern networks. These routers meet the needs of both service providers and enterprises. They are available in sizes ranging from 1 rack unit (RU) to 13 RU. The feature set is common across the 1 RU to 13 RU size range. The only difference is performance and level of hardware redundancy that may be needed. In most cases, the 2 RU sized Cisco ASR 1002-X will be the appropriate replacement. It offers switchable performance from 2.5 Gbps up to 36 Gbps with no hardware upgrade. Note that the performance is sustained even when multiple built-in features such as secured VPN technology and a zone-based firewall are switched on. Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers were developed to sustain multiple features beyond traditional routing protocols and packet forwarding.
Cisco ASR 1006 will be most suitable for networks that need a high level of redundancy. For networks that have grown dramatically or need a very large amount of network interfaces (for either Layer 3 or Layer 2), the 13 RU sized Cisco ASR 1013 may be considered. For branch use, Cisco ASR 1001 or Cisco ASR 1002-X will be most appropriate. For WAN aggregation and Internet Edge use with full internal hardware resiliency, Cisco ASR 1006 should be considered. Cisco ASR 1002-X is also a suitable platform, and it offers inter-chassis resiliency capability. The entire Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers have a fully separated data plane that is hardened against DoS attacks.
Cisco ISR 4451-X
For deployments that need throughput up to a ceiling of 2 Gbps, the new Cisco ISR 4451-X is a cost-effective option. It again offers switchable performance (no hardware upgrade needed) of 1 Gbps or 2 Gbps. The Cisco ISR 4451-X offers a broadly near-identical set of features as the Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers. The Cisco ISR 4451-X runs the same operating system and software release numbering is identical to Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers. The Cisco ISR 4451-X can also accept Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS-E) cards for offloading certain features or for running customer-specific software inside virtual machines on a high performance multi-core Intel chipset. Cisco's full WAN Optimization solution can run on these cards, offering built-in Citrix acceleration as part of its capabilities. The Cisco ISR 4451-X can be a suitable replacement for Branch, WAN aggregation, or Internet edge locations.
Cisco ISR G2 3945E
The Cisco ISR G2 Series Routers offer feature richness, unified communications including Digital Signal Processor (DSP) capabilities for voice and video and security functions such as IPS, Firewall, and web security, and content filtering. Cisco UCS-E cards enable additional features such as rich WAN optimization capabilities. The Cisco 3945E is ideal for branch deployments where the high performing Cisco ISR 4451-X or Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers are not needed.
How to Migrate
Virtually, all existing Cisco 7200 Series Routers features are supported on modern Cisco routers. Some very old features that customers are no longer using in modern networks are no longer supported on the newer replacement offerings.
The information provided here is designed to help you accurately determine the platform that will meet all your requirements.
If you wish to make the determination yourself, follow the three-step process described below. If you have a unique service offering or any special concern, contact your Account Team directly. If you need Cisco to perform the determination and to create an entire plan for migration and assistance during the migration, there are Cisco Advanced Services order codes that should be used. The order codes are ASF-SP0-NGN-UPG1, ASF-SP0-NGN-UPG1 or ASF-SP0-NGN-UPG2. These codes can be requested from your Account Team.
The process is:
1. Check the Feature Incompatibility and Workaround Table.
2. Check Feature Navigator online for any feature you are unsure about.
3. The determination is complete—You are ready to order, configure (via CLI or management platform), and get your network devices ready for testing before going live.
If you are unsure at any stage, contact Cisco.
Feature Incompatibility and Workaround Table
The table below helps you determine the features that are incompatible and the corresponding workaround:
Which Platform is most Suitable?
Once you have determined that the features you require are supported, in general any router within a series will be suitable. With the Cisco ASR 1000 Series Routers, the differences between the platforms relate to performance and level of redundancy. The larger platforms are capable of higher throughput. A typical choice is the Cisco ASR 1002-X platform which can be purchased to support 2.5 Gbps of performance (with features) but can be turned up to 36 Gbps with no hardware swap-out needed.
For highly resilient WAN aggregation and Internet Edge scenarios the Cisco ASR 1006 platform is more suitable because it can continue to operate with hardware failures within the chassis. The smaller Cisco ASR 1000 series platforms offer software-based resiliency with multiple redundant IOS processes running on the Linux kernel in IOS XE, and hardware based redundancy using protocols such as Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) operating between devices.
For lower throughput scenarios or for scenarios that require in-box WAN acceleration, the Cisco ISR 4451-X is the most suitable platform.
If an unusual feature is needed that is not supported on the Cisco ASR 1000 or Cisco ISR4451-X platforms, then the Cisco ISR G2 3945E should be considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What if further assistance is needed?
The Cisco 7200 Series Routers have been successfully migrated to more modern Cisco routers in thousands of customer networks over the past two years. So, we are confident that all common Cisco 7200 scenarios have been addressed or enhanced. If it is possible for Cisco to obtain a copy of your router configuration file then it can be submitted to your Account Team. The router configuration file will be checked for any CLI that has been deprecated, and workarounds suggested.
2. Is there a list of every single feature that is not supported on replacement hardware?
There are hundreds of thousands of command line combinations in IOS, of which we believe very few are not supported today. They are the ones which are either removed because the scenarios have become outdated, or ones that are uncommon and not likely to be required by any customer, or are planned for a later release.
General Product Information
Cisco.com landing page for Cisco ASR 1000 videos, announcements and data sheets
Cisco 4451-X Data Sheet
Cisco 3954E Data Sheet
Cisco Prime Infrastructure including free evaluation copy http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps12239/index.html
Cisco ASR 1000 Ordering Guide
Ordering guide including example bill-of-materials http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps9343/product_bulletin_c07-448862.html
Cisco 4451-X Ordering Guide
Cisco 3945E Ordering Guide
The C3945E-AX/K9 order code provides the Application Experience (AX) router which includes licenses to run Cisco WAAS and Cisco AVC
Software Configuration Guides
Cisco ASR 1000 Aggregation Services Routers Software Configuration Guide
Cisco 7200 EoS announcement http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/routers/ps341/prod_eol_notices_list.html
Cisco 7301 EoS announcement
Cisco 7200 series port adapter EoS announcement http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/modules/ps2033/end_of_life_c51-676743.html
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