Migrating to the Next Generation of Industrial IP67 Outdoor Routers, the Cisco Catalyst IR8140H White Paper

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Updated:April 11, 2022

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The next generation of IP67 outdoor routers — how do I migrate from my CGR 1000?


Utilities all over the world are undergoing significant transitions in their grids, from transmission to consumption and rising security threats. Regulatory mandates are influencing initiatives related to smart metering, grid reliability, and integration of solar and wind farms into the distribution grid. This imposes a unique set of challenges for utilities to build easily serviceable networks that also scale across millions of smart meter endpoints.

The Cisco Catalyst IR8140H Heavy Duty Router has been specifically designed and developed to meet these challenges. Using design principles and lessons learned from the Cisco 1000 Series Connected Grid Routers (CGR 1000 Series), the IR8140H router offers the following benefits:

     Completely modular: A single form factor provides modular LTE for different regions, data throughputs, and cellular bands. A modular battery backup and Power Supply Unit (PSU) enables longevity.

     Dual active LTE connectivity: Concurrent connectivity to two networks.

     Wi-SUN mesh and Cisco Resilient Mesh connectivity: Acts as an endpoint gateway for thousands of connected Wi-SUN nodes.

     Edge computing: Provides an open, extensible environment for hosting the OS and applications at the network edge.

     mSATA and onboard flash storage module: With an expansion module, the IR8140H enables local storage of application data.

     SD-WAN: Enables simplicity of orchestration, diversity in WAN connectivity, and best-in-class experience with an end-to-end WAN policy.

In this white paper, we focus on how to prepare your head-end network to migrate your existing fleet of CGR 1000 Series routers to the IR8140H and the options we provide to continue support for the existing CGR 1000 Series routers in your fleet.

Platform highlights

Figure 1.               

Platform highlights

Why upgrade?

The key differences between the IR8140H and the CGR 1000

The IR8140H was designed based on direct feedback from utilities and how they perceive ease of use in the context of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Distribution Automation (DA) networks. The chassis is fully modular, and all internal wiring complexity is hidden. The CPU has been upgraded to serve the next generation of large-scale Cisco Resilient Mesh and Wi-SUN mesh networks. The SD-Card was replaced with more reliable and resilient onboard eMMC storage.

Other key differences from the CGR 1000 Series include:

     Modularity: Each I/O port (LTE, CPU, WPAN) and the PSU are removable and serviceable without any wiring in the way. Battery backup units (BBUs) are removable as well

     Serviceability: Can be serviced on the pole-top without pulling it off the mounting bracket

     5G + Wi-SUN: Forward-looking, next-generation connectivity for WAN and Cisco Resilient Mesh connectivity for RF mesh 6LoWPAN networks for AMI and DA networks

     SD-WAN: Class-leading control plane and routing policy handoff to Cisco’s vManage solution

The interface numbering is a key difference between the two routers. This needs to be kept in mind when planning the Cisco Field Network Director (FND) configuration templates.

Table 1.           Comparing the CGR 1000 Series and IR8140H interfaces

Connected Grid Module type

CGR 1000 Series interface

IR8140H interface

RJ-45 (WAN)

Gigabit Ethernet 2/1

Gigabit Ethernet 0/0/0


WPAN 4/1

WPAN 0/1/0

Cellular/LTE (WAN)

Cellular 3/1

Cellular 0/2/0


Virtual port group0

The figure below shows the key hardware differences between the routers.

Comparing the CGR 1000 Series and IR8140H hardware

Figure 2.               

Comparing the CGR 1000 Series and IR8140H hardware

Zero-touch deployment guidelines for migrating from the CGR 1000 Series to the IR8140H

Zero-Touch Deployment (ZTD) brings the advantages of zero-touch provisioning, requiring no work from the operations team other than the one-time task of creating configuration templates in FND.

ZTD workflow

Figure 3.               

ZTD workflow

ZTD allows the secure enrollment of tens of thousands of Internet-of-Things (IoT) gateways and millions of endpoints and is achieved through the intricate selection and configuration of the devices shown in the figure above. The IR8140H deployment will entail a few changes, which are highlighted in the red boxes and detailed in the steps below. After the prerequisites are met, there are five essential steps.


Install the versions below to prepare your devices:

Field Network Director version: 4.8 https://software.cisco.com/download/home/286287993/type/286320247/release/4.8.0?i=!pp

Cisco IOS® XE version: 17.7.1 (select the image that matches the PID of your router; for example, the Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled version is IR8140H-P-K9 https://software.cisco.com/download/home/286326647/type/282046477/release/Cupertino-17.7.1

Prepare the network operating system (NOS) file for Field Network Director 4.8. Note that the only difference is that the Device Type field is now ‘ir8100’ instead of ‘cgr1000.’ Other headers remain unchanged. This change also applies to any custom user-property files being used in the Field Network Director.

Table 2.           Preparing for the IR8140H


How it works today

How do I prepare for the IR8140H?

1. Authorize

Add the router to the AAA and NPS to authorize the device before it is allowed on the network to be provisioned by FND.

The router PID+SN will need to be updated in the NPS policy list in your AAA/NPS server.

2 .Enroll router with PKI

Enroll the router, in this case the IR8140H, with the PKI certificate authority, either public or private.

The IR8140H uses a 2099 Cisco SUDI for identity and pre-enrollment. The RA version needs to support Cisco IOS XE 17.4.1 or greater to be compatible to support both the 2029 and 2099 SUDI.

3.Encrypt WAN

Provision a secure IPsec tunnel layered over the WAN via FND templates.

Note the interface numbering in Table 1 when planning the templates.

4. Configure

Configure the router interfaces for the use-case-specific scenario – in this case the WPAN (Wi-SUN or Cisco Resilient Mesh).

Note the interface numbering in Table 1 when planning the templates. Other notable commands that are different in the FND template:

<#if far.hasActiveBattery()>

  do request platform hardware battery charge-discharge enable


5. Monitor

Router will send periodic data and SNMP traps/events to the FND.



Key customer benefits of migrating to IR8140H

The Cisco IR8140H is the “Swiss army knife” of choice for utilities and customers transitioning from the CGR 1000 Series while investing in a future-ready solution. It helps protect customers’ investments in their IoT deployments with the following competitive advantages:

     A modular platform designed to reduce maintenance costs and eliminate truck rolls

     An IP67-rated ruggedized, industrial-grade platform suitable for deployment under extreme conditions

     The capability to add and upgrade expansion modules to keep up with newer technologies such as 5G and Wi-SUN as they get rolled out

     Simplified inventory and image management through FND and local Web-UI

     Secures all underlying communication between the platform and the applications using Cisco IOS XE VPN technologies such as Flex-VPN

     Backed by Cisco’s world-class partner ecosystem and support

Table 3.           Key ordering PID(s) for Wi-SUN, AMI deployments




Cisco IR8140H industrial IP67 router – PoE-enabled version


Cisco IR8140H industrial IP67 router – non-PoE version


WPAN for Wi-SUN and Cisco Resilient Mesh endpoint support


License required for WPAN / Wi-SUN

Continuing support for the CGR 1000 Series

The CGR 1000 Series will still have Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support past its end-of-life announcement.

The timeline below shows support milestones past the end-of-life announcement of any Cisco device, which includes the CGR 1000 Series. For the CGR end-of-life announcement, visit https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/routers/1000-series-connected-grid-routers/announce-1000-series-grid-routers-eol.html

Cisco end-of-life milestones

Figure 4.               

Cisco end-of-life milestones

Learn more

     Cisco for Utilities

     Cisco industrial routers and gateways





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