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Cisco 4000 Family Integrated Services Router Data Sheet

Mar 27,2023 | coopershop


Cisco® 4000 Family Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) form an Software Defined WAN platform that delivers the performance, security, and convergence capabilities that today’s branch offices need.

Product overview

The Cisco 4000 Family Integrated Services Router (ISR) revolutionizes WAN communications in the enterprise branch. With new levels of built-in intelligent network capabilities and convergence, it specifically addresses the growing need for application-aware networking in distributed enterprise sites. These locations tend to have lean IT resources. But they often also have a growing need for direct communication with both private data centers and public clouds across diverse links, including Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPNs and the Internet.

The Cisco 4000 Family contains the following platforms: the 4461, 4451, 4431, 4351, 4331, 4321 and 4221 ISRs.

Figure 1.               

Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers

Features and benefits

Cisco 4000 Family ISRs provide you with Cisco® Software Defined WAN (SDWAN) software features and a converged branch infrastructure. Along with superior throughput, these capabilities form the building blocks of next-generation branch-office WAN solutions.

Cisco Software Defined WAN

Cisco SDWAN is a set of intelligent software services that allow you to reliably and securely connect users, devices, and branch office locations across a diverse set of WAN transport links. SDWAN-enabled routers like the ISR 4000 dynamically route traffic across the “best” link based on up-to-the-minute application and network conditions for great application experiences. You get tight control over application performance, bandwidth usage, data privacy, and availability of your WAN links - control that you need as your branches conduct greater volumes of mission-critical business.

Cisco converged branch infrastructure

The Cisco 4000 Series ISRs consolidate many must-have IT functions, including network, compute, and storage resources. The high-performance, integrated routers run multiple concurrent services, including encryption, traffic management, and WAN optimization, without slowing your data throughput. And you can activate new services on demand through a simple licensing change.

Cisco intent based networking and digital network architecture (Cisco DNA)

The last few years has seen a rapid transformation and adoption of digital technologies. This puts pressure on the on the Network teams supporting this changing infrastructure - especially when provisioning, managing, monitoring and troubleshooting these diverse devices. Additionally innovations such as Software Defined WAN (SDWAN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Open APIs and Cloud Management show great promise in transforming Organizations IT networks. This transformation raises further questions and challenges for the IT teams.

The Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) is an open, extensible, software-driven architecture that provides for faster innovation, helping to generate deeper insights, and deliver exceptional experiences across many different applications. Cisco DNA relies on intent-based networking, a revolutionary approach in networking that helps organizations automate, simplify, and secure the network.

The intent-based Cisco DNA network is:

  • Informed by Context: Interprets every byte of data that flows across it, resulting in better security, more customized experiences, and faster operations.
  • Powered by Intent: Translates your intent into the right network configuration, making it possible to manage and provision multiple devices and things in minutes.
  • Driven by Intuition: Continually learns from the massive amounts of data flowing through it and turns that data into actionable insight. Helps you solve issues before they become problems and learn from every incident.

Cisco DNA Center provides a centralized management dashboard across your entire network — the branch, campus, data center, and cloud. Rather than relying on box-by-box management, you can design, provision, and set policy end-to-end from the single Cisco DNA Center interface. This allows you to respond to organizational needs faster and to simplify day-to-day operations. Cisco DNA Analytics and Assurance and Cisco Network Data Platform (NDP) help you get the most from your network by continuously collecting and putting insights into action. Cisco DNA is open, extensible, and programmable at every layer. It integrates Cisco and third-party technology, open APIs, and a developer platform, to support a rich ecosystem of network-enabled applications.

Table 1 breaks out many of the features and benefits of the Cisco 4000 Family that create a Software Define WAN (SDWAN) and a converged branch infrastructure.

Table 1.           Cisco 4000 Family ISR general feature highlights

Business Requirement(s)



●  Throughput

●  Service reliability

●  Concurrent software services at speeds up to 2 Gbps. Backplane architecture supports high-bandwidth module-to-module communication at speeds up to 10 Gbps.

●  A distributed multicore architecture with the industry’s first internal services plane.

●  Remote installation of application-aware services, which run identically to their counterparts in dedicated appliances.

Lower WAN expenditures

●  Embedded SDWAN solution for creating lower-cost, business-class Internet connections.


●  Performance upgrade model

●  Investment protection

●  CapEx budget management

●  Router capacity can be increased with a remote performance-on-demand license upgrade (no hardware upgrade) for exceptional savings.

Superior and secure user application experiences

●  ISR-AX “Application Experience” software bundle with advanced routing and network monitoring services.

●  Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN), zone-based firewalls, Intrusion Prevention (Snort & Umbrella Branch) and Content Management using Cisco Cloud Web security & OpenDNS protecting data, providing authentication credentials, and transmissions not backhauled through the data center.

●  Secure boot feature performs hardware-based authentication of the bootloader software to prevent malicious or unintended software from booting on the system.

●  Code signing verifies digital signatures of executables prior to loading to prevent execution of altered or corrupted code.

●  Hardware authentication protects against hardware counterfeiting by using an on-board tamper-proof silicon, including field replaceable modules. If authentication fails, the module is not allowed to boot.

IT consolidation, space savings, and improved Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

●  Single converged branch platform integrates routing, switching, virtual server, storage, security, unified communications, WAN optimization, and performance management tools.

Business continuity and increased resiliency

●  ISR 4400 Series models (4461, 4451, and 4431 ISRs) support dual integrated power supplies for backup. The entire ISR 4000 Family supports optional power supply capable of delivering additional PoE power to endpoints.

●  Modular network interfaces with diverse connection options for load-balancing and network resiliency.

●  Modular interfaces with online removal and insertion (OIR) for module upgrades without network disruption.

●  Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST), which serves as a resiliency complement to Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), a Cisco cloud-based UC service.

●  Support for multiple, diverse access links: T1/E1, T3/E3, Serial, xDSL, Gigabit and Ten-Gigabit Ethernet.

Lower telephony costs with VoIP and rich media experiences

●  High-performance analog/digital gateway, allowing VoIP over less expensive Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks.

●  Integrated IP PBX ( Cisco Unified Communications Express) and Session Border Controller ( Cisco Unified Border Element, or CUBE).

Easier manageability and support

●  Single, universal software image for all features and performance-on-demand licensing flexibility.

●  No additional services and support needed for compute and storage.

●  Supported by Cisco and third-party management tools, with programmability and automation.