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Cisco boosts speed, security of 7200 router

Cisco has added three modular upgrades to the 7200 Series router, providing services aggregation at headquarters for the Integrated Services Router in branch offices.

Cisco Systems Inc. today announced three modular enhancements to its 7200 Services Aggregation Router, which can harness at headquarters the power of a deployed base of Integrated Services Routers in numerous branch offices.

The 7200, sometimes known as the "Swiss Army knife of routers," now has more than 300,000 units installed globally. With Cisco's announcement at Interop Las Vegas on Monday, the 7200 can be upgraded to include the new Cisco 7200 Network Processing Engine (NPE-G2), the Cisco 7200 VPN Services Adapter (VSA), and the Cisco 7200 Port Adapter Jacket Card to securely aggregate routing at optical carrier-3 (OC-3) and gigabit Ethernet speeds.

Joel Conover, of research firm Current Analysis, said in a statement that the enhancement will provide "Cisco 7200 customers with a multitude of service options while increasing power and flexibility, setting them up for future business demands."

The NPE-G2, the latest routing engine for the Cisco 7200VXR chassis, doubles performance for multiple services while including threat defense, secure VPN connectivity, network admission control, and voice/IP-to-IP gateway functions. The module can handle more security functions with faster processing and additional memory.

The VSA is a VPN hardware acceleration module that can triple performance from remote sites when combined with the latest processing engine, which can support large-scale IPsec aggregation architecture and secure Cisco IOS Software connectivity. It contains various levels of encryption support.

Lastly, the 7200 Port Adapter Jacket Card boosts slot density by being able to hold a single port adapter for additional capacity on systems with the Cisco 7200 NPE-G1 and later Network Processing Engines. Cisco said the module can nearly double bandwidth to the router.

Robert Checketts, senior manager of router product marketing at Cisco, said the enhancements to the 7200 can aggregate the services of the ISR by bringing the exact same functionality to home offices instead of just the branch.

The updates can be delivered to Cisco 7200 customers as an upgrade, Checketts said, with no new platform to purchase.

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