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Shameel Ummer
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee


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On October 20th 2020, Cisco has launched their new edge platform innovations with the introduction of Catalyst 8000 edge platform family. Being the evolution of ISR4400 series routers, the Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms will be the new Access edge, positioned at the customer Enterprise branch locations or Regional sites or as a strong CPE device at the Managed service provider end.

What it makes Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms more superior than ISR 4400 series routers?

  • 10G connectivity at the branch
  • 5x CEF and IPSec performances
  • 4x Security services performances
  • Higher IPSec scale support for SD-WAN and traditional deployment models
  • Compatible with a majority of interfaces and modules that are supported on ISR 4400

All of above makes the Catalyst 8300s far more superior than the ISR 4400 Series Routers. Hence, we call them the ‘’Next-Gen Modular platforms’’!!

What are the different types of slots and interfaces supported on Cisco Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms?

Similar to the ISR 4400 series routers, the Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms supports different types of slots in the form of Network Interface Modules (NIM) slots, Services Modules (SM) slots, and an integrated Pluggable Interface Module (PIM) slot for high-speed cellular WAN connections. Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms support more than 70 types of modules for a variety of services.

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Are the Cisco Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms compatible with modules supported on ISR 4400 series routers?

Yes, the Catalyst 8300 series edge platform is compatible with many modules supported on the ISR 4400 series as listed in the picture below. There are very few modules which are not compatible and as an upgrade, we have introduced better capability modules for WAN, LAN and Voice services to provide secured and high-speed WAN to the cloud/data center, high-speed LAN connectivity to your switching infrastructure/end-host with advanced voice capabilities.

The new modules and slots which are introduced is as follows:

  • Integrated PIM slot for high-speed cellular connectivity with CAT18 LTE support, it is 5G ready in future!
  • Next generation L3 WAN modules - support 10G/1G 256-bit WAN MACSec.
  • Next generation UADP2.0 - Doppler ASIC based L2 Ethernet Switch modules, support
    • Enhanced 128-bit LAN MACSec
    • UPOE (60W)
    • 1Gig/MultiGig (2.5G) LAN ports
    • 10G SFP+ for Uplink connectivity
    • Direct manageability from the platform operating system (IOS XE)
  • Next generation PVDM DSP modules in the NIM form-factor with 32,64,128 and 256 voice channels for Conferencing, Transcoding and Media termination with higher scale.
  • Next generation SM-NIM Carrier card which supports two NIM modules for higher modularity.
  • New external storage in the form of M.2 USB and NVMe with 16G default and 32G/600G upgrade options.
  • Higher DRAM support on the DIMM slots with 8G default and 16G/32G for extended scalability.

With the introduction of the next generation modules, the Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms brings flexibility and enhanced services capabilities into the branch deployments.

What are the different types of modules supported on Cisco Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms?

The wide range of modules supported on Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms can be seen in the picture below:


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With advanced modularity and capability offered with Cisco Catalyst 8300 series edge platforms, it’s obvious that branch networking is taken to the next-level, ready to adapt to emerging and future technologies and thus providing total cost of ownership savings and investment protection to our customers for their new branch deployments.


To learn more about the Cisco Catalyst 8300 edge platforms, check out the following blogs:


@Shameel Ummer Does this mean, ISR platform 4K will be replaced by the Catalyst 8K range ? Can 8Ks be managed using DNA-C ? Will it be part of the SD-Access solution ?

Shameel Ummer
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Colin- Not all ISR4Ks will be replaced. ISR4200 and 4461 will remain intact. C8300 will replace ISR 4451X and 4431 as of today. More details of new launches will be announced soon!! Yes, C8K is available in DNAC from code version onwards and currently support Control plane and border node functionality as in like ISR4Ks for SDA.

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