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ISR 4000 Boost License vs. Performance License

Hi Community,

Have a question for anyone with experience in the area of Boost and Performance Licenses.


In researching the Boost License, it seems this is the way to go to unlock (un-cap) the routers full throughout potential. Are there any circumstances when one would prefer the Performance License over the Boost License? The boost license seems obvious and the sure way to go.




Georg Pauwen
VIP Expert



the performance license is a whole lot cheaper (around $1,200) than the boost license (around $2,500). It all depends on what bandwidth you need...

If cost is not a factor in decision, you would always go with Boost over Performance license... correct?

Boost gives you unlimited bandwidth and line rate so yes, if cost is not an issue, you would definitely go with boost...

One quick feedback as to why someone would use the Performance Lic vs Boost. Boost re-purposes service cores on some ISR4000 platforms. This means there MAY not be cores on the router to support container based applications. So if you wish to support container based applications along with performance improvement - you MAY use Perf vs Boost. Select models maybe impacted by the above point


Can someone advise and give me a template config of Cisco 6800. I am redesigning two core Switches for 15,000 users.

Your help is greatly appreciated.




what are you looking for, that is, what does your topology look like ? Below is a link to general software configuration guides...

Old thread but hope below helps to anyone who comes to see this page in future.


Source -


ISR 4000 Performance on Demand license

Common for the new 4000 Family is that all platforms come with fixed maximum performance levels. One fixed base performance level is delivered as factory default with an optional performance-on-demand license to increase the base forwarding throughput. This scenario enables deployment in high-speed WAN environments through performance-on-demand licensing to double or, for one of the platforms, triple the router capacity without any hardware upgrades.

All 4000 platforms have their fixed performance levels set well within actual capacity, with the result that performance does not necessarily degrade when a service is added to the configuration. This setup provides a deterministic performance, eliminating a network administrator’s guesswork when planning for new services.

For a more detailed document on ISR 4000 Series Performance and Platform Scalability, please refer to the Performance Whitepaper at

ISR 4000 Boost License

In addition to the Performance License, customers may now order a Booster (or Boost) License that allows the router to perform between five or more times than that of the throughput with Performance License. In contrast to the deterministic performance described above, in the Booster mode, the router does not provide the deterministic level of performance as provided when operating with the default license or with the Performance license.

The Boost License provides a license tier above the Performance License allowing customers to completely remove the ISR4000’s performance limiters. This will make the ISR 4000 platforms perform at entirely new performance levels, allowing for 4+ Gbps of IP Routing (CEF) performance on the 4400 series ISRs. For deployments using encryption, IPSec throughput with AES 256 increases to 250Mbps on the lowest platform up to 10Gbps on the ISR4461. 


Table 4.             Specifications of Cisco 4000 Family Integrated Services Routers

Technical Specifications

Cisco 4461

Cisco 4451

Cisco 4431

Cisco 4351

Cisco 4331

Cisco 4321

Cisco 4221

Aggregate Throughput (Default)


1 Gbps

500 Mbps

200 Mbps

100 Mbps

50 Mbps


Aggregate Throughput (Performance License)


2 Gbps

1 Gbps

400 Mbps

300 Mbps

100 Mbps

75 Mbps

Aggregate CEF Only[5] Throughput (Boost License)


Over 7Gbps

Over 4Gbps

Over 4Gbps

Over 2Gbps

Over 2Gbps


How much maximum BW can the router C4221 supports, including the boost license( total throughput) ? Thanks.




The Max CEF Bandwidth that 4221 can support is (approx) 1Gbps with Boost