June 3, 2008

Run Linux (or Windows) in your Cisco ISR Router

Sounds good isn’t it? :) I remember the times when I flashed a Cisco 2500 series router with a ucLinux image. It was nice to see Linux booting on a Cisco router, even tho’ it was unusable :-( The interfaces didn’t work at all, the only thing that was working was a console access to the Linux CLI.

But this time I wanted to write about something different. Cisco was already using Linux as a base operating system on several products like Wireless LAN Controllers, ASA, etc. Cisco has lately announced a new Network Module (Cisco Application eXtension Platform (AXP)), available for Cisco ISR series routers, that contains a small motherboard with CPU, RAM, and a Hard Disk Drive.

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The great thing about the AXP module is that there is preinstalled a fully functional Linux (and I have heard that there is also a Windows 2008 Server version) operating system with basic tools. What’s more, there is an API that allows you to create your own Linux applications that will directly interact with your Cisco ISR router. And as Cisco ISR routers are designed to be used in Branch Offices, now you can pretty easily integrate your email server, or whatever simple Linux (or perhaps Windows (Domain Controller)) application into a single box, thus saving space, electricity power and making your network services management much more simpler!

To find out more about AXP, please go to cisco.com/go/axp