Cisco Routers


*** for a full listing of all Cisco products, see the online Cisco Catalog

*** for list prices, you can  download the price list here (2.8 MB zipped) (dated Aug 2004).  Or to stay up-to-date with the most recent pricing, you will need to periodically Download the latest online Price List (this is a Cisco secured site - you will need to obtain a login ID and special access w/purchasing or ordering privileges).



Cisco has a huge website with tons of details on their routers and associated hardware.   Unfortunately, it is very difficult to understand and put together router “bundles” (the router, and the cards).  Here we demystify the process by concentrating only on the most commonly used routers and parts.


Putting Together a Router Package

 The question is . . . use a cookbook design (bundle), or start from scratch?  The rule of thumb is, if you have a recent cookbook (tried and true) package - USE IT !!  But also realize that the components change quite often.  The IOS may be new, the cards may be EOL (End Of Life), EOS (End Of Sale), etc.  So if you do use a pre-approved package, at least check to make sure the components are not EOL or EOS.



How to Check a part or software for EOL/EOS and Field Notices -  


goto the EOL & EOS Notices website and check each part and the IOS Internet Operating System)


goto the Field Notices website ( ) and check for any problems or issues 


Also, if you go to the Cisco product page for each component, it will tell you if that particular part is EOL or EOS.  You can also stay up-to-date on this, and sign up to receive EOL/EOS & other alerts via email (you will need a Cisco login account to get in) at: - these alerts include not only EOL & EOS info, bur also security bugs in the IOS, patch info, etc.  If you select "All Products and Alerts" it is a lot of emails, just to warn you (about 5 per week) - so it is best to create a folder under your Inbox in Outlook, and then add a Rule to automatically move all incoming alerts to that folder (use Tools/Rules Wizard).


*** see the Cisco "Tools and Resources" page for all 


Which IOS to Use - the most recent IOS changes regularly, but most corporations do not trust the newest release of each IOS, and do not want to be the guinea pig for testing it out - so they use an earlier, but still fairly recent version.


IOS Selection Rule of Thumb - take the most recent IOS, and back off one version


Configurator Limitations - most people go to the Cisco “configurator” website to create their packages.  This is a Cisco site that has built-in intelligence, and the ability to perform a final “sanity check” to make sure the components you select will co-exist peacefully.  Unfortunately, it does not check for the workability of the package you create !!  In addition, it does not describe the components !!  For example, suppose you want to put together a Cisco 7204 and need a DS1 and DS3 WAN connection – you select the router and then try to add the required NM’s and Cards.  You will then see a long list of parts, and unless you have put one of these packages together before – you will not know which parts to select !!!  That’s where this paper comes in handy.


Here we will step you through a series of Cisco routers and parts – and describe previously proven bundles - to help you make the decision.  We will list specific sets of Telecom requirements, and then cross reference those requirements with a solution.  Oddly, Cisco has never done this on their website.


Cisco Links - there is no comparable document on the Cisco website, but there are some very useful links which are listed throughout this paper.  First, here is a list of the Cisco Router families: