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Connecting and Protecting the Things that Matter Most: Cisco Unveils New 5G Industrial Router Portfolio to Unite the IoT Edge

(see original release here)

News Summary:

  • Cisco’s new IoT router portfolio is the broadest on the market, bringing reliable connectivity to any IoT edge use case to run connected operations securely and at scale.
  • The portfolio provides unprecedented modularity to future-proof the network with a broad variety of access technologies including Wi-Fi 6, 5G, 4G, Private LTE, FirstNet and Wi-SUN.
  • Leading brands around the world including Landis+Gyr share how they are working with Cisco to unite edge networks and scale IoT deployments.

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 15, 2021 Today, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced a new portfolio of Catalyst industrial routers to extend the power of the enterprise network to the edge with the flexibility, security and scalability needed for IoT success. Featuring 5G capabilities today, the portfolio enables organizations to run connected operations at scale with choice of management tools suited for both IT and operations. The unified architecture simplifies collaboration between IT and operations and streamlines their deployments from the enterprise to the edge.

For most of our customers, the opportunity to improve efficiencies, the customer experience, and business results is achieved with data generated at the edge. Because the edge is all the places where organizations serve their customers and create revenue. The edge is diverse and is located anywhere and everywhere – from utility substations and pipelines to roadways and the police cars and buses that run on them. According to Gartner, 75% of data will be generated outside of the data center in these edge environments[1]. This type of growth brings challenging new requirements.  

Unite your edge with Cisco Industrial Routers

Whether it’s connecting point-of-sale kiosks or a remote piece of equipment, edge use cases have different technology needs. Typically, organizations connect these environments in isolation, resulting in a fragmented network architecture, increased security vulnerabilities, and isolated data. As organizations accelerate digitization, they need a way to simplify management and security across the network and edge devices.

“Only Cisco offers a network from the enterprise to the industrial edge, with an architecture that provides visibility, automation, and security from campuses and branch offices to substations, remote operating locations, fleets, on-the-go connected assets, and beyond,” said Vikas Butaney, VP/GM of Cisco IoT.

The new portfolio includes:

  • Three new Catalyst 5G Industrial Routers to securely connect mobile and fixed assets: These new routers are based on Cisco IOS XE to extend the enterprise network and SD-WAN to the edge. This unified architecture provides IT and operational teams with consistent tools, eliminates training on new devices and technologies, and improves security. The new Catalyst routers are modular and also offer built-in edge compute to develop business apps and drive decisions at the edge.
  • New Cisco IoT Gateway Series for essential indoor or outdoor connectivity at mass scale: Packaged with Cisco’s cloud-based IoT Operations Dashboard, these cloud-simple gateways are cost-effective and offer fast and simple set up; simply plug it in and power it on to connect previously unconnected assets.

Unprecedented modularity and scale to handle the 5G future and beyond

The need for data means organizations will increase the number of devices connected and the applications supported. As 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and new technologies proliferate, the edge must be able to quickly adapt. The time is now to prepare the edge to handle the future.

The new Catalyst routing portfolio delivers the scale, flexibility and security to adapt as use cases evolve and new applications are needed. It offers a broad choice of modules – including 5G and LTE for public or private cellular networks, public safety applications like FirstNet, DSL, Wi-SUN – and upgradeable storage. Plus, the portfolio enables updating the CPU and battery in the field.

“Our customers need our hardware to be in play for 7-10 years in their operational environments. This modularity eliminates a rip and replace cycle to take advantage of 5G and whatever comes next,” added Vikas. “Now they can easily take advantage of new technologies and future-proof their networking investments.”

Built-in, end-to-end security with visibility into operational environments

As industrial and enterprise networks converge with more assets connected, the threat of exposure at the edge increases. This ever-expanding attack surface presents complex cyber security challenges.

The Catalyst industrial router portfolio, based on Cisco’s industry-leading cybersecurity architecture, delivers a holistic strategy to manage security across siloed IT and OT environments. The portfolio integrates Cisco Cyber Vision to provide full visibility from enterprise to the edge. Cyber Vision embeds a sensor within the industrial network so security teams can detect threats to their industrial environments with operational context, enabling organizations to build a truly converged IT/operations threat management strategy – without the need for extra boxes and vendors. Plus, the portfolio supports secure remote access for operations and equipment monitoring/servicing. 

The new Cisco Catalyst Industrial Routers are available starting in June.

Industry response:

“Managing the complexity of the industrial edge is challenging. Beyond multiple use cases — each of which has different protocols, connectivity requirements, form factors and security. As a result, there are often multiple vendors involved, creating siloed networks, increased maintenance time and cyber security risks. Uniting this unruly edge can be the gateway to real transformation. Approaches like Cisco’s new industrial routing portfolio potentially simplifies the management of this complexity, securely and at scale.” —  Kevin Prouty, Group Vice President for IDC Energy and Manufacturing Insights.

“As a core part of supporting critical infrastructure, utilities require networking products that provide long life, enable open standards to prevent vendor lock-in, and strengthen end-to-end security with tight integration to their enterprise systems. By unifying the routing capabilities across their portfolio with modularity, support for the Wi-SUN standard, and a choice of public and private cellular technologies, Cisco is bringing a reliable, scalable and future-proof platform our utility customers demand.” — Tim Weidenbach, SVP of Technologies, Landis+Gyr

“With the new line of cellular gateways, Cisco is positioned to deliver the most complete IoT solution for industrial vertical markets,” — Mike Finley, President & COO, INS

Supporting Resources:

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