Linux on Cisco Routers? Get Ready for AXP!

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That’s right, run Linux right on your Cisco router! That’s what Cisco’s new Application eXtension Platform or AXP is doing. Now using a network card like a standard AIM module or network module for your ISR router you can load and run Linux on your router to run your applications and even intergrate them with your router using an IOS API.

Cisco AXP provides an open environment for development and integration of your applications. The card goes into your router, has its own memory, hard drive/flash drive, gigabit ethernet connection and uses a hardened version of Linux customized by Cisco.

Now think about this for a minute just from a selfish networkers point of view. We can now run MRTG, Cacti, SNORT, Nagios, SawMill, phpIP, or any other open source application that runs using PERL, Python, Java, PHP,etc. Plus, Cisco provides an API directly into the IOS to determine link up/down, performance, CLI, adjusting QoS, creating dynamics tunnels, or viewing any other state of the router.

From a user/customer point of view security is now improved to allow for complete security for sensitive data transmission from branch offices. Medical HPPA requirements for secure patient data, banking information, or any data that needs additional security can be sent and stored directly from the router. This creates completely aware network applications. The possibilities are now huge!!

Features of AXP

  • Supported by Cisco 1841, 2800 Series, and 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers
  • Linux-based integration environment with downloadable SDK
  • Extensible Cisco CLI with Cisco IOS APIs
  • Multiple applications support with the ability to segment and guarantee CPU, memory, and disk resources
  • Certified libraries to implement C, Python, Perl, and Java applications
  • For more information check it out on Cisco’s website:
    Introduction to AXP
    AXP Data Sheet

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    Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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