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Cisco Catalyst 8500

The Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are high-performance cloud edge platforms designed for accelerated services, multi-layer security, cloud-native agility, and edge intelligence to accelerate your journey to cloud.

Foundation for Software-Defined WAN

Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms (Catalyst 8500 and Catalyst 8500L) with Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN Software deliver Cisco’s secure, cloud-scale SD-WAN solution for aggregation sites. The Catalyst 8500 Edge Platforms feature the all-new third-generation Cisco Quantum Flow Processor (QFP), the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are built for services from the ground up. The Catalyst 8500L Edge Platform features an x86 based platform architecture that is purpose built to continue delivering the same experience as an ASR1000 platform. The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are compact 1RU devices with flexible interface options, including 1GE, 10GE, 40GE, and 100GE ports. Powered by Cisco IOS XE, fully programmable software architecture, and API support, these platforms can facilitate automation at scale to achieve zero-touch IT capability while migrating workloads to the cloud.

Overall platform benefits

Accelerated services with Cisco Software-Defined WAN

Cisco SD-WAN is a set of intelligent software services that allow you to connect users, devices, and branch office locations reliably and securely across a diverse set of WAN transport links. Cisco Catalyst 8000 Series Edge Platforms can dynamically route traffic across the “best” link based on up-to-the-minute application and network conditions for great application experiences. You get tight control over application performance, bandwidth usage, data privacy, and availability of your WAN links—control you need as your branches conduct greater volumes of mission-critical business with both on-premises and cloud controllers.

Application optimization

Ensure that SD-WAN networks meet Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) and maintain strong performance, even if network problems occur. With multi-cloud access, you can accelerate your SaaS applications with a simple template push from the SD-WAN controller.

Multi-layer security

You can now move your traditional and complex WAN networks to a more agile software-defined WAN with integrated security. The Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms feature on-premises and cloud-based security options.

Application visibility

Applications and users are more distributed than ever, and the internet has effectively become the new enterprise WAN. As organizations continue to embrace internet, cloud, and SaaS, network and IT teams are challenged to deliver consistent and reliable connectivity and application performance over networks and services they don’t own or directly control.

The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are integrated with Cisco ThousandEyes internet and cloud intelligence. IT managers now have expanded visibility, including hop-by-hop analytics, into network underlay, proactive monitoring of SD-WAN overlay, and performance measurement of SaaS applications. This granular visibility ultimately lowers the Mean Time to Identification of Issues (MTTI) and accelerates resolution time.

Cloud-native agility with programmable software architecture

Cisco continues to offer a feature-rich traditional IOS XE routing stack on the Cisco Catalyst 8000 Series Edge Platforms. IP Routing, IPSec, Quality of Service (QoS), firewall, Network Address Translation (NAT), Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR), Flexible NetFlow (FNF), and many other features are part of Cisco IOS XE, a fully programmable software architecture with API support and a wide variety of protocols and configurations. With an integrated software image and a single binary file, you can now choose between Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN and Cisco IOS XE. And easily move from one to the other when you choose to do so.


The Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are built for future 5G networks. These platforms support external cellular gateway modules with LTE/5G capability for improved throughputs and latency.

Compact form factor

The Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge platforms feature compact 1RU platforms with rich interface options, including 1G, 10G, 40G, and 100G ports. Featuring the highly efficient third-generation QFP, the Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are built without compromising on performance and ports.