Software Selection

The next step is to select the appropriate software features; when using Cisco equipment, the software is the Cisco IOS. As illustrated in Figure 5-21, the Cisco IOS Software has been optimized for different markets, network roles, and platforms. Cisco IOS Software meets the requirements of various markets (enterprise, service provider, and commercial) and places in the network (access, core and distribution, and edge).


Suited for access layer devices, Cisco IOS Software T releases support advanced technology business solutions.

Suited for the enterprise core and service provider edge, Cisco IOS Software S releases support voice transport, video, multicast, MPLS VPN, and advanced technologies, such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN and integrated services architecture.

Suited for large-scale networks, Cisco IOS Software XR releases provide high availability with in-service software upgrades.

Cisco IOS software product lines share a common base of technologies. Most of the features available in the T releases for a given technology are also available in the S and XR releases.

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