I see both names referred to in the manufacturer's literature.

Is one part of the other? Are they both the same thing?

My reason for asking is that I'm trying to standardize an organization's system list, and I'd like to be consistent in how I name these systems.

EDIT: Here's an excerpt from a table in a Cisco brochure (for another product line, but that doesn't matter) that illustrates what I'm asking. The original brochure is here:


Under the "Chassis" column, the term "Router" is used. The product line is "Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Service Routers". See why I'm confused?

Chassis                     Rack    Part Numbers + Add'l Notes
Cisco ASR 1001 Router       1RU     ASR1001, ASR1001-2XOC3POS,
                                    ASR1001-4TX3, ASR1001-HDD,
                                    ASR1001-4X1GE, and ASR1001-8XCHT1E1
Cisco ASR 1002 Router
Cisco ASR 1002-X Router     2RU     ASR1002, ASR1002-X
Cisco ASR 1004 Router       4RU     ASR1004
Cisco ASR 1006 Router       6RU     ASR1006
Cisco ASR 1013 Router       13RU    ASR1013 (with option for quad
                                             power supply)
  • 2
    the 7613 is a chassis based router, where you fill the 13 slots with various line cards/blades as your environment dictates. – TheCleaner Sep 6 '13 at 21:05
  • So is the chassis what you have before you add any functionality? – John Sep 6 '13 at 21:31
  • 2
    It's just the housing for the various cards that go into the slots. Think blade server chassis. Or tool chest. Or crayon box. Or wallet. – TheCleaner Sep 6 '13 at 21:39
  • 1
    define Chassis: A frame or housing containing electrical or mechanical equipment. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chassis – Zoredache Sep 6 '13 at 21:51

I can understand your confusion -- it stems from Cisco using its own terminology in a somewhat inconsistent way.

In the case of the 7600 series (and most of Cisco's high-end gear) you have a chassis and modules. The modules that you put into a 7600 series chassis can be routing modules, switching modules, or service modules -- It's a flexible system.

So what's the difference? As the others said in the comments, the chassis is an empty box (usually with power supplies and nothing else). The router is the chassis, plus the modules you need for your environment.

You wouldn't call up your Cisco reseller and say "I need a 7613 router" -- such a product doesn't exist until you assemble it.
Instead you would call and say "I need a 7613 chassis with two SUP720s, four Catalyst gigabit modules, and an AGM", which would be one option for how to assemble "a 7613 router".

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