I’ve been working with ASR9k for some time. Even if the ASR9k is a Cisco router, it does not use IOS but IOS XR. IOS XR is a specific software that is available on ASR9k, Cisco 12k and CRS-1.
Currently there is three types of software on Cisco Routers. The classical IOS, the IOS XE and the IOS XR.
Classical IOS is on the market for a long time. I start to work with IOS version 10 on Cisco 2500 routers. You will find this IOS on entry level routers like ISR or Enterprise switches like 6500 or 3750. This IOS is a monolythic OS. That means that all the features are in one file and if one function on the system fail most likely all the system fail. Also that mean that if you want to upgrade the Operating System, you need to reboot the system.
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