Cisco built Carrier Routing System to change its image in the industry

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Cisco Systems Inc.’s CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, launched here last month, represents about five years of development effort costing about US$500 million, company officials said.

But the total market for this type of device, which is designed for carriers offering video,

voice and data services over a single Internet Protocol (IP) network, is about US$1 to $2 billion, said Mike Volpi, senior vice-president and general manager of Cisco’s routing technology group.

The market segment this will serve is not huge by Cisco standards, Volpi said, but added the development of the CRS-1 was an opportunity to “”show the world”” that Cisco can develop this type of product from scratch.

“”It was critically important to change the perception that Cisco was not a technology leader,”” Volpi said during the launch.

The CRS-1 launch is significant because a major equipment manufacturer is making a product with capabilities similar to that available in products made by Juniper Networks Inc., said Shin Umeda, principal analyst for the Dell Oro Group of Redwood City, Calif., who attended the launch.

CRS-1, which ships this month, is designed to perform edge, core, peering and service aggregation routing functions in one device with 40 gigabit per second customer ports. It is aimed at carriers and service providers wanting to provide services such as video conferencing, video on demand, online gaming, voice and virtual private networks over IP networks.

“”The majority of my communications is over the Web, not by e-mail, but by video,”” Cisco president and chief executive officer John Chambers said during a press conference. “”That will be the way that most employees communicate five years from now.””

Although the product can scale to 92 Tbps, Cisco will initially start selling the CRS-1 in a single-shelf configuration, with a 16-slot line card chassis with a total capacity of 1.2 Tbps.

The multi-shelf configuration uses up to eight fabric card chassis to connect up to 72 16-slot line card chassis. Multi-shelf configurations will be introduced later this year, depending on when customers ask for them, said Tony Bates, vice-president and general manager of the routing technology group of Cisco’s carrier core multi-services business unit.

Bates said the availability of the 92 Tbps version would depend on when customers want it. Company officials suggested it will be a long time before carriers need routers with this capability.

Cisco’s Intelligent ServiceFlex design separates traffic and network operations by service or by customer.

The demand for this type of service will increase as more customers get broadband access, such as cable and digital subscriber line (DSL), Umeda said.

About 500 engineers — nearly 100 of them based in Ottawa — worked on developing the CRS-1, Bates said.

Christian Bazinet, marketing manager for Cisco Systems Canada Co., said Cisco has demonstrated the product to Bell Canada and Telus.

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