Cisco router could take carriers to 92 Tbps

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Cisco Systems Inc. Tuesday launched the CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, which the equipment manufacturer claims can be configured to allow service providers to route traffic at up to 92 Terabits per second (Tbps).


can use the CRS-1 to combine edge, core, peering and service aggregation routing in one closet or building, said Mike Volpi, senior vice-president and general manager of Cisco’s routing technology group.

Volpi, who spoke to about 200 journalists, analysts and customers Monday at the Computer History Museum, described the product as a “”logical router,”” because different routing tables can be added and removed from different components of the device.

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.

Each port will deliver 40 Gigabits per second of bandwidth to the customer to whom it’s connected.

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 after July, 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 Canada’s marketing manager, Christian Bazinet, said the CRS-1 is designed to meet carriers’ needs for 10 to 20 years. Carriers are beta testing the CRS-1 now on their converged multi-service Internet Protocol (IP) networks.

“”We want to take our video conferencing (service) and turn it up a notch,”” Jonathan Crane, president of international and broadband markets for MCI said at the launch.

He added MCI is “”very focussed on IP”” and helping customers deliver multimedia content.

The CRS-1 is designed to help carriers sell real-time multimedia services, such as video conferencing, Internet gaming, video on demand and voice over IP because 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), said Shin Umeda, principal analyst for the Dell’Oro Group of Redwood City, Calif.

The CRS-1 launch is significant because a major equipment manufacturer is making a product with capabilities similar to that offered by products from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper Networks Inc., Umeda added.

A lot of the design work for the CRS-1 was done in Canada, Bazinet said, adding Cisco has demonstrated the product to Bell Canada and Telus, and he expects a Canadian carrier or service provider will be an early adopter.

Cisco is not taking orders yet, but is beta testing with several carriers, including MCI, Deutsche Telekom, NTT Communications and Sprint Corp.

Sprint was attracted to the product because of its bandwidth and upgrade capabilities, said Kathryn Walker, the carrier’s executive vice-president of network services.

Cisco says the CRS-1 can be upgraded and changed without bringing the network down. It includes the IOS XR, a microkernel-based operating system with different modules, each of which can be upgraded while the system is up and running.

Other components include an OC-768c/STM-256c packet interface, the Silicon Packet Processor with a 40 Gbps application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and an Extensible Markup Language (XML) management tool.

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