Cisco builds next-generation router

Cisco has tripled the capacity of its key carrier-grade router

The CRS-3 Carrier Routing System can route up to 322Tbit/s, three times as much as its predecessor, the CRS-1. Cisco says this capacity would enable the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress to be downloaded in just over one second; every man, woman and child in China to make a video call at once; or every film ever made to be streamed in less than four minutes. The company claims the CRS-3 has more than 12 times the capacity of any other core router in the industry.

AT&T has tried out the CRS-3 in a live 100Gbit network linking New Orleans and Miami.

Keith Cambron, president and CEO, AT&T Labs, said: "AT&T's network handled 40 per cent more traffic in 2009 than it did in the previous year, and we continue to see this growth in 2010. Having leading-edge experience in managing the largest global data network, we are pleased to continue our close working relationship with Cisco and its groundbreaking Cisco CRS-3 platform."

The CRS-3 is also designed to support the rise of cloud-based computing, through support of both IPv6 and core IP/MPLS technologies that should make it easier to run more architecturally efficient networks. Other features include a network positioning system, which provides Layers 3 to 7 application information to enable applications to work out the best path to content, and a 'cloud virtual private network' for Infrastructure as a Service that will make it possible to offer 'pay-as-you-go' computing, storage and network resources.

Cisco is also claiming that its new router will be cheaper to run, consuming up to 60 per cent less energy than competing models. The CRS-3 will also be able to re-use aspects of a CRS-1 installation, such as the chassis, route processors, fans and power systems, by adding new line cards and fabric.

The router is driven by a new Cisco QuantumFlow Array Processor, which unifies the combined power of six chips to work as one, enabling unprecedented levels of service capabilities and processing power.

Pankaj Patel, senior vice president and general manager, service provider business at Cisco, said: "The next generation Internet is upon us and we are confident that the Cisco CRS-3 will play a crucial role as service providers like AT&T deliver an exciting new array of video, mobile, data centre and cloud services."

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