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Cisco pushes optical router

256Gbps switching, 30m packets per second

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Cisco has introduced a high-end router which is designed to deliver IP services at optical speeds.

The Cisco 7600 Optical Services Router (OSR), which is designed for the optical and core layers of service provider networks, has been introduced at a time when sales of networking kit to telcos are in decline, with investment not expected to pick up for at least six months.

However Cisco is confident of strong sales of the router because it allows telcos to introduce new services while protecting their investment in existing kit, by giving an upgrade path from Cisco 7500 series routers. The router is one of the first fruits of Cisco's IP+Optical strategy, which was announced at the end of last month.

The pitch for the router is that it allows service providers to create profitable, value-added services while meeting customers' demands for faster, higher performing networks. Among the services Cisco sees introduced in this way are video and voice convergence, network-based security, and internet-based application, such as e-learning.

The Cisco 7600 OSR incorporates features from the Catalyst 6500 Lan switch, but adds optical connectivity through Optical Services Modules (OSM) and the ability to deliver Gigabit Ethernet over a Metropolitan Area Network through high-speed linecards. It also features Packet over Sonet (Synchronous Optical Networking) and ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) interface options.

The Cisco 7600 OSR consists of a 256 Gbps switching fabric and a 30 million packets per second forwarding engine.

Instead of ASICs, Cisco's optical router features proprietary network processor technology called Parallel eXpress Forwarding, which can support different IP services by upgrading the software. Each OSM has two PXF processors capable of 12 mpps of IP services delivery per interface card.

The Cisco 7600 OSR system is listed at $73,000 and entry level systems, with interfaces, start at $100,000. ®

External links

More info on the Cisco 7600 Optical Services Router

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