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Cisco outs really big router

One for the telcos

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Cisco marked its 20th birthday this week by unveiling a new router platform for telecoms firms.

The CRS-1 Carrier Routing System carries a huge amount of traffic, scaling up to 92TBps, and it will provide Cisco's carrier grade platform for the next ten years. The product will have a shelf life of 20 years. The router starts shipping in June and will cost around £450,000 a pop. Cisco has not confirmed any orders yet, but says that six telcos are in the frame to buy.

The CRS-1 is big news for the data networking company, which has always been stronger in flogging to corporates than to telecoms firms. The router is the result of $500m R&D supposedly - Cisco sometimes allocates acquisitions to the R&D account, so the headline figure may not be all that. Certainly, the company is not backward in coming forward. At the Silicon Valley launch, CEO John Chambers declared: "I'm not talking about an evolution of existing routing. I'm talking about a whole new generation."

According to press reports, his audience, squeezed into the Computer Science museum in Mountain View, California, were "wowed" by a CRS-1 demo. Hmm, demos of the of servers and routers rank in the wow stakes a little lower than hanging out the laundry. Here is a graph, here is loadsadata - trust us on this - now watch it move on the big overhead.

The CRS-1 demo showed the "ability to handle awesome amounts of traffic. With a four-router beta network set up to move data between the museum and MCI facilities in San Jose and San Francisco at speeds of 40Gbps, Cisco simulated 2500 video-over-IP streams, 2500 video-over-IP conferencing connections, 125,000 online gamers playing simultaneously, 4000 concurrent music downloads, and one million Web browser sessions, all of which ran without glitch for several minutes."

OK, so perhaps this is not visually stimulating, but Cisco has made its point: the CRS-1 opens up huge bandwidth for the telcos. ®

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