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Cisco’s New CRS-1 Router

Cisco Systems has released specs on the forthcoming Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, a new class of router designed to deliver continuous system operation, service flexibility and extended system longevity to telecommunications service providers and research organizations. According to Cisco, the CRS-1 routing system will help enable customers to scale network capacity to new levels and deliver next-generation data, voice and video services over a converged Internet Protocol (IP) network while protecting their investments in the system.

“The Cisco CRS-1 is a result of Cisco’s partnership with our service provider customers to redefine how next-generation IP networks are built to deliver data, voice and video applications,” said Mike Volpi, senior vice president and general manager of Routing Technology Group, Cisco Systems.

“To be profitable, service providers are focusing on network and service convergence to reduce total cost of ownership, and adding new, revenue-generating services. The Cisco CRS-1 sets new industry standards for reliability, IP service flexibility and scalability, which will enable service providers to become more cost-efficient while delivering a new suite of exciting, multimedia services to business and residential customers.”

CRS-1 Specs

The Cisco CRS-1 consists of a series of new hardware and software innovations that include Cisco IOS XR Software, a new member of the Cisco IOS Software family, designed for terabit-scale routing systems built on massively distributed multishelf architectures.

The Cisco CRS-1 will scale system capacity up to 92 Terabits per second. The system architecture combines the Cisco Silicon Packet Processor, which the company is calling the first programmable 40-Gbps ASIC, with the Cisco Service Separation Architecture for service flexibility and speed. The Cisco CRS-1 includes two major elements, Line-Card Shelves and Fabric Shelves, combinations of which allow the Cisco CRS-1 to scale from 16 40-Gbps slots to as many 1,152 40-Gbps slots in 72 Line-Card shelves interconnected using eight Fabric Shelves, all operating as a single system.

“As a leading carrier of data and voice worldwide, Sprint diligently works to ensure its network can meet growing service and capacity needs in a cost-effective manner, which is why we were excited to provide insight into the Cisco CRS-1 design early on,” said Kathy Walker, executive vice president of Network Services at Sprint. “Some key benefits a core routing system such as the Cisco CRS-1 will provide are flexibility, scalability and modular design, which will help to simplify network management and allow for efficient growth based on network needs.”

Continuous System Operation

The Cisco CRS-1 will provide continuous system operation, permitting maintenance and upgrades without any service interruptions, according to the company. This fault-tolerance capability is achieved through Cisco IOS XR Software, a self-healing operating system for multishelf carrier infrastructures scaling up to 92 Tbps.

The memory-protected, microkernel-based operating system enables process-level in-service upgrades, and enables distributed processing by separating of the control, data and management planes. This modular design provides fault containment and automatic fault recovery so that processes can be started, stopped and upgraded without human intervention.

In addition, the Cisco CRS-1 features self-defending network capabilities to recognize disruptive activities, such as distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, with hardware- and software-based infrastructure.

The Cisco CRS-1 features operationally efficient system management through command-line-interface (CLI) enhancements, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) or XML-based interfaces. The new XML-based Craft Works Interface (CWI) is a visual management tool that can manage single-shelf or multishelf systems.

“As one of the leading carriers in Europe, T-Com makes sure that our core infrastructures are future-proof and able to implement IP/MPLS services onto a highly available and flexible IP-based network,” said Wolfgang Schmitz, senior executive vice president for technical engineering at T-Com, Deutsche Telekom’s fixed-network division.

“This strategy will enable us to enhance operational efficiency and optimize profitability. The Cisco CRS-1 system offers new levels of scalability and innovation as a foundation for our next-generation IP services.”

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