Cisco exec touts new core router's 100G Ethernet, energy efficiency

New core router will deal with "a big part of this next generation Internet - the emergence of cloud."

Cisco CRS-3 core router will replace its predecessor, the CRS-1, pictured (Credit: Wikipedia)

Cisco CRS-3 core router will replace its predecessor, the CRS-1, pictured (Credit: Wikipedia)

Cisco's new CRS-3 core router, which the company has boasted will "forever change the Internet," will come with 100Gbps Ethernet interfaces and 322Tbps multichassis interconnect capability.

The router also will support software to help make data center and cloud computing resources more available to users, and will use 60% less power than its predecessor, the CRS-1, said Mike Capuano, Cisco's director of service provider marketing, in an interview following Tuesday's announcement.

Cisco expects to ship the 120G per slot system, which has three times the capacity of the CRS-1, in the third quarter.

100G Ethernet cheat sheet

Some wonder whether such capacity claims are all that meaningful, however, in that Cisco never really delivered on it 92Tbps promises with the CRS-1. The largest CRS-1 multichassis deployment connects eight CRS-1s into a 10Tbps system, Capuano acknowledges.

So will any carrier really need a 322Tbps system any time soon?

"We're continuing to increase the size of our multichassis deployments at a pace where we're meeting customer demand," Capuano said. "We don't want to get ahead of them; we have to time it so that we're delivering the right set of capabilities as time progresses. It's all designed in from the beginning."

Capuano also said all CRS-1 modules are forward compatible with the new router.

The CRS-3 delivers the industry's most energy efficient core router, according to Capuano. It consumes 2.75 watts/gigabit, almost half that of rival Juniper's 4.4 watts/gigabit on the T1600, he said.

The single port 100G Ethernet interface for the CRS-3 supports "singleflow" 100G transmissions through Cisco's QuantumFlow Array chipset. It transmits a single 100G flow while other 100G Ethernet interfaces take two 50G forwarding engines and multiplex traffic across them, Capuano said.

"That makes it much harder to do a multichassis design," he said.

For delivery of data center and cloud services, the CRS-3 supports Cisco software called Data Center Services System. The software detects changes in traffic patterns of workloads between data centers and locates the best path to access compute and storage resources, or content. It works with another attribute of the Data Center Services System software called Cloud VPNs to set up a secure MPLS connection between data centers to balance workloads.

"That's a big part of this next generation Internet -- the emergence of cloud," Capuano said. "It requires scale, savings and service intelligence."

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