Cisco launches four-slot CRS-1

Cisco this week launched the smallest version yet of its biggest router -- a four-slot Carrier Routing System-1, intended to extend 40Gbps from a core network to regional carrier POPs, Cisco says.

The four-slot CRS-1 joins its eight and sixteen slot brethren and offers carriers another tool for expanding 40Gbps, or OC-768 connectivity throughout a network. The device includes four slots which can support four-port OC-192 (10Gbps) line cards, or single-port 40Gbps blades. The box also includes several traffic shaping and network virtualization features aimed at serving business and consumer network customers, Cisco says.

The four-slot CRS-1 supports up to 320Gbps of total routing capacity, Cisco says. Traffic management features in the router also allow users to carve up bandwidth or network services for various customers, with Secure Domain Routers. This feature allows users to create a virtual router for each line card in a CRS-1 system. The traffic on virtual Secure Domain Routers is segregated from other network segments, keeping various customer's data from mixing, and allowing carriers to apply different rules to traffic, and use different protocols and technologies for customer networks.

(For instance, a CRS-1 serving both a consumer video on demand -- VOD -- network and a business services network could activate multicast on a VOD Secure domain router, and MPLS and IP VPN services on the business network virtual router, Cisco says).

The four-slot CRS-1 was an important piece in the puzzle for Sprint's nationwide network upgrade, which will begin this quarter using CRS-1s across all levels of the network. The smaller size of the four-slot CRS-1 will allow Sprint to expand the reach of its 40Gbps network to smaller locations, which may have only had 10Gbps connectivity in the past, according to Iyad Tarazi, vice president of network development at Sprint.

The smaller-size CRS-1 can also operate with multiple CRS-1 chassis in Cisco's multi-chassis routing configuration, which allows multiple CRS-1 boxes to be lashed together for greater failover and distributed router processing capabilities, Cisco says.

The four-slot CRS-1 will be available in November starting at US$160,000.

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