Despite claims from Cisco that its CRS-3 Internet core router will "change the Internet" industry analysts aren’t so sure Australia needs the technology just yet.
Cisco recently announced the successor to its CRS-1 Internet core router, initially released in 2004. The company claims the CRS-3 router will provide bandwidth of up to 322 terabits per second (Tbps) in a multi-chassis environment, or 120Gbps per slot. The router’s bandwidth capacity is enough for every person in China to make a video call simultaneously, according to Cisco.
IDC analyst David Cannon, however, said the router’s is not likely to have ramifications for Australian businesses in the short term.
"You won't see any pure ISP players investing in such network infrastructure anytime soon," he said. "Australian service providers essentially refreshed their core networks over the last five years, so a lot of the CRS-1 routers have already been installed."
Telstra and APC are known to use Cisco CRS-1 core routers, while Optus uses a Juniper solution.
Australia is already “ahead of the curve in relation to other countries in terms of our core infrastructure,” Cannon said.
“Considering the size of the population there wouldn't be a requirement to consider CRS-3 type infrastructure for five years.”
The biggest obstacle for Internet bandwidth in Australia remains the last mile connection between service providers and the business or individual, he said.
“Once [the National Broadband Network] is built and consumers can take advantage of the applications that are made available by the last mile technology, it will be at the time that you'll see investment in that sort of technology. That's ten years away.”
IBRS, Guy Cranswick, said the timing of the router’s announcement was apt, “as Internet technologies, cloud and the media content delivery online is consolidating and maturing”.
Even so, Cranswick told Computerworld Australia that the new bandwidth capacity will likely suit the top 5 per cent of enterprises in Australia.
Cannon noted that Cisco’s CRS-3 core router is likely to have larger ramifications in “major markets with high populations like the Chinas of the world, the Americas of the world where there is significant core network investment taking place”.
Video and cloud services are Cisco’s key targets for the new router. However, Cannon thinks that even though cloud services and virtualised desktops are likely to form a large part of the Australian business environment, existing infrastructure will be sufficient for the time being.
“Cisco has essentially provided this technology so that the core routing technologies can actually handle that. It's an impressive technology and it is the fundamental enabler of all of these services that service providers hope to offer going forward."