Cisco expands switch family for metro networks

Cisco Systems introduced a couple of new routers Tuesday, one for metropolitan area networks and another for the so-called edge of the network, designed to let carriers offer services to consumers and businesses.

Cisco introduced the 10720 Internet router for the metropolitan area, a product that uses dynamic packet transport, Cisco's version of resilient packet-ring technology for increasing the optical bandwidth available to service providers without sacrificing redundancy. The router lets service providers offer Ethernet services in metropolitan areas to multi-tenant buildings; services the router can provide include LAN services, IP VPNs (virtual private networks), premium transit services to prioritize data transit, and VoIP (voice over IP).

Although Cisco has other products like Ethernet switches for the metropolitan area, this is the first IP router the company has released for this market, said Rob Redford, vice president of the high-end IP group at Cisco. This router is meant to be complementary to its other product offerings for the metro area, he said.

Fully equipped, a 10720 is priced at US$43,000, with immediate worldwide availability, he said.

Also, Cisco released the 12404 Internet router, a 10G bps (bits per second) switch for the edge of the network designed to let carriers provide services directly to consumers and businesses. Routers in the 12000 family had until now been designed to work in the core of the Internet's infrastructure. But Cisco also announced Tuesday that its 12000 series routers can now be equipped with edge-optimized line cards that are designed to deliver services like IP video and VPN to businesses and consumers. The 12404 takes up 1/8 of a rack, has a $25,000 base price and is also immediately available worldwide.

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