Cisco turns out router for service providers

To ramp up the deployment of advanced IP services, Cisco Systems has rolled out a new router targeting the edge of Tier 1 Internet service provider networks.

And Cisco appears to be fueling the fire at a particularly good time. Market watcher Cahners In-Stat Group recently forecasted that revenue generated from the deployment of IP services will surge in coming years, reaching approximately $70 billion in the US by 2004.

The Cisco 10000 Edge Services Router is built around Cisco's PXF (Parallel Express Forwarding) technology, which uses a parallel network processor design to speed IP services. The design lets many processors share the packet load simultaneously, providing a consistent way to move packets so performance remains constant, Cisco said.

Cisco also uses PXF in its 7200 router, and the company said it plans to use the technology across a broad array of platforms.

"[The edge] is strategically important to the industry because that is where you apply the value-added services," said Dale Jantzen, director of marketing for the aggregation business unit at Cisco. "In the core, you don't want to touch the packets, because you want to switch them as fast as you can," he said.

According to Cisco, boosting the performance at the edge of the network means new revenue streams for ISPs and in turn lets them offer enterprise customers advanced services and a way to get more functionality from Internet connections.

"Value-added services let service providers differentiate their offerings," Jantzen said. "It lets them offer basic or premium Internet access, special treatment of data, and security features. And customers will pay more for these [features]."

Now in early field trials, Cisco's 10000 Edge Services Router will begin shipping in May, priced at approximately $550 per T1 port.

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