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'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto

It's not the CTR next-generation platform that Light Reading highlighted recently, but Cisco Systems Inc. does have a core-router upgrade it's announcing Wednesday.

Aiming for capacities of 400 Gbit/s per slot, up from 160 Gbit/s, the upgrade is called CRS-X, where the "X" can be pronounced "ex" or "ten." Just don't describe it as a long-lost brother.

The 400 Gbit/s comes in the form of cards with four 100Gbit/s Ethernet ports (supplied via Cisco's proprietary CPAK optical modules) that will be available in the second half of the year, says Sri Hosakote, vice president of Cisco's routing group. He adds that the CRS's switch fabric has been capable of this capacity for "a couple of years."

Cisco is announcing SoftBank Mobile Corp. and Verizon Wireless as CRS-X customers.

Why this matters
That Cisco is announcing a CRS upgrade now suggests that the CTR, assuming it really exists, isn't being revealed any day soon. (Darn -- the CTR is supposedly the next-generation successor to CRS, aiming for capacities of 1 Tbit/s per slot.)

Meanwhile, the game of leapfrog for bragging rights on particular features continues. Cisco is now boasting 64 100Gbit/s ports per 7-foot rack for the CRS-X, compared with 80 for the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 (fueled by AlcaLu's own four-port 100Gbit/s card) or 32 per rack for the Juniper Networks Inc. T4000.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Beer
6/14/2013 | 1:58:00 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
"Meanwhile, the game of leapfrog for bragging rights on particular features continues. Cisco is now boasting 64 100Gbit/s ports per 7-foot rack for the CRS-X, compared with 80 for the Alcatel-Lucent 7950".

Craig, that game you just described is called "catch-up", not "leapfrog".
User Rank: Light Beer
6/13/2013 | 7:56:49 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
Can the existing CRS-3 multi-chassis switch fabric work with these new line cards?
Craig Matsumoto
Craig Matsumoto,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/12/2013 | 9:45:12 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
Good point (reiterated by Sarah Miller elsewhere in this thread) -- I'll change the story to reflect it. Thanks.
User Rank: Lightning
6/12/2013 | 8:22:29 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
So, anyone want to take a stab at which backdoor the NSA is using?

GÇ£We hack network backbones GÇö like huge Internet routers, basically GÇö that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,GÇ¥ he told the newspaper.
User Rank: Light Beer
6/12/2013 | 7:40:31 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
Craig, wanted to reiterate Alcatel-Lucent's 7950 XRS is capable of 80x100Gbit/s ports in a single rack vs the 40 cited in your article.
User Rank: Light Beer
6/12/2013 | 12:30:17 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
Visit today's announcement by Cisco at:
Alex Gumirov
Alex Gumirov,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/12/2013 | 12:06:13 PM
re: 'X' Marks Cisco's New Core-Router Upgrade
ALU now ships 4x100GE cards for 7950. So, correctly it is 80x100GE CXP in 7950 XRS-20 versus Cisco CRS-X with 64x100GE CPAK ports.
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