Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is all over the news map this morning, as it has four big routing announcements involving its flagship core router, the CRS-1. The company has revealed some CRS-1 customers, a partnership with Fujitsu, a strategic answer to Juniper Networks Inc.'s (Nasdaq: JNPR) Infranet Initiative, and its long-awaited half-sized version of the CRS-1. Here are the details on each development:
  • Cisco is finally naming some users of the CRS-1, after much speculation by analysts (see Cisco Stumps for CRS-1).

    The marquee name is Softbank, which is "going through a massive deployment of CRS-1s" for its YahooBB service, says Suraj Shetty, director of marketing for Cisco's routing technology group. Cisco won't give specifics, but Shetty says the number of chassis being used here is in the "strong double digits." The deployment has already begun and will be done in "months, not years," he says.

    That's the only solid telecom deployment Cisco is citing. The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) is another customer being announced today, noteworthy because it is using the OC768 interfaces -- which, incidentally, performed quite well in a recent test sponsored by Light Reading (see 40-Gig Router Test Results).

    Other CRS-1 customers being announced are Japan's National Institute of Informatics and Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI), the latter being just a trial customer.

  • Cisco has also set up a partnership with Fujitsu Ltd. (OTC: FJTSY; Tokyo: 6702) for high-end routing in Japan. The CRS-1 essentially becomes part of the Fujitsu roadmap, as the company will be pitching it as a next-generation cog for high-end customers. While similar to core router reseller agreements, such as the Nortel arrangement with Avici Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: AVCI; Frankfurt: BVC7), the Fujitsu-Cisco partnership appears to be unique because Fujitsu is a router vendor itself and has been pitching a different company's routers for the core in Japan.

  • Cisco is also launching a program that sounds more than a little similar to Juniper's Infranet Initiative. But Cisco officials insist they're hunting bigger game than Juniper is.

    Cisco's "IP NGN" project -- letters standing for Internet Protocol (IP) Next-Generation Network -- is getting formally launched today. The idea is to create a network that responds to what the user is doing, in hopes of creating more loyalty among service provider customers.

    IP NGN is part of Cisco's ongoing effort to be taken more seriously in telecom circles. Most aspects of the company's CRS-1 core router, including the IOS XR modular operating system, are intended to curry favor with service providers. "Almost 50 percent of our R&D is going toward service provider development," says Cisco's Shetty.

    Identity is a key piece of IP NGN. The network would be able to recognize a user as he shifted from cell phone to PDA to office-bound LAN connection, and would likewise alter quality of service (QOS) and other parameters depending on the application being run. Voice and video traffic would receive priority over delay-insensitive data traffic, for example. "The network would provide resources to the users on demand," like a "customized tollway," Shetty says.

    Partly, the goal is to engender user loyalty. But the IP NGN would also let carriers offer premium services to customers based on their usage patterns, creating new possibilities for generating revenues.

    Cisco tipped its hand in this area with the acquisition of P-Cube, which developed deep packet inspection systems for distinguishing traffic content on the fly. In fact, Cisco is using P-Cube's Service Control Engine line of appliances as examples of what the IP NGN is trying to do (see Cisco Plucks P-Cube for $200M and Cisco Reroutes Traffic Management).

    It all sounds an awful lot like what Juniper is describing with its Infranet. But Cisco insists the Infranet is a subset of what the IP NGN would accomplish.

    "The way we understand it, the Infranet is about building QOS for inter-service-provider networking," Shetty says. "It doesn't talk about how a voice call is connected [when dealing with different providers' networks] or how the video is done."

    Cisco also stresses that it doesn't plan to create a forum similar to Juniper's Infranet Initiative Council; rather, Cisco intends to push its ideas through standards bodies, namely the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

  • Finally, as expected, Cisco is announcing a half-sized version of the CRS-1 today (Sources: Cisco Building 'Son of HFR'). The system is an eight-slot chassis, compared with the 16-slot CRS-1, for a throughput of 320 Gbit/s (that's not counting ingress and egress traffic separately). The strategy mimics what Avici and Juniper have done, offering smaller sizes of router to appeal to a wider audience (see Sources: Cisco Building 'Son of HFR', Avici's Incredible Shrinking Router, and Juniper Shrinks Its SuperCore Router).

    The half-sized CRS-1 can be connected in multichassis configurations just as the full CRS-1 can, giving Cisco more options in competing against other multichassis offerings like the Avici TSR or the recently launched Juniper TX Matrix (see Juniper Unveils the TX).

    — Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

    On Thursday, December 9, at 12 noon New York / 9 a.m. California / 5 p.m. London time, during a free hour-long live Web seminar, representatives from Light Reading, EANTC, Agilent, and Cisco will present the results of the Light Reading CRS-1 test and answer questions about them. Telecom Italia will also be participating.

    To register for the December 9 Webinar click here.

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    Honestly 12/5/2012 | 1:00:48 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers gotman,
    on the post page on LR it says ignore author :right after your user name. Will do LR, thanks for the intelligent advice. Hey got how far underwater are your Cisco options.??? HEE HE. BTW, not any ones employee, just a smart investor that owns a lot of Juniper stock.
    gotman 12/5/2012 | 1:00:48 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers net_dude

    I wonder what promopted you to do that. Anyhow, talk to your buddies at juniper about this fight. It was a hard drawn out battle and if you were any closer to this deal you would know it was unbiased.
    net_dude 12/5/2012 | 1:00:48 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers I went through the Cisco annual report for 2004, It clearly says Cisco has invested in the order of 800M US$ in Softbank. So Cisco hold investments in Softbank. ;-)
    andropat 12/5/2012 | 1:00:47 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers gotman,

    who knows SP routing better than the s/w engineers at Juniper? they are mostly old-school cisco guys who were around doing IOS dev in the early days of the internet.

    how much cisco stock do you own? or is it all the gifts you get from them and strip clubs they take you to? come on now! be honest. your name though is "got man". that worries me.

    gotman 12/5/2012 | 1:00:45 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers >who knows SP routing better than the s/w >engineers at Juniper

    Ahh really? is that what makes a good company? the s/w engineers? A few would agree with you.
    If they did, still a ton of them are at cisco, just look at whats being filed daily, a ton of sharp guys came from Procket and the better once at jnpr are now at BCN.

    andropat you've been around for a while, so apologize to yourself about the previous post. I expect better from you.. Putting BS aside now, talk to your cisco folks about getting your hands on some IOS-XR sw. It rocks.
    gotman 12/5/2012 | 1:00:45 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers I'm glad you know how to get your head around a web page... Whats CRS-1 got to do with my options? I'll be glad to tell you how I got my options once you tell me what relevance it has to Softbank or CRS wins. Are all JNPR fans all that shallow when they loose?

    At lease I know my options are from a company that's fighting competition at all fronts and beating them, I'm proud of that.. Whats the saying? no one got fired for buying csco?
    issey 12/5/2012 | 1:00:44 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers I wouldn't be surprised if SBB does get heavy discounts on the CRS-1..
    issey 12/5/2012 | 1:00:44 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers One poster mentioned that SOftbank and Cisco have history together.. That is so true, SOn-san helped Cisco corner the Japanese market way back when..
    IF Softbanks network isn't the biggest in the world then I don't know what..
    They have tonnes of Cat6509, GSR in their network, easily the biggest network in the world in terms of Network devices and not IP addresses.
    gotman 12/5/2012 | 1:00:43 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers tekweeny you idiot, thats my Sir name, not my nic name you fool... only a fool like yourself can come up with nothing better then 'drinking kool-aid!' rid yourself of that vocab, aim higher.

    When you do aim higher and you get there, you'll notice in Asia no decision is made on brotherhood or business relationships ONLY!! They do have business ethics above all, specially in Japan. They have BMTs, trails.. etc.. and who passes goes
    to the stage of talking $$$. Softbank will not spend an extra 10M if it could avoid it.

    The CRS in this instance must have offered softbank the best solution at the best price... The only war you guys are fighting today in the core is the price war, the feedback is the technical war goes to cisco, the TX release confirms this.
    tekweeny 12/5/2012 | 1:00:43 AM
    re: Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers I'll be glad to tell you how I got my options once you tell me what relevance it has to Softbank or CRS wins.

    Gotman (I prefer Gotwomen myself...)

    I think you drank WAY to much Cisco kool-aid!
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