Cisco Shares Another Big Day
With Juniper announcing its big-deal SRX platform today, Cisco has piped in with a handful of carrier Ethernet products to talk about. (See Juniper Strikes at Security's Core and Cisco Touts Carrier Ethernet.)
"Honestly, it's coincidence!" says Mike Capuano, senior director of marketing for Cisco's service provider segment.
A similar coincidence happened in January, when Juniper used a New York event to launch the EX line of Ethernet switches. By stunning coincidence, Cisco launched its Nexus platform one day earlier. (See Juniper Storms Into Ethernet Switching and Cisco's Nexus Targets Data Center's Future.)
So what is Cisco talking about?
A 40-Gbit/s card might lead the headlines, but the most interesting thing Cisco announced today is a service level agreement (SLA) -- more properly, an SLA for SLAs.
Formally called the Network Availability SLA, the plan means Cisco would pay penalties if its equipment causes a service provider's SLA to fail. Now, a vendor always pays some kind of penalty in those cases -- a wounded reputation, if not outright cash -- but Cisco wants it formalized, showing that it's putting money on the line.
(We'd call it SLA Insurance, but Cisco probably doesn't want any comparisons to AIG today.)
About that 40-Gbit/s card, though. It's called the ES+40, and it's for the Cisco 7600 -- which, Cisco notes, does have 40-Gbit/s per-slot capacity. Previous cards only took advantage of 20 Gbit/s of that.
The card includes optical transponders, so that Cisco is extending its IP-over-DWDM concept to the 7600. That idea, which removes the need for a transponder shelf, has been applied to the CRS-1 and the XR 12000 so far. (See Cisco's CRS-1 Goes Optical.)
Separately, Cisco beefed up capacity of its ME 4500 metro Ethernet boxes, and it's introducing an ME 3400 variant, the ME 3400E, intended for multidwelling units.
And Cisco has updating its MWR devices for wireless backhaul. The MWR 2941-DC takes in T1 lines from a cell site and feeds the traffic onto Ethernet fiber (not copper, at least not yet), helping shave some T1 leased-line prices from operators' budgets. (See Cisco Raises Ethernet Backhaul Stakes.) Capuano tells Light Reading that the MWR 2941-DC is, simply, "the industry’s most powerful cell site router.”
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading