Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s next trick is an edge router aimed at answering its competition and, eventually, replacing the 7600 and GSR 12000 lines, according to an analyst report this morning.

Ittai Kidron of Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. sees the router, likely to be launched on Nov. 11, as Cisco's way to counteract recent moves by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) in their respective 7750 Service Router and MX lines. (See AlcaLu Beefs Up Its Routers and Juniper Expands the Edge.)

"We view the new edge router announcement as a first in providing more clarity to the company's edge router strategy," he writes. "Cisco is likely to heavily promote the new router to slowdown its competition."

Cisco, heavily promoting something? Really?

Kidron doesn't mention Nov. 11 specifically, opting instead for "mid-November." But it's not exactly a secret that Cisco is announcing something on the 11th. In addition to the wannabe viral video campaign embedded above, you've got Nov. 11 countdown ads all over the place, including this site.

The new router will go under the ASR name but won't necessarily resemble the ASR 1000 that was introduced in February, Kidron writes. (See Cisco Takes Hold of the Edge.)

Specifically, he thinks the new router will run Cisco's IOS XR operating system, as opposed to the IOS XE variant that was introduced with the ASR 1000. That's going to be a disadvantage considering IOS-XR doesn't carry a full suite of edge functions, Kidron believes. (On the plus side, it means Cisco doesn't add yet another OS to its lineup.)

What it will have in common with the ASR 1000 is the use of the QuantumFlow processor, the chip inside the ASR 1000 that Cisco chose to make a big deal about. (See Cisco Touts Chip Breakthrough.) This will make it more believable when Cisco says it plans to add features to the box, Kidron writes.

The new ASR's biggest impact could be in its size -- eventually. Kidron believes it's going to start at throughput of less than 1 Tbit/s, close to the MX but not surpassing it. But he thinks the architecture is intended to get to 5 Tbit/s to 7 Tbit/s.

As for the 7600 and 12000, Kidron doesn't see the new ASR as being a direct replacement. But he does speculate that it's the start of a product cycle, set to unfold in the next few years, that will eventually replace those older routers.

Cisco declined to comment on Kidron's report.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

K28.5 12/5/2012 | 3:28:15 PM
re: Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash I'm only speculating here, however, it's logical to assume that the new platform will have a layer 2 only version of some sort. Cisco's appraoch may be similar to the L2 only linecards of the MX, or to the ALU 7450 ESS which is a L2 version of the 7750 SR.
This will eventually replace the 6500 as well.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:28:15 PM
re: Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash About time it got an overhaul. When does the 6500 get its turn?
clues-in-google 12/5/2012 | 3:28:14 PM
re: Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash
I think at this point, Google brings enough links.

For example, take this deleted (and cached) page.

For those too lazy to search it, here is the scoop.

It's simply rebadging plain old CRS-1 4 and CRS-1 8 to help the ailing 7600 routers to keep sales from shifting to ALU and JNPR. Software-crippled of course to prevent customers from ditching their big brothers. Say hello to declocked MSC40 cards and say goodbuy to energy efficiency promises.

You got to be Cisco to afford advertising this paint job with a viral marketing campaign and expensive-looking pre-launch ads.

clueless 12/5/2012 | 3:28:14 PM
re: Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash Prediction: ASR 9000

AAL5 12/5/2012 | 3:27:36 PM
re: Cisco Plans Edge-Router Splash clues-in-google, with all respect...

You're wrong.

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