Cisco Preps Its Next Core Router: The 'CTR'
The next Cisco Systems Inc. is apparently named the "CTR" and is aiming for densities of at least 1Tbit/s per slot, according to a Cisco document obtained by Light Reading. Plenty of details are left out, such as when the CTR might ship. But the document makes it clear that the platform is meant to be a step beyond the CRS-3 core router:
- The router would support 1Tbit/s per slot in the form of a card with ten 100Gbit/s ports. Whether this card would be available right away isn't clear. That would still fall short of the 12 100Gbit/s ports per card that Arista announced for its switches, but, depending on when the card arrives, it could be the best density for a core router. As a point of comparison, the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 Extensible Routing System got announced last year with a theoretical per-slot capacity of 1.6Tbit/s (800Gbit/s if you're not double-counting the traffic).
- It would double as an MPLS label-switched router, to provide the kind of Layer 2 "lean core" (Cisco's phrase) that some carriers are talking about. (See Verizon Builds an MPLS Metro with AlcaLu and Juniper Aims Big With 100G Optical.)
- It would be an ASIC-driven design, as usual. The network processor involved would carry 336 packet-processing cores on-chip and would handle both Ethernet processing and OTN framing.