Agilent Tests Cisco's CRS-1 Router

Agilent multiservices N2X test solution is the first to validate the performance of Cisco's 40-Gbit/s CRS-1 carrier router, with LR

November 30, 2004

3 Min Read

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced that it has conducted the world's first demonstration of core router performance at speeds up to 40 Gb/s in an independent evaluation of the Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) CRS-1 Carrier Routing System. The European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) used the Agilent N2X multiservices test solution to verify the performance and scalability of the Cisco CRS-1 during the recent OC-192c and OC-768c router test commissioned and funded by Light Reading, a telecommunications-industry online publication.

The purpose of the test was to provide the first independent industry evaluation of the Cisco CRS-1. The methodology for the test, created by EANTC (an internationally recognized test center offering vendor-neutral network test facilities for manufacturers, service providers and enterprise customers), was based on feedback from five of the world's leading service providers to ensure the router produced repeatable, useful test data about realistic network and service scenarios.

The test event represented an industry first in terms of the scale of interfaces, traffic, routes and services involved, with tests designed to exceed today's carrier requirements. In total, Agilent equipment tested more than 640 Gb/s of traffic over OC-192c and OC-768c interfaces, and generated and analyzed 15 million traffic flows to challenge the forwarding performance of the Cisco CRS-1. To ensure the router could keep pace with the increasing rate of MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) deployment, Agilent test equipment was used to establish 57,000 LSPs (label-switched paths), even though the largest networks today have only about 5,000 LSPs in total.

The Agilent N2X solution measured the performance of the Cisco CRS-1 under realistic network conditions in the following key areas:

  • Maximum IPv4 and IPv6 forwarding performance was identified, including tests when access control lists were enabled.

  • BGP performance and route convergence time were measured using a table containing 1.5 million unique IPv4 and IPv6 routes.

  • Multicast forwarding capability was evaluated when fully loaded with both multicast and unicast traffic, and the correct implementation of IPv4 Differentiated Services was verified.

  • Functionality and scalability as an MPLS label switch router was verified, including its ability to establish RSVP-TE tunnels and to reach wire-speed throughput across all tunnels with minimum packet loss and latency for expedited forwarding traffic.

  • The impact of software upgrade and hardware module exchanges on forwarding and routing was also measured.

"Verifying that the Cisco CRS-1 can manage the growth of traffic, services and routing tables well into the future was one of the goals of this 40 Gb/s test," said Carsten Rossenhoevel, managing director of research and manufacturer testing at EANTC. "By using Agilent's test equipment we were able to simulate futuristic network conditions around the Cisco CRS-1 so we could identify whether it could scale to meet increasingly demanding performance expectations."

"Agilent N2X's industry-leading 40 Gb test solution has put us at the forefront in evaluation of next-generation core routing solutions," said Dave Bass, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Data Networks Division. "Our test solution is designed to help service providers reduce the time it takes to qualify core routers and increase their confidence in advanced telecom networks carrying next-generation voice, video and data service traffic."

The complete test report is accessible at The test results, including Q&As, will be discussed during an hour-long Web seminar being presented by Light Reading on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 12:00 p.m. ET. All four of the companies involved in the project will help present the results and then answer questions during this hour-long live broadcast. You may register for the Web seminar at

Agilent Technologies Inc.

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