Alcatel-Lucent unveils its 7950 XRS core router platform, which will begin hitting the market in the third quarter.
Alcatel-Lucent officials are gearing
up the company to make a run at Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks in the $4
billion core router market, hoping to see a story similar to the one they've
had in edge routers.
At Alcatel-Lucents annual
Technology Symposium 2012 on May 22, company executives unveiled a core routing
platform, the 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS), that they said will offer
better performance, power efficiency and lower cost than competing systems. The
company is hoping to leverage the rapidly growing demand on carrier networks
caused by cloud computing and the explosion of video.
Officials also are hoping to see the
same kind of success that theyve had in edge routers, a market the company
entered eight years ago. Alcatel-Lucents edge router unit is about a $2
billion business, with more than 400 customers and about 24 percent of the
market, according to Basil Alwan, the companys president of IP networks.
Eight years ago, we werent really
at the table, Alwan said during a Webcast press conference announcing the 7950
XRS. We were the new guys knocking on the door.
The 7950 XRS represents more than three
years of development, and is built on Alcatel-Lucents FP3 processor, a
400G-bps chip that initially was used to bring 100 Gigabit Ethernet
capabilities to the companys edge routers. According to the company, the FP3
is aimed at high-performance public and private networks, with a single FP3
processor being able to handle 70,000 simultaneous high-definition video
streams or 8.4 million simultaneous retail cloud sessions.
Alwan said the 7950 XRS will offer
sizeable performance and power benefits over routers from Cisco and Juniper.
The company said its router will be five times faster and 66 percent more
energy-efficient than competing products, and that it will take 10 to 12
routers from Cisco or Juniper linked together to equal a single 7950 XRS node.
Weve fundamentally redefined what
a core router is, Alwan said.
The 7950 XRS comes in three models.
The high-end 7950 XRS-40 offers 32T-bps of routing capacity in two racks, and
can run up to 160 100GbE interfaces in a single core router, 400 40GbE interfaces
or 1,600 10GbE interfaces. It will be available in the first half of 2013.
The midrange 7950 XRS-20 is a 16T-bps
router that offers up to 80 100GbE interfaces in a single rack, and can be
configured into a 7950 XRS-40 by linking two chassis together. Like the 7950
XRS-40, it also can be offered in a multichassis configuration. Currently in
trials, it will be available in the third quarter.
At the low end is the 7950 XRS-16c,
which offers 6.4T-bps capacity and up to 32 100GbE interfaces. It will be
available in the first half of next year.
Alcatel-Lucent officials said the
new core router platform already is getting interest from carriers, including
Verizon Wireless, NTT Communications and BT. Ihab Tarazi, vice president of
global IP and transport planning and technology at Verizon, appeared on stage