Cisco is rolling out two new members of the ASR 9000 router portfolio armed with its new nV network virtualization technology.
Cisco Systems officials earlier this
month released a report that found that by 2015, global Internet traffic will
approach the zettabyte level, driven in large part by the rapid spread of
mobile devices and the increase in video.
Now the networking giant is rolling out
new routers for its ASR (Aggregation Services Router) line designed to help
service providers meet the rising tide of traffic generated and to help
businesses make the transition to IPv6
. Cisco on June 7 also
introduced a new innovation called nV (network virtualization) technology,
which was created to make network management easier and grow capacity by
collapsing the network edge, aggregation and access layers into a single ASR
The nV technology will first appear in
new ASR 9000 routers, then will be made available on other Cisco platforms,
according to the company.
The new router family and technology
come at a time of increasing pressure on service providers, who are trying to
keep up with the rapid rise of Internet traffic and increasing performance
demands. In their annual Visual Networking Index Forecast, released June 1,
Cisco officials said the amount of traffic will quadruple by 2015
, thanks to the
rise of such mobile devices as smartphones and tablets, greater use of video on
the Internet, and faster broadband speeds.
During that time, as annual traffic
reaches 996 exabytes-an exabyte is 1 quintrillion bytes-there will be almost 15
billion network-connected devices in the world, or essentially two for every
person. Those include not only notebooks, tablets and smartphones, but also
appliances and other smart machines.
Managing all that while meeting user
demand for high network performance is the burden of service providers,
according to Cisco.
"This is a critical period in the
broadband communications industry," Pankaj Patel, senior vice president of
engineering and general manager of service provider business at Cisco, said in
a statement. "To remain competitive and meet consumer and business customer
needs, service providers must deliver next-generation Internet experiences."
That is where Cisco's new offerings
come in, according to officials. The two new ASR products join the existing
9010 and 9006 systems. The vendor is rolling out the ASR 9922 router for the
edge, with 43 racks and a 22-slot chassis. Cisco also is offering two new
modules for the router: a two-port, 100-gigabit-per-second Ethernet card and a
24-port 10GbE card.
Cisco's ASR 9000v is a 1U (1.75-inch)
system aimed at the aggregation layer and can be used as a remote line card for
other ASR systems.
According to Cisco officials, the new
ASR 9000 system combined with the nV technology offers 36 times the capacity of
other competing products at 96 terabits per second. With such capacity, users
could stream recordings of all Super Bowls, World Cup and Cricket World Cup
matches in less than a second, or download 180,000 DVDs every minute, the
The combination also means operating
cost savings of up to 70 percent compared with competing edge platforms,
simplified IPv6 transition and support for Cisco's Videoscape technology.
Cisco officials said that most of the
top service providers-including China Telecom, Comcast, Cox Communications and
Tata Communications, are using the ASR 9000 platform.
Cisco's new routers come as the
networking giant looks to stave off rising competition in the networking space
from the likes of Hewlett-Packard-with the assets from its 3Com acquisition of
last year-and Juniper Networks. Over the past few years, Cisco has aggressively
moved into new businesses, such as video collaboration, data center hardware
and smart grids, a situation that some analysts have argued made its core
networking business more vulnerable. According to market research firm IDC,
Cisco in the past five years has seen its market share in routers drop 11
percent and 2 percent in switches.
Mike Marcellin, vice president of
marketing and business strategy at Juniper Networks, said in a statement that
"Cisco has made claims about the ASR 9000 that they have not delivered
Marcellin argued that Juniper's MX3D
system offers greater capacity.
"Three years ago, Cisco announced the
ASR 9000 platform, claiming six times the total system capacity of the nearest
competitor and 400G per slot," he said. "It missed its ship target by one year,
and what they have delivered has never surpassed Juniper's MX3D in total system
capacity or per slot capacity."