Cisco Systems officials have been warning about the explosive growth of Internet traffic that will hit over the next few years, as more people use more connected devices that will generate massive amounts of data.
In the company's latest Visual Networking Index report, Cisco officials are projecting that global Internet traffic will triple between 2012 and 2017, hitting 1.4 zettabytes—much of which will include video—with 3.6 billion Internet users and more than 19 billion Internet connections. All of this will put a tremendous amount of pressure on service providers and wireless carriers to keep up with the huge demand from customers.
The networking vendor on June 12 announced a new core router that officials said will help such customers keep up with the surging demand. The Carrier Routing System (CRS-X) router will deliver 10 times the capacity of the initial CRS router, which was launched 10 years ago.
Each slot system will offer speeds of up to 400 gigabits per second—or that can be expanded to almost 1 petabit per second in a multi-chassis deployment, and up to 6.4 terabits per second per rack—help customers migrate from their 10 Gigabit Ethernet network infrastructures to the 100 GbE networks they will need to meet customer needs, and enable existing CRS-1 and CRS-3 users to easily upgrade to the CRS-X.
"Cisco's flagship networking platforms are designed with investment protection for decades and beyond, unlike other technology providers, which force operators to rip and replace their products on a regular basis," Surya Panditi, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Networking group, said in a statement. "Service providers, large educational and research networks, and government agencies around the world are preparing for the next-generation Internet and the increasing demand for video, collaboration and distributed computing."
The easy upgrade will be a key element for Cisco CRS customers. The company has sold more than 10,000 CRS routers to more than 750 telecommunications providers and other organizations around the world, including Verizon Wireless and SoftBank. Cisco officials said that by offering a CRS system that can improve performance by 10 times over 10 years, customers can reduce their total cost of ownership by nearly 50 percent when compared with competing products. Current CRS users can move to the CRS-X via in-service card replacement, or by adding CRS-X to chasses already running the CRS-1 or the three-year-old CRS-3.
Cisco officials boasted of the scalability of the router, and said the platform leverages the company's new CPAK CMOS photonic technology, which helps reduce power consumption and the cost of sparing, and increase the flexibility in deployments. By selecting a specific CPAK transceiver, users can configure each interface for a single 100 GbE port, two 40 GbE ports, or 10 10 GbE ports, and short-, long- or extended-reach optics.
For service providers, this means they can handle any 10 GbE, 40 GbE or 100 GbE application without the expensive step of having to replace hardware.
In addition, service providers can decide between deploying integrated optics or Cisco's new nV optical satellite, both of which allow for a single IP and optical system to use Cisco's nLight technology for control plane automation. The nV technology and nLight enable optical transport equipment to be managed as a single entity, which makes provision and network operation simpler in dense 100 GbE environments.
The CRS-X runs Cisco's new IOS-XR operating system, which comes with self-healing and self-defending capabilities that are designed for always-on operation and need to scale based on demand.
The router is reportedly scheduled go on sale in the fall, with shipments beginning later in the year.