Cisco Systems on Sept. 5 will move its Carrier Routing System-1 high-end router further out to the service provider edge when it introduces a new, compact four-slot version for cable operators and carriers targeting IPTV and other high-performance applications.
With the new CRS-1 4 Slot Single-Shelf System, Cisco will deliver 40G bps capacity in each slot for service providers planning for next-generation video services such as digital cable, IPTV, video-on-demand and HDTV.
The four-slot version, following Ciscos existing 8-slot and 16-slot CRS-1, can also lower the cost and reduce the footprint of high-speed routing in regional points of presence, multiservice operator hub facilities or for data center peering.
What sets it apart from competitor offerings is its secure virtualization capability, according to Suraj Shetty, director of marketing for Ciscos Service Provider Routing Technology Group.
"The service provider can dedicate a set of resources in the CRS-1 for one particular customer, and it physically isolates those resources from the rest of the CRS-1.
"For telepresence, which requires high bandwidth, you can care out more resources and use those for telepresence alone. Or you can carve out CRS-1 resources to dedicate a certain amount of performance just for an application or set of applications for an enterprise, and it doesnt have to mix with Internet traffic," Shetty said.
Sprint, which beta tested the new 4-slot CRS-1, sees it as a potential edge device that could help it build out its wireless broadband service, according to Iyad Tarazi, vice president of network development for Sprint in Reston, Va.
"Given that it is very scaleable, were able to scale the network and be ready for all the different services were doing—not just wireless or MPLS, but a 4G service for higher bandwidth on the network," Tarazi said.
"And that is the same network that will carry a lot of our push-to-talk services, which is a low latency, high performance requiring service."
But how soon service providers will move beyond the planning and evaluation stage to offer more advanced video services is anyones guess.
"If youre Cisco or Juniper, you love IPTV because it requires a tremendous amount of bandwidth. This is great for them," quipped Ray Mota, chief strategist at Synergy Research Group in Reno, Nev.
"These providers need to make sure they look at the profitability of the services being deployed."
The 4-slot CRS-1, which provides an aggregate switching capacity of 320G bps, uses existing line cards from its predecessors, and it runs the same Cisco IOS XR software used in existing CRS-1 routers.
Cisco, which was playing catch up to rival Juniper Networks in the core of service provider networks when it originally launched the CRS-1 a couple of years ago, is building momentum behind the router high-performance router line. "Cisco is really getting aggressive in this space," said Mota.
Cisco on Sept. 5 will also announce another new CRS-1 customer in Koreas largest service provider. KT will use the CRS-1 in its KORNET backbone.
Among the 16 publicly announced customers using the CRS-1 to date are British Telecom, Cable & Wireless and China Telecom.
The new CRS-1 4-slot router is due in November.