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Cisco routers bust access network bottleneck

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 8:40am
Brian Santo

Cisco has supercharged its ASR 9000 Aggregation Services Routers with accelerated throughput of up to 96 Tbps, IPv6 support and the ability to manage all 9000s in a network from a single point – what Cisco is calling network virtualization (nV).

For its webcast announcement, Cisco assembled an All-Star lineup of network engineers that included Comcast senior vice president of network engineering Kevin McElearney, Cox senior vice president of technology Jay Rolls, FastWeb director of engineering Guido Roda and Tata Communications head of Ethernet product management John Hoffman. Cisco said all four, along with China Telecom, will be deploying the new technology.

All execs present on the webcast agreed the Cisco innovations would help expand network capacity, simplify network operations and drive cost out of network, in terms of capex, opex and cost per bit.

Cisco said its nV technology can aggregate in excess of 1,900 network devices. The company said the technology will be deployed first on the Cisco ASR 9000 system, then made available on other Cisco platforms in the future. Deployed 9000s are going to be upgradeable.

Rolls noted that Cox has 100 9000s divided among 18 cities, with each set managed locally. "That's not the most efficient way to do that," he said. "This provides one way to manage them, rather than eighteen ways."

Incorporating all of the new advances is a new 9000 model designated the ASR 9922. This router features 10G and 100G interfaces for the network edge and the Cisco ASR 9000v for the network aggregation layer. These new additions, along with the Cisco ASR 9010 and Cisco ASR 9006 routers, will help deliver a single system for high-speed business and residential connectivity to deliver new video, mobile and cloud services.

The new Cisco ASR 9000 system uses the Cisco nV technology to lower operating costs by up to 70 percent when compared with competing edge platforms, the company said. With that cost reduction, a customer could get ROI in less than one year, Cisco calculated.

A new blade, the Cisco Integrated Service Module (ISM), provides a single touch point for carrier-grade IPv6 deployment across thousands of devices, the company said. Cisco Videoscape technology is supported with the Cisco Integrated Service Module for caching, streaming and monitoring.

McElearney cited three Comcast goals that will be supported by the new Cisco technology:

  • Service innovation
  • Expansion of Xfinity TV and Xfinity Mobile services (based on the nearly completed rollout of DOCSIS 3.0 technology
  • Advanced business services, now available in 20 markets, with more markets on the way.

Rolls said there is a need to dissociate applications from the network so that applications can be delivered to a wider variety of devices. Rolls also said that Cox is planning to double its backbone capacity. The Cisco innovations should help enable and support both efforts.

Cisco's announcement was made on the heels of the release of its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) network survey, which predicts that by 2015, the number of network-connected devices will be more than 15 billion (twice the world's population), and the total amount of global Internet traffic will quadruple to 966 exabytes per year.

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