Called the CRS-1 (for Carrier Router System), Cisco's answer to high-end routers from competitors like Juniper Networks and Avici Systems contains a laundry list of technical leaps for Cisco, including a new version of Cisco's router operating system software that supports continuous operation, and a 40 Gigabit-per-second optical connection for linking backbone routers.
With a beginning price of $450,000 for a model with 1.2 Tbps capacity, Cisco's new router is clearly designed for only the largest telecom and Internet service providers, according to Tony Bates, vice president and general manager for Cisco's routing technology group. According to Bates, Cisco is already in trials with many service providers, with six already at beta deployment stage.
Sprint, MCI and Deutsche Telecom all offered praise for Cisco's CRS-1 in a press statement released today, and are expected to participate in a press event being held Tuesday in Mountain View, Calif., to introduce the CRS-1. Cisco, Bates said, expects to ship the first revenue-producing CRS-1 sometime later this summer.
"When you invest in a system like this, it's not just about buying the biggest, baddest core router," Bates said in a phone interview. "It's about picking the platform to support next-generation services."