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Cisco Unveils 'Mini-Me' Version Of CRS-1

As part of several service provider-oriented announcements Sunday, Cisco Systems introduced a half-size version of its flagship CRS-1 router, a box that may help Cisco find more paying customers among the service provider and large-enterprise market.

The eight-slot CRS-1, priced for holiday shopping at $225,000 and up (half-off the full-sized CRS-1 list price), already even has paying customers, according to Cisco. The 'mini-me' CRS-1 announcement joined news of a reseller/joint development agreement with Fujitsu as the start of the news blitz that generally accompanies the company's annual analyst conference, scheduled for later this week.

"There are already some [CRS-1 half-size boxes] out there, in deployments," claimed Tony Bates, vice president and general manager of Cisco's carrier business division. "It just affirms the strong momentum for the CRS-1."

As part of the announcements, Cisco claimed customer wins for the CRS-1 architecture with two Japanese concerns: Softbank (provider of that country's popular Yahoo broadband service) and the SuperSINET research network, as well as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center in the U.S. Telecom Italia is also in trials with the CRS-1, Cisco said.

Until Cisco can snag some bigger fish, however, the company still trails Juniper Networks in the mind-share race at the biggest service-provider level. According to recent research, Juniper's market share of the core router market is growing faster than Cisco's.

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