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Is the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS the Most Powerful Router on Earth?

Alcatel-Lucent XRS Router

The 7950 XRS marks Alcatel-Lucent's debut in the core router market and will compete against the Juniper T4000 and the Cisco CRS-3.

The new top end 7950 XRS-40 is a two chassis system that provides 160 ports of 100 Gigabit Ethernet, delivering up to 32 Terabits per second of routing capacity. The 7950 XRS-20 is a single chassis system providing 16 Tbps of routing with 80 ports of 100 Gigabit Ethernet. Alcatel-Lucent is powering the platform with the 400 Gbps FP3 silicon that was announced in June of 2011. The FP3 has 288 array cores and has previously been deployed in the 7750 Service Router that is targeted for edge of network deployments.

With the FP3 silicon underpinning, the 7950 XRS system has the capacity to scale to very high capacities.

"In the first pass we're offering 4 ports of 100G per slot, even though each slot is architected to handle 1 Terabit," Manish Gulyani, VP networks product marketing, told InternetNews.com. "So you could scale to 40 Terabits on the XRS and you can connect six systems together to get a 240 Terabit platform."

Scaling with multiple chassis is something that Juniper Networks has been doing for years as well with the Juniper TX Matrix Platform that combines multiple T-series routers. In response to the Alcatel-Lucent announcement, Juniper today announced an expansion to that platform enabling four T4000 routers to be combined with a future capacity expandable as high as 64 Terabits per second.

Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
Alcatel-Lucent Aims at Core Routing

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.