Cisco Expands High-End Router Line

Cisco Systems, Inc. , officials announced Tuesday the
expansion of its next generation Internet routing product line with an
upgrade to its popular 12000-series routers and the rollout of a new, metro
IP access router.

Both are expected to increase the hardware manufacturer’s market reach in
the Internet service provider (ISP) and carrier communities as they look
for ways to incorporate value-add services like IP local area networking
(LAN) and voice over IP (VoIP) to their service offerings.

Officials say the Cisco 10720 router is the first Internet-class metro IP
access router of its kind, doubling the bandwidth output of typical
synchronous optical network (SONET) architectures. What officials expect
will make the router so palatable to service providers is its scalability
and edge capabilities.

By placing routers on the edge, as opposed to directly on the network, ISPs
and carriers are able to free up a lot of bandwidth.

In this day and age, with more and more customers coming online with
broadband connections like cable and digital subscriber line (DSL), service
providers are looking for ways to provide high-end applications like video
services without putting a large dent in their pocketbook.

Using its own patented dynamic packet transport (DPT) ring technology, the
10720 router is expected to cut down on network costs for ISPs and carriers
by reducing the amount of bandwidth needed to provide Internet services to
its customer base. By putting the router on the edge, providers avoid
bottlenecks in their bandwidth pipe when customers try to download
bandwidth-hungry services.

It’s a slight twist from the industry norm of providing Ethernet services
via layer 2 networking, which uses a local area network (LAN) to
interconnect a network. Instead, one of Cisco’s 13,000+ ports delivers DPT
packets from the wide area network (WAN) to the metro area.

Ebone, a European carrier, expects the demand for metropolitan services to
increase in the coming years, and has upgraded its own network to
incorporate the new router, according to Frode Greisen, Ebone vice
president and chief Internet officer.

“We see the metro market as the next frontier, a critical area for us in
meeting the exploding demand by our customers for delivering scalable
Internet services simply, reliably, and cost effectively,” Frode
said. “Cisco’s Metro IP solution allows us to roll out services quickly
for just-in-time provisioning. Being able to offer Ethernet-based Internet
services allows us to address migration from LAN-to-LAN and frame relay to
a higher speed service.”

Pricing for the 10720 router starts at $43,000.

On the other end of the spectrum you have the Cisco 12404 router, the
latest (and smallest) addition to the 12400 family of routers.

The router makes it easier for smaller ISPs to take advantage of 10Gbps
Ethernet-like Internet services for its customers. It’s similar to other
12400 series routers and easily configures with the other routers for
network expansion down the road, making it the logical first step in a
network build.

Expansion to the 12000 series IP Services Engine (ISE) line cards, Cisco
officials said, will boost performance by a factor of two while reducing
rack space. What makes it so attractive is its plug-and-play ability to
fit into the chassis of existing 12000 series routers.

With it, ISPs and carriers can offer small to large POP ne

Deb Mielke, Treillage Network Strategies, Inc., principal, said the line
cards are an immediate boost to its existing IP network that differentiates
her company from the competition.

“By continuing to offer the most innovative and highest performance
products it preserves customers’ investments and commitment to the 12000
Series,” Mielke said. “The Cisco 12400 family routers are the only 10Gbps
routers to deliver simple, low-cost field upgrades to higher switching
capacities, enabling customers to reduce their capital and operational
expenses. The opportunity to shift these savings into expanding their
networks and services is critical to (Cisco’s) business.

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