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New Cisco edge routers optimized for IPv6 traffic

Jim Duffy, Network World | June 8, 2011
Cisco this week rolled out two routers designed to allow service providers to migrate to IPv6 and more capably support video, mobility and cloud offerings.

The line cards support native bridging based on IEEE 802.1Q, IEEE 802.1ad, and QinQ VLAN encapsulation mechanisms and Resilient Ethernet protocol, which provides a fast-convergence mechanism for aggregating and connecting to Ethernet-based access rings.

When nV is activated, the systems in the 9000 family - including the existing 9010 and 9006 - can scale to 96Tbps, which is enough to download the equivalent of 180,000 DVDs every minute, or stream recordings of all Super Bowls, World Cup and Cricket World Cup matches ever played in less than a second, Cisco says.

Cisco also claims nV-enabled 9000 routers can lower operating costs by up to 70% over competing systems by reducing the need for on-site setup, support and maintenance, and saving on additional hardware and software purchases. The virtualization feature also allows for singular point-of-service management, lower cost configurations and simplified deployment, enabling a return-on-investment in less than a year, Cisco claims.

To ease IPv6 cutover, nV on the ASR 9000's Integrated Service Module is designed to provide a single point for IPv6 deployment across thousands of devices. The addition of Cisco's Videoscape technology on the ISM adds caching, streaming and video monitoring to help service providers deliver and make money on video services.

Cisco's service provider customers say the migration to IPv6 won't be quite that easy but expect the new protocol to be ubiquitous soon enough.

"There will be some bumps in the road," says Jay Rolls, senior vice president of technology at Cox Communications. "It will be interesting to see how this plays out."

"The industry will pull together and it will take some time, but (IPv6) will be prevalent in a few years," says John Hoffman, head of Ethernet Product Management at Tata Communications.

The new routers - just like the existing ASR 9000s - will compete against Juniper's MX3D edge router line and Alcatel-Lucent's 7705, 7710 and 7750 Service Router platforms. Juniper is still waiting for Cisco to deliver capabilities it promised three years ago on the ASR 9000 line.

"Cisco has made claims about the ASR 9000 that they have not delivered against," says Mike Marcellin, vice president of marketing and business strategy. "Three years ago, Cisco announced the ASR 9000 platform, claiming six times the total system capacity of the nearest competitor and 400G per slot. It missed its ship target by one year and what they have delivered has never surpassed Juniper's MX3D in total system capacity or per slot capacity. In fact, it currently is at half the total system capacity and two-thirds the slot capacity of the MX3D."


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