Cisco Scales Routing Products to 5 Terabits
BY CHARLOTTE WOLTER
n an effort to provide flexible pipes for what it sees as the coming growth waves in
data networking, Cisco Systems Inc. (www.cisco.com) has
unveiled a strategy to make its core network routing product line scalable to 5 terabits
of capacity by early 2001.
Building on a current product, the 12016 Gigabit Switch Router (GSR), Cisco will
develop the 12000 Terabit System, designed to scale from 10 gigabits per second (gbps) to
the 5-terabit level, while remaining a single routing entity in the network. This
simplifies point-of-presence (PoP) architecture and network management.
Cisco says the 12016 GSR will be the first router to offer a fully concatenated OC-192
interface, that is, an OC-192 that functions as a single pipe rather than a multiple
synchronous optical network (SONET) channel.
Qwest has been testing the first OC-192c cards with availability later in 2000. Each
GSR chassis has 16 slots, 15 of which are available for interface cards (with one reserved
for router processing), for a total of 300gbps of switching fabric (each card has an
OC-192 in and out).
To connect up to 16 of the 12016 chassis and scale the system to the 5-terabit level,
Cisco uses a crossbar switching matrix. This architecture differs from a bus matrix in
that the intelligence controlling the switching is in the line cards, which makes it
easier to scale as new line cards are added.
The new 12000 Terabit System also will support capabilities such as class of service,
multicast and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS).