Home Cisco in the Core: Preparing for the Next Generation Internet

Cisco in the Core: Preparing for the Next Generation Internet

Today, Cisco announced the CSR-3 product, a game-changing system to managing the network core. But for CEO John Chambers, the news is about market transition forces and being ready for the next generation of the Internet.

The company invested $1.6 billion research and development in CRS-3 to be ready for the next phase of market growth that merges video, cloud, and mobile trajectories. When asked, he said when his team looks out 3-5 years that network growth may be 300 to 500%. Cisco is investing that another revolution is on the way for consumer access and enterprise productivity.

Getting a handle on scale

Cisco’s fabric offers network speed never seen before.

According it’s’ own estimates the CRS-3 could offer bandwidth for:

  • Every man woman and child in China the ability to make a simultaneous video call.
  • All movies ever made to be downloaded in 4 minutes (if you had enough disk to store them).
  • 1 GB link to every household in San Francisco.

Virtualization and Cloud: Moving from Plumber to Business Architecture

The network has many touch points. Chambers said that this has been moving Cisco from being a technology partner to a trusted business partner for nearly all its enterprise and service provider accounts. He views this as a tipping point in how Cisco engages customers and innovates.

To that end, the major market transformation underway in the cloud, and Cisco has positioned its network, including the CRS-3 to offer tight linkage between data center and virtualized services.

Chambers mentioned “It’s all about the cloud, the CRS-3 family talks directly to the UCS in the data center.” To that end, it’s nice to consider the end-to-end network being prepared for the connections in the data center, especially for physically distributed environments that benefit from fast links between them.

Chambers continued: “We kept our partners VMware and EMC in mind in this solution, to be ready to fulfill our vision in the data center”.

Here it is a summary diagram on CRS-3 connects data centers.

Service provider: Critical Network Backbone

Keith Cambron, President and CEO, AT&T labs added. “AT&T was the first user of CRS-1 with it’s 40 GB interfaces and have been using them to manage their network growth. We are testing the 100GB interface in the labs and real production environments.”

Chambers mentioned that Cisco’s goal is to have long-term partners and to never compete with pervice provider. With a company like AT&T, Cisco’s product goals are to help be ready for where things are headed, to be there when it’s needed. Cisco does not want to be the bottleneck for the Internet.

He continued “Service providers are our partners, if our goal is to bring this technology to everyone in the world, we must work in a tight fashion and follow the market transitions with them”


Some of the best parts of this dialog was the question and answer session, a few excerpts below show the depth of thinking Cisco is moving forward with the intelligent network.

Q: How does this impact the mobile data flow?
A: The team was asked about how this innovation impacts consumers and the mobile data flow.

Chambers added, “As a consumer, I want any video any time. To share it on any device in the living room and to bring it with me when I’m on the go. The network has an important role in enabling that future”

Cambron spoke from AT&T’s goals with this technology “It provides a single network design for around the globe. Particularly important for important customers who are using private networks and deploying mobile applications. A common network design that is highly video centric is central to our business”

Q: Is Cisco an on open vs. closed company, will core innovations from CSR-3 be open source?
A: Chambers responded “Interoperability is one thing we don’t debate in Cisco. We believe we need to bring together all of these protocols into one network. We will of course be an open architecture.”

Q: What do you think about Google’s service provide announcement?
A: Chambers responded “Google is a great company. We love anyone who adds loads to networks. We think the question here is how do we find the “and” here and find ways to build load and also built great networks with the right partners.”

Q: Why is Cisco building in silicon?
A: Chambers was excited to talk about how important silicon was to the company in the products. “Cisco’s investments in ASICS has been a key part of many of the core products. The reason that Cisco does our own, is that silicon ties all of the key components together. Cisco had to change the way its working style to have a collaborative team to build this next generation of silicon.”

Cisco is in a unique position to see the future of bandwidth better than anyone.

We wonder if Cisco will be rewarded for avoiding future network bottlenecks and propel the network forward with CRS-3?

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