Our flagship router, the Cisco Carrier Routing System or CRS-1, just hit the 3000 units shipped milestone, which not only speaks to the trend of the IP transformation happening worldwide but marks yet another great accomplishment for this platform. When we launched the CRS-1 in May 2004, industry cynicism was high because the capabilities were so far ahead of what competitors offered (which is still the case), and people didn’t see demand evolving as aggressively as would be needed to predicate demand. Some said no more than 50 units would ever be needed and no more than 5 providers worldwide would ever be customers.I was part of the launch team, led by Suraj Shetty, now our Vice President of Service Provider Marketing and a regular contributor to the SP360 blog, and I have to admit that getting such feedback from some of the analysts was making me think twice about it, too. Fortunately, this skepticism was proven wrong, and for that I’ll credit the incredible pioneering innovation of our engineers and development team and the accelerated market adoption of IP Next Generation Networks.One year after the CRS-1 launch, we had shipped 100 units- in June 2006 we announced we shipped 300 units- in mid-2007 we shipped 900 units, and now 18 months later, we’re shipping our 3000th unit. Instead of shipping 50 units total, as some predicted, there have been times when we’ve shipped more than 50 units a week. And there are far more than 5 customers predicted -in fact the customer list is over 300 now. From ATT (US) and BT (UK) to Softbank (Japan), XO (US), and Kazakh Telecom (Kazakhstan), the customer lists not only spans the service provider segments — wireline, cable, and mobile — but also the globe. Whether a country has a robust infrastructure or is developing one, the CRS-1 is providing a strong foundation for continued growth for providers. In talking with some of my peers on the extended CRS-1 support team, some claim an even bigger milestone than the 3000 units shipped is the number of multi-chassis units deployed -well over 175 to more than 20 customers. Others still tout Free, an innovative provider in France, being able to upgrade from a single chassis system to multi-chassis one without downtime (it was highlighted here, and I have to admit that I still am impressed by that as well). And another (quite passionately, I may add) talks about the uptake of IP-over-DWDM capabilities the CRS-1 has received from a number of the top 20 global providers (in fact about 40% of the 40G interfaces shipped are IPoDWDM capable). Because that capability is able to reduce the number of units needed, it provides not only opex and capex cost savings but has an interesting green benefit to it as well, which may very well make it even more appealling to some providers in the near future.Regardless of our own disagreement as to what is the most impressive milestone of this platform, a hearty congratulations go out to Kelly Ahuja (another SP360 contributor) and his entire organization -here’s to helping enable the benefits of IP transformation for so many and to the many, many more milestones to come!