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Cisco Live! Showing Off 100GE on CRS-3 and ASR 9000 Series

Cisco ASR 9000 and Cisco CRS-3Following the announcement of the ASR 9000 System last month, it was not too surprising that one of the most popular demos at Cisco Live in Las Vegas was the Service Provider IP NGN pod. For this event we had a setup which included 100GE interfaces connected between an ASR 9000 (edge) and a CRS-3 (core). Ultimately over the course of the show we totaled over one thousand 100GE customer engagements, and nearly 200 ASR 9000 Test Drive (better known as “Robot Arm”) demonstrations.

Capability to support 100GE is something that we see consistently in customer RFPs, even if they intend to deploy 10GE initially. It’s all about investment protection while (in some cases) they wait for the cost of 100G to be more competitive with using multiple 10GE links. Given the cost of 100 Gbps pluggable optics, it’s amazing to hold in your hands something so small and plain that sells for the cost of a luxury car.

Also a hit was the award winning Cisco ASR 9000 Test Drive, about which I’ve blogged before. This of course was physically located in San Jose, and streamed to Cisco Live while being controlled on the show floor by the users. (A true, but little known fact – the inspiration for the Test Drive came from toy heat engine known as the “drinking bird”. We liked the idea that the IOS XR-enabled ASR 9000 keeps running much like a perpetual motion machine).

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A Week In the Life of the ASR 9000 Series

A Week In the Life of the ASR 9000 SeriesWe had an excellent time in Las Vegas at Cisco Live 2011, despite outside temperatures breaking 100 degrees (38C) at times!   While things were hot at the show, things were just as active on the customer momentum front for the Cisco ASR 9000 Series.  We were able to announce two new customers that join the more than 500 customers of the platform worldwide:  PCCW in Hong Kong and Polish Telecom (Telekomunikacja Polska, or TP Group). Despite their geographic distance, both operators share common challenges. Growth in video and mobile traffic is driving the need to each to add additional capacity -- as highlighted by our Visual Networking Index report -- yet competition from alternative providers makes it difficult to simply raise prices to pay for new networks.

In the case of Polish Telecom -- which also announced the deployment of the Cisco CRS-3 in the core -- the company sought to invest in a cost effective, robust and powerful broadband infrastructure that, as they proudly say, will help shape Poland’s economic and social future. The new network will support enhanced video, mobile, and cloud computing services. Mobility has been a huge growth area for TP. They’re the mobile market share leader in Poland under the Orange brand and have seen significant increases in smartphone penetration over the past 12 months by offering affordably priced Android-based handsets. This is driving up mobile Internet usage and the company is upgrading their mobile network to support faster data transmission with HSPA2+. On the wireline side, TP is rolling out VDSL “fiber to the curb” which will bring broadband speeds up to 40 Mb/s and higher, along with more video channels for their half-million plus TV subscribers . Ultimately this will result in better customer experiences, and hopefully for TP, lower churn and reduced operating costs.

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Cisco Grows Leadership Position in Service Provider Networking

Cisco gained market share in service provider routing and switching in the first quarter of 2011, according to two key analyst reports issued this week.

In an ACG Research blog post issued today, the firm said, “Cisco continues to hold the number one position (in worldwide carrier routing and switching) with 50.3% of total market share…ACG is cautiously optimistic about the future outlook of the market. We see service providers spending on cloud computing and video services and managed services will help drive growth in the remainder of 2011.”

In a press release summarizing Synergy’s recent carrier routing and switching report, it said, “(We) find it notable that Cisco’s market share remains dominant and growing in the face of formidable competition and the ever-changing requirements of network infrastructure. Although there is ample opportunity for other vendors to participate in this market, Cisco still today holds the dominant #1 market share position with nearly 2.5 times greater market share than its closest #2 competitor and over 3 times the amount of market share than its more distant #3 competitor.”  Synergy is forecasting the Service Provider router and switch market to approach 20% growth in 2011.

With Internet and mobile traffic growth, the transition to IPv6 technologies, and new cloud and social computing market opportunities, innovation in service provider networking has never been more important.

Backed by Cisco’s flagship core and edge routing platforms – the CRS-3 and ASR families – we look forward to working with our service provider partners to build out the next-generation Internet and help drive exciting new services in the years ahead.

During Cisco’s Q3FY11 earnings announcement last week, Cisco stated that year-over-year product revenue for the ASR 9000, Cisco’s flagship edge router, had grown at approximately 140%.  Last month, we announced that just one year after it was introduced, the industry-leading Cisco® CRS-3 Carrier Routing System is being adopted faster than the original CRS-1 platform, with 80 customers in more than 30 countries.

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Speed Limit 100Gbps – Cisco CRS-3 and Altibox Powers World’s Fastest Computer Party

Norway's The Gathering and Cisco 100GWhat do you get when you combine 5000+ gamers, a 100GE uplink to the Internet, a lot of espresso machines, and no parents to tell them to shut down the noise or go to bed early? A whole lot of fun!

The Gathering (“TG”), is Norway’s largest computer party and kicked off today for its 20th time since 1992. It’s grown so large now that it is held at one of the venues used for the 1994 Winter Olympics. TG continues to attract growing interest to the gaming, computer, and entertainment event, both nationally and internationally and is organized by the non-profit organization KANDU (Kreativ Aktiv Norsk DataUngdom/Creative Active Norwegian Computer Youth). This year it’s powered at record speed by a Cisco CRS-3 router connected to The Gathering’s Internet provider, Altibox at 100 Gbps, along with technical support provided by several of Cisco Norway’s engineers, Merete Asak and Bjornar Forthun.

This isn’t the first time the CRS has played a key role in a Scandinavian gaming conference. The Swedes used our 40G technology in 2007 at their Dreamhack event as we discussed (and video here), but now this has raised the performance bar.

Although they probably won’t be playing Cisco’s award winning myPlanNet game, they’ll still enjoy others such as StarCraft, Quake, and Heroes of Newerth. Participants also participate in creative competitions in programming, graphics, and music.

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News@Cisco Week in Review and Look Ahead: April 11-15

TGIF! Busy week? Us too! Check out some of our top news stories of the week.

1.)  Cisco Opens New Green Data Center in Allen, Texas

Cisco today announced a new green data center in Allen, Texas, with an architecture that deploys Cisco’s entire data center technology portfolio — computing, switching and data storage access — to support Cisco’s internal private cloud and deliver IT as a service. Read more about the construction here.

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