Cisco Blogs

Cisco CRS-3: Foundation for the Next Generation Internet

March 9, 2010 - 9 Comments

The public Internet has dramatically evolved since its inception. Likewise, so has the upward limit of expectations for IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) infrastructure to power it.

When the Internet was founded in the 1960’s, its designers were focused on building a robust, fault-tolerant and distributed computer network for the military, scientists and research institutes. Even in their sci-fi dreams, they likely didn’t think of TelePresence or iPhones or seemingly infinite amounts of video running over the network…but that’s just what happened. Now, even the notion of looking at the Internet as a key for basic communications, such as email, is antiquated in favor of rich media applications for our Connected Lives (…and to think that the email and basic web-centric view was just over 10 years ago). I can still quite easily recall being excited over a 56.6 modem and thinking it was blazing fast, and I’m not that old! (No comments from the gallery on my age, please!)

While the use of the network has changed dramatically, so too must the technology and architecture used to support it.

One thing that hasn’t changed throughout these changes though is Cisco’s perspective that Service Providers are instrumental in making these new experiences happen. At Cisco, we want to develop new technology that enables these providers to deliver the services that power economies, promote creativity, and fundamentally change how we are able to work, live, learn and play…and to that end, I’m pleased to announce that once again, we are doing just that.

Imaginable: Planning for New Experiences
Today, the service provider’s ability to deliver more of the branded, rich, integrated experiences – rather than just basic access – will be essential in their transformation from service providers to experience providers.

The key to this transformation involves building the capabilities to deliver applications and services on a robust infrastructure designed in anticipation of the future – knowing that it’s somewhat unpredictable.

The limitation, however, with the networks today is that they are designed to scale only in the predictable core to subscriber direction, and not in the data center to data center direction.

Therefore, merely increasing network platform component-level capacity would be short-sighted because the shift in traffic patterns also dictates the requirement for an architectural solution.

Introducing the Cisco CRS-3: Unmatched Scalability & Supporting Multi-Directional Patterns
Cisco’s answer to this challenge comes in the form of the CRS-3, our new flagship platform and quite simply, the industry’s most powerful, most capable, and more efficient core router ever created.

In many respects, the industry has a new flagship router now too.

At 322 Tbps, the CRS-3 is more than three times faster than its predecessor the CRS-1 and more than twelve times more powerful than any other competitive solution in the market. To put it into perspective, the CRS-3 could deliver all movies ever made in just 4 minutes. It would allow every man, woman, and child in China to make a video call simultaneously.

But remember, the issue now is not just capacity, but intelligence too – and the CRS-3 is purposefully architected for this new multi-directional networking. It can determine the shortest route to a requested piece of content to improve the customer experience and ease the impact of the request on the network. It can also automatically provision a cloud VPN to help one data center that has high utilization to tap into the underused resources of another “sibling” data center.

And it can do all of this using up to 60% less power than the competitive solutions and while maintaining our Cisco trademark characteristic of return on investment – all of the nearly 5000 CRS-1 units deployed in the world can transform to CRS-3’s, in service and at the pace the service provider dictates. Forklifts are neither needed, nor welcomed.

Actionable: Ready for Unpredictable Demand
Cisco’s latest innovation will proactively help service providers prepare for the Next-Generation Internet and the emergence of anywhere-to-anywhere customer experiences. The CRS-3 will effectively meet the needs of the network from forecasted trends, and perhaps even into the realm of the unknown – driven by the demands of “yet to be defined” application scenarios.

Preparing for all aspects of new video, mobile and cloud related activity truly necessitates contemplating the effects of data center to data center traffic characteristics. An agile and flexible platform that can adapt to unpredictable demand isn’t a pipe dream. It’s available here…and now.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. @balu - you can find specifications for the CRS family on the product's data sheet listings here

  2. hai what is the speed of crs-3

  3. I thought so too -- thanks, Brad.Did you see that we had a recent announcement on this with KPN recently, making them the first public CRS-3 customer?Thanks for the for the feedback and your articles -- I'm a regular on your blog page,Doug

  4. @DonCullenThe CRS-3 ships in Q3 CY2010. Please do contact your local Cisco office or Account Management team for more details.

  5. It is true that the concentration that was there on increasing the speeds from the Service provider to the customer was not as much as the back-end gateway to service provider / SP-SP etc. It's nice to see Cisco coming up with such a powerful router - After all, everything is moving online, and its moving fast!! The challenge for the service provider is the cost and ROI parameters. But the network speeds have to increase, that is inevitable.

  6. Any idea when the CRS-3 will be available for purchase, and where?

  7. Wow .. i m so excited :) Keep t up

  8. Thanks, Yahaya -- we're excited about the CRS-3 and pleased that you are too!Thanks for the feedback,DougW - Cisco

  9. yeah, it's awesome! keep the good job alive