Cisco CEO: Video the Killer App, Cisco CRS-3 the Conduit

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Cisco's CRS-3 carrier-grade router can deliver up to 322 terabits per second -- which means it could enable delivery of every movie ever made in just 4 seconds. It's that kind of capacity that will form the foundation of the next-generation Internet, said Cisco CEO John Chambers, delivering high-quality video, telemedicine and productivity/collaboration to consumers and business.

Cisco has developed a new carrier-grade routing system that it says will form the foundation of the future Internet, capable of delivering enormous quantities of data at very high speeds, enabling widespread delivery and use of high-quality video applications for businesses and consumers, among other functions.

The networking giant announced the CRS-3 during a TelePresence video conference on March 9, saying it could deliver up to 322 terabits per second. That kind of bandwidth could essentially deliver every movie ever made in just 4 seconds, said Cisco, or enable every person in China to simultaneously make a video conference call, or enable the download of the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress in just over 1 second.

"Today’s announcement is about the foundation of the future of the Internet," said Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers during the video conference.

Calling video a killer application for the future Internet, Chambers said that telemedicine, productivity and collaboration would be among the major applications transforming the Internet market in years to come.

"It's telling Cisco used video in its examples of the capacity this product delivers," Forrester Analyst Chris Silva told Channel Insider. "From Telepresence to the Tandberg acquisition to the integration of video into all of Cisco's desktop devices, it's clear their current view on what drives network capacity is wedded to video."

And it’s as much about consumers as it is about business, according to Chambers, who noted that "everything we saw at CES requires networks." That means that this next-generation Internet enabled by the CSR-3 would enable services such as video streaming and gaming and 3D television to devices from smartphones to game consoles to tablets and e-readers.

Cisco’s CRS-3 is currently in trials with carriers, including AT&T in its trial of a 100-gigabit backbone network between Miami and New Orleans. The companies said that AT&T’s next-generation backbone network technology will support the network requirements for the growing number of advanced services offered by AT&T to consumer and business customers, both fixed and mobile.

Cisco plans to deliver the CRS-3 during the third quarter of this year.

Cisco spent $1.6 billion to develop the CRS-3, and the system pricing starts at $90,000. Much of the development costs went into the creation of a six-chip array processor chipset that can provide not just the raw speed but the smart speed and smart pipes, according to Pankaj Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s service provider group.  

The Cisco CRS-3, which offers 12 times the traffic capacity as the nearest competitor, according to Cisco, is the next generation of Cisco’s CRS-1 product. It triples that product’s capacity. The CRS-1 currently has 300 customers, and about 5,000 systems have been deployed. Cisco’s Patel said the company expects the CRS-1 to continue to be deployed in developing geographies.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com