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Dueling Cisco Systems Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. are both jockeying for the spotlight on the high end of the routing market with announcements of new developments around their respective CRS-1 and T-series core routers.

Cisco, which played catch-up to Juniper in the service provider core routing space last May when it launched the Carrier Routing Switch-1, has announced several service provider and research center customer deployments as well as trials of the fledging next-generation router. Juniper, meanwhile, has launched the multichassis TX Matrix, which allows customers to deploy several TX 640 core routers as a single router capable of forwarding up to 3 billion packets per second.

Softbank BB Corp., which owns Yahoo Broadband; the National Institute of Informatics’ SuperSINET research network in Japan; and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center will use the CRS-1 to build out their IP networks. Telecom Italia is close to deploying the CRS-1, and another 14 global service providers are testing the router.

Cisco also launched a scaled-down version of the supersized router—the CRS-1 eight-slot Single-Shelf System.

eWEEK Labs tests Cisco’s Integrated Services Routers. Check out the review.

“There’s a lot of momentum with next-generation networks and the ability to have multiple services cross a single infrastructure. That’s what the CRS is all about,” said Tony Bates, vice president and general manager of high-end routing at Cisco, in San Jose, Calif.

Cisco also announced a strategic alliance and joint development effort with Fujitsu to customize the CRS-1 for the Japanese market. That effort will focus on IP Version 6, quality of service and IP multicast technology.

The new CRS-1 router provides half the capacity of the existing 16-slot router, providing 640G bps of total switching capacity.

Juniper Networks, meanwhile, with its new TX Matrix will allow the two-and-a-half-year-old T 640 router to be expanded into a multichassis system, scaling the router to provide 3 billion packets per second, while running existing software and services. “You can port the essential modularity of software and services into a multichassis view to make the router look like it has four times the number of slots than it has,” said Matt Kolon, senior technical marketing manager at Juniper, in Underhill, Vt.

The T 640 was designed from inception for a multichassis architecture, but demand at its inception did not exist for that capacity. Juniper now is hearing from customers that they are interesting in scaling their core routers, Kolon said.

“As the IP core continues to grow at the same time these services get richer and richer, service providers need costs to move down. They need to consolidate [points of presence] and service platforms in general,” he said.

The multichassis capability was designed to protect customer investments in the T 640 as their services grow. “You just have to take the unit, perform software upgrades and create a single entity. The same cards that carry the interfaces, the interfaces themselves, the power supplies, management, routing engines—all are retained,” said Kolon.

That contrasts with the upgrade required to migrate from Cisco 12,000 routers to the new CRS-1 and its IOS XR operating system.

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