Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cisco Introduces 100 Gbps Ethernet Edge Router

Cisco introduced its Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 that will provide significant increases in performance over its work horse 7600 routers with a total of 6.4 terabits per second of capacity. The ASR 9000 is designed around 100 Gbps Ethernet interfaces.

The ASR 9000 incorporates the Cisco Advanced Video Services Module (AVSM) with 4 terabyts of flash RAM storage that offers content caching, ad insertion, fast channel change and error correction of video streams. Fast channel change and onboard error correction for both unicast and multicast video traffic helps ensure that errors can be detected by any set-top box and retransmitted within milliseconds.

This is the kind of improvement in performance that will be required as we move through the next decade as 100 GBps Ethernet links become commonplace.

The AVSM capabilities of the AVSM provide similar capabilities to Alcatel-Lucent's TPSDA 2.0 approach that provides similar capabilities. Both approach will require support from the IPTV middleware to get their full effect.

The 4 TB of storage will be enough to store about 1,000 hours of HD content. This will be enough for the most popular video on demand assets but not for the long tail of for an extensive NPVR service. Cisco will have to add a lot more storage to really offload video traffic from the network as it is currently claiming. I will write a column that will discuss this issue in more detail in a couple of days. I just don't think that a distributed approach will hold up over the long term.

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