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Communications The Internet Hardware

Cisco Reveals Its $500 Million Router 194

Posted by timothy
from the like-the-$6-million-man dept.
Whitecloud writes "After 4 years of development and $500 million in costs, Cisco have a new router: the CRS-1, or Carrier Routing System. Cool features include a 40 gigabit-per-second optical interface, and the ability to cluster the boxes to act as a single router. retail starts at $450,000. Video available here." Update: 05/26 13:55 GMT by T : Sorry; I missed the previous mention of this device.
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Cisco Reveals Its $500 Million Router

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  • by Mz6 (741941) * on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:40AM (#9258202) Journal
    • by Zathrus (232140) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:43AM (#9258224) Homepage
      Yes, but that post was from CmdrTaco.

      This one is from timothy.

      Completely different.
    • Well, yesterday they could just route 92 Tbps, today they're at 40 Gbps!

      Uhm, waitaminute...
      • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:14AM (#9258482)
        Different numbers, 92Tbps is total fabric capacity when used in a mesh, 40Gbps is what can be done on a single interface. So this thing can route 2300 40Gbps interfaces when used in a cluster, that's more capacity than any organization can use at this time, so there is TONS of room to grow. This sounds like a good thing to use for the core of *gasp* a carrier class network which needs future expandability without downtime.
        • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:56AM (#9258799)
          > 92Tbps is total fabric capacity when used in a mesh, 40Gbps is what can be done on a single interface. So this thing can route 2300 40Gbps interfaces when used in a cluster, that's more capacity than any organization can use at this time,

          Future Slashdot Poll: Suppose you had a router that could handle 2300 40Gbps interfaces?

          • 92Tbps ought to be enough for anybody!
          • 92Tbps is insignificant compared to the power of the Slashdot effect!
          • Spoken like someone who's never seen CowboyNeal's pr0n collection.
        • by sinrakin (782827) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:58AM (#9258821)
          Note that Cisco is still using their misleading "times 2" throughput specs. Because they're full duplex they count interface twice, which makes the throughput through the box double what it truly is. I.E. if there's a unidirectional data flow with one MB/sec comes in one interface and gets routed out the other, they count that as 2 MB/sec of throughput. It's really only handling 46Tbps of throughput, and suppports 1152 40Gbps interfaces. Although that's still a lot...
        • that's more capacity than any organization can use at this time

          You obviously haven't seen the multi-player requirements for Half-Life 2.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I can see the DOD and Tier-1 ISPs having an immediate use for this. Especially with the move to IPv6, you are going to see a lot more 'centralized' routing because of the hierarchical structure of networking with IPv6. They are aiming to reduce the size of the default router table, and that means that the core routers will have to each handle a lot more traffic than before, that's not even counting future growth. For IPv6 to succeed, the top-end routers are going to have to become much more powerful and eff
        • So this thing can route 2300 40Gbps interfaces when used in a cluster, that's more capacity than any organization can use at this time, so there is TONS of room to grow.

          Multiple point-to-point video conferencing between offices in a company could certainly benefit from thos capacity. How long will it be before PC's come equipped with 1 or 10 Gigabit network cards?
  • Backdoors... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mobiux (118006) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:41AM (#9258212)
    I wonder if they were smart enough to thoroughly check for backdoors, unchangeable passwords, and vulnerabilities before releasing it.
  • by toupsie (88295) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:43AM (#9258234) Homepage
    Another huge benefit of Cisco's new router is that you will be able to read Slashdot dupes even faster!
  • by vudufixit (581911) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:44AM (#9258238)
    And doesn't do nearly as much as this thing does.
  • When can one expect for this baby to drop prices?

  • by xlyz (695304)
    the ability to cluster the boxes to act as a single router

    what about copy the feature on /. to cluster the dupes to act as a single thread?

    1. post
    2. post again
    3 ...
    4. profit!!

  • interesting math (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pedantic bore (740196) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:47AM (#9258268)
    If they spent 500M on this, and they sell for 450T, and they have a 10% profit margin (unlikely, but it's a round number) then they'd need to sell +10,000 of these boxes to make a profit. Can we really use 10,000 of these things? That's a whole heck of a lot of throughput...

    I was working at BBN when they built the worlds first gigabit router, circa 1990. At the time, they claimed that they could route the entire internet through one of their boxes. It's amazing how far we've come.

    Oh, and yes, this whole story is redundant. We did this all yesterday.

    • by Timesprout (579035) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:52AM (#9258320)
      Can we really use 10,000 of these things

      Maybe not right this second but demand for bandwith is only going to grow, and probably more rapidly than currently, for the foreseeable future as the entire world becomes digitized and goes online
      • Note that you can aggregate 64 OC-768 (40Gb/sec) circuits onto a single fiber strand with Lucen'ts LambdaXtreme [lucent.com] Transport.

        What this means is that the next generation of fiber routing and switching gear is available and ready for deployment. Existing fiber networks will continue to increase in value while redundant dark fiber will retain its zero-dollar value status.
    • by DaHat (247651)
      Quite true, but I would expect that the IP created for the HFR (Huge Fast Router) could be applied to other Cisco products in the near future with a higher product margin.
    • by liam193 (571414) *
      Can we really use 10,000 of these things? That's a whole heck of a lot of throughput...
      Yeah, I see where your going. It's just like memory in PCs, 640 of these is all anyone could ever use.
    • by grub (11606)

      If they spent 500M on this, and they sell for 450T, and they have a 10% profit margin (unlikely, but it's a round number) then they'd need to sell +10,000 of these boxes to make a profit.

      Right, but the target market for these boxes will likely have "Cisco" logos all over their networking racks. Even if they don't make money on this line, they won't have a competitor (Juniper, Nortel, etc) getting a foothold in the data center.
      • $450,000 is only the base price. Apparently, these things are quite scaleable, and many of them will likely cost much more than 450k.

        I don't know what their profit margin is. I'd like to know. But more than 10% wouldn't surprise me.

    • They only need to sell about 1000.
      • They only need to sell about 1000.

        Thats assuming they make 100% profit. Of course they have to pay for materials and people to put that stuff together...so they're not making that much off each router.
    • by naelurec (552384) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:11AM (#9258465) Homepage
      It probably won't be profitable if you look at it this way. However, a lot of the R&D to develop this router will find its way into a wide range of other products.
    • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:16AM (#9258494)
      Cisco's margins are more along the lines of 50-60% depending on the product line. I know because the wireless division was being dumped on for only having ~40% margins. Then the bubble burst and other divisions suddenly had almost no sales so those margins on increasing sales started to look not so bad =)
    • by OzeBuddha (459435)
      Well actually, assuming every one of these routers made Cisco $450K in pure profit, and given that they have spent $500M in development, they would only need to sell just over 1,100 of these things to cover costs.

      Note that the post states that the routers start at $450K and also note that the router itself must cost something to make apart from the R&D costs, so the number of routers that Cisco must sell in order to make a profit is probably somewhere closer to 2,000 or 3,000. Perhaps they do not pla
    • by p.rican (643452)
      I was working at BBN when they built the worlds first gigabit router, circa 1990. At the time, they claimed that they could route the entire internet through one of their boxes. It's amazing how far we've come.


      As in Bolt, Beranek and Newman? I didn't know they were still around in 1990. Isn't that the same firm that built the first router (Honeywell516)?
      • Yes, it's Bolt, Beranek and Newman. Or was, rather -- the name of the company officially changed to BBN some time in the mid 90's. And, they're still around, doing just fine. Various parts of the company got sold off and died (i.e. Genuity) but the R&D heart of the company is still doing very, very cool stuff.

        • that no one really knows who they are. I only remembered their significance because of a book I read last summer about the origins of the internet. I was truly amazed at how brilliant those scientists and engineers were. I wish I remembered the name of the book, it was an amazing and inspiring read. I think it was "Nerds 2.0". I should have done a review of the book for /.
      • They are still there now. I work there.
    • Re:interesting math (Score:2, Informative)

      by Izmunuti (461052)
      $450,000 is probably for the smallest configuration that the system is available in, probably one shelf with only a couple of line cards. A full-blown system with 72 shelves, fully stocked with line cards, would probably be 10's of millions. Throw in the special room required for the massive cooling and power supply requirements of these beasts and you're talking real money.

      The margin for these monster routers is actually quite juicy.

      Iz
    • I'm picturing one of these things at the heart of a large cluster. It would significantly reduce the impact of poor information locality in a problem set.
    • Actually, I believe it is the basic, empty chassis which costs $450K...

      Individual line cards will be much more expensive. Carriers will need to buy several, perhaps even many of these to take advantage of the architecture.

      Some Catalyst 6500 and GSR line cards already retail [cisco.com] at >$300K.

    • Development costs do not enter into the margin calculation. Your 10% profit margin figure is baseless.
    • Don't forget about the Cisco SmartNet contracts. Sometimes those cost just as much as the equipment does.

      -Nick
  • by Ianoo (711633) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:49AM (#9258283) Journal
    Presuming that Cisco use their own products, this is just about the first link to a video on /. that isn't going to be /.'d within 5 minutes of the article being posted.
  • by jenkin sear (28765) * on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:50AM (#9258297) Homepage Journal
    The source code is available on the net for free!
  • Switches (Score:2, Interesting)

    First Cisco revealed its revolutionary Fibre channel switch (MDS series) which so far has a lukewarm reception, since it's so radically different. Now Cisco will reveal this million dollar router.

    Is it me or is Cisco trying to jump itself back into late markets with huge marketing headliners?
    • Re:Switches (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:41AM (#9258682) Homepage
      No. It is jumping in a mature market, conceding to the market demands and playing by the market rules. In fact it is the first IP vendor to do so.

      The biggest demand and the main objection to IP by all big telcos since the first days of the Internet has been that you cannot interface routers directly into the provisioning backend and that you have to keep highly qualified expensive staff to run it instead of paying a fraction of that for backend software and coasting on it for 7-9 years.

      Cisco is the first one to comply with this demand from the IP vendors, but not the last one. In fact Juniper is about to follow, others will also jump on the bandwagon.

      It is the first router to have an XML/SOAP interface that can be plugged into the provisioning/maintenance system via an industry standard for interfacing large systems so you no longer need to employ a bunch of CCXX-es to bang on keyboards. In fact it is what carriers have been asking to use MPLS for a while now and similar to what the ITU would have forced down everyone's throat anyway.

      This also means that any CCXX that is not accompanied by computing background has just dropped in value and will continue to drop in value as Cisco releases the new IOS to other devices accompanied by tools.

      I can understand them doing it. Their revenue from certs has nearly leveled now after that mad rush at the end of the boom. It is time to pick up a new revenue stream in the form of upgrades to Cisco Wors (favourite oximoron) and interfacing to carrier systems.
      • Re:Switches (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sphealey (2855)

        The biggest demand and the main objection to IP by all big telcos since the first days of the Internet has been that you cannot interface routers directly into the provisioning backend and that you have to keep highly qualified expensive staff to run it instead of paying a fraction of that for backend software and coasting on it for 7-9 years.

        First you are going to have to convince me that the telecomm carriers have a "provisioning back end" that consists of anything more than a bunch of grade school kids

        • If providers can use the new features of this system to fire with extreme predjudice all or some of the fuckups that are making it take so long to get a new circuit, then yes. It is a system that should be catered to.

          Now, I agree that telcos tend to be fucked in the head but not everyone has as much trouble getting new circuits as you do. Perhaps the trouble is in your region? Or your chair?

          • > Perhaps the trouble is in your region?

            I don't think so. Both me and people I have worked with have experienced this in the US Midwest, East, Mountain West, and West, and in the UK Midlands, with 10 or 15 different carriers.

            > Or your chair?

            Well, you are free to draw that conclusion ;-). But the follow-on sequence is typically
            • Installer shows up with computer-printed work order
            • Installer puts computer printout on floor and pulls spiral-bound notebook out of pocket; consults hand-written notes
            • Ins
            • My incredulity is related to the fact that I live in California which was until recently pacific bell territory and is now SBC/Pacbell territory. Now as anyone can tell you, pacific bell has a well-earned reputation for doing shit like cross-connecting wires when there is no excuse, stealing pairs which clearly have a signal on them from one customer to give them to another, and assorted other ridiculousness. In spite of that, everyone I have worked for has managed to have data circuits installed in signifi
              • Re:Switches (Score:3, Insightful)

                by sphealey (2855)
                Your milage cetainly will vary!

                Things seemed to be getting better for a while. Back in the 1998-1999-2000 time frame I had new circuits in in 3 weeks (with only 1 day on the phone!), and expansion of existing networks sometimes as fast as 10 days.

                But lately it has been 30-45 days, with the occasional 90 day @#@#!$-up. And no one at the telecomm companies seems to know what is going on.

                sPh
        • 1. Err... I am not in Bangladesh...
          2. I am not a kid...
          3. I used to maintain such a backend for a living in a global carrier.
          4. Get a clue
          • > 4. Get a clue

            I hope for your sake your employer (or former employer? Hmmm) has or gets a clue about these things called "customers". Because from where I sit (i.e. the guy who approves the invoice payments) the telecomm industry hates and despises it customers even more than the airlines. And that is saying a lot. I don't care what kind of tremendous back-end technology you have or claim to have, because from the customer's perspective it is truely horrible.

            sPh
      • So, after 1/2 billion in development, I can use a GUI wizard instead of a command-line? Isn't that anathema around here?
      • "IP"? (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Do you mean Internet Protocol (default at Slashdot) or Intellectual Property (default at Groklaw)?

        Either way, I didn't understand what you mean by "IP vendor" :-)
  • by imag0 (605684) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:52AM (#9258324) Homepage
    What the fuck are you gonna see in the video?

    <opening scene>
    box
    <queue the music>
    box with blinkinlights
    <musical creshendo>
    download done box on computer screen!
    <screen dissolve>
    bigass Cisco logo
    </closing scene>
    </music fades>
    call your local rep or 1-800-givemeyourfuckingbankaccount
  • The right video URL (Score:5, Informative)

    by edyavno (190451) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:52AM (#9258326) Homepage
    The Video URL posted is outdated: that site is designed for the older browsers (Netscape 4.7) and older players used within Cisco.
    Here's the link [feedroom.com] that points to the site that has better support for Mozilla/Firefox, Linux and Mac.
  • by CleverNickedName (644160) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:52AM (#9258327) Journal
    A classic breakdown in communication between the hope-they-changed-the-passwords dept. and the like-the-$6-million-man dept.
  • damn (Score:3, Funny)

    by Trailer Trash (60756) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @08:55AM (#9258352) Homepage

    retail starts at $450,000

    I have no idea how I'm going to get my wife to go for that, but maybe the 48Gb will impress her...

  • So, does it cost $500 Million, or $450 Thousand?
    • People around here bandy around RTFA, but you haven't even read the synopsis linking to the article properly!

      $500M to develop. Each unit costs $450K.
      • I think what the previous poster was referring to is the fact that the headline on this story is worded very poorly, to put it mildly. It would be correct to refer to this as a $500 million project, but this is NOT a $500 million router. People criticize traditional media and editors, but there are plenty of times around here when we need someone with at least BASIC professional copy editing skills.
  • 10 years? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bo0ork (698470) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:07AM (#9258438)
    Watching the video, they proudly proclaim that this product will allow a service provider to do their thing for the next ten years. Yeah. Right. With the way bandwidth-for-the-consumer is going, the ISP's are going to need petabits of routing capacity in ten years, not gigabits.
  • by Cytlid (95255) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:10AM (#9258452)
    ...that gets more embellished everytime I hear it. I think I'm gonna go mention to someone "hey, have you heard about Cisco's new 20 billion dollar router?"
  • What would people do with such a device???
    • Shift a whole lot of data, I'd imagine.
    • I'd drag it to the top of the cliff with a train of burros and then push it off onto the heads of people who post stupid comments on slashdot as they passed beneath. I bet that fucker weighs well over 150 lb, especially fully loaded.
      • compared to the rumor about avici and their big router. their first version FELL THRU THE FLOOR (not on the ground floor) due to its weight. ha!
        • An ex-coworker once told me a highly entertaining story about a tandem mainframe falling through the floor during a small fire and subsequent major flood at eastman-kodak. Apparently the system took all the wiring going to the unit with it down to the next floor - and was still operating when technicians examined the system. Very classy.

          For another, more related anecdote, look up information on the pentium prototypes melting their socket.

    • just in case... I was joking. The duplicate post a few days ago asked what people would do with the router. :)
  • Yeah right. (Score:5, Funny)

    by IainMH (176964) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:31AM (#9258595)
    Sorry if this has been mentioned but from zdnet:

    CRS-1, which previously had been code-named HFR for Huge Fast Router,

    Yes yes, I'm sure that while in dev the 'F' stood for 'Fast'.

  • by Nonillion (266505) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:33AM (#9258612)
    I would think the RIAA/MPAA would demand that DRM be built into this device since due to its speed, contributes to piracy.

    RIAA/MPAA...... The festering boil on the buttocks of America.
  • HFR? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Atrax (249401) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:41AM (#9258677) Homepage Journal
    > CRS-1, which previously had been code-named HFR for Huge Fast Router,

    HFR : Huge Fast Router?

    BFG 9000 : Big Funky Gun 9000

    transpose with whatever word you feel appropriate. I know what I'm going with.
  • by christophersaul (127003) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @09:52AM (#9258766)
    ...by hooking up a few homemade Intel boxes and putting Linux on them, using the same mythical Slashdot architecture that appears to apply to every other kind of computing problem discussed here?
  • I like how they say you can cluster these things together, but looking at retail value, a cluster would be way down the road for most medium-sized businesses
  • Microsoft will have so many extra services, Spy and DRM activities that only this sort of router will be able to handle the load. And since no current computer infrastructure could handle such demands Longhorn will have it built in so that you can participate in the new 'Make the Net Safe (for Microsoft)' campaign with your own hardware.

    Officials say that this small increase in hardware requirements is a small price to pay....

    ls
  • CRS-1, that's funny...

    Can't Route Shit

    Why didn't they think of something better?

    heh.
  • Ok, so what's with treating corporate names as plural? Cisco have a new router? I've never seen this used when referencing other groups of people (i.e. countries). You never hear "Britain have nice cars". Why is this suddenly the style du jour on Slashdot?

    If you're talking about the corporation as an entity, shouldn't it be treated as singular?

    Seriously, could someone explain this? It's been bugging the hell out of me.

    • by holt (86624)
      It's the British way of doing things. They figure that most companies have more than one person working for them, thus the plural.

      Hope that helps.
  • Cisco (Score:4, Funny)

    by chrysalis (50680) on Wednesday May 26, 2004 @12:19PM (#9260205) Homepage
    Yes, Cisco needs money in order to keep coding insecure TCP/IP stacks and patent things invented by other people.

  • They need to sell more than a thousand of these just to recoup the gross development revenue, more realistically 3 times that to make a profit. Is there really such a demand for a product of this size and price?

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