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Cisco programs the cloud

Virtualization and scale enhancements for service provider routers address traffic growth, network agility

Cisco recently unveiled three enhancements to its core and edge platforms for service providers to increase programmability for cloud and IP traffic growth. The new offerings include Application Engineered Routing, the IOS XRv 9000 Virtual Router and 100G Ethernet line cards for the ASR 9000 series edge router.

The new and enhanced products are intended to allow service providers to scale their networks and to uncover new revenue opportunities. Cisco says global IP traffic will increase three-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 21%, due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and more video viewing.

Application Engineered Routing is a service-creation environment combining segment routing with software-defined-networking. It allows service providers to tune the network on behalf of the application, allowing it to determine on-demand latency, bandwidth and availability for that application.

The IOS XRv 9000 Virtual Router provides a lower cost entry point for Cisco IOS XR routing. It is software that runs on an x86-based server for on demand, cost optimized service deployment, and as an appetizer to upgrade to a physical ASR 9000 router.

Cisco announced the CSR 1000V virtual router for enterprises two years ago. Juniper Networks unveiled a virtual version of its MX edge router late last year.

The 100G Ethernet cards for the ASR 9000 provide increased bandwidth to accommodate growth in mobile, cloud and video applications. The linecards are available in four- and eight-port versions and support Cisco’s silicon photonic CPAK technology.

Each 100G port can be configured as 100G, 40G, or 10x10G Ethernet based on customer requirements. Cisco says the new higher density linecards reduce power consumption by up to 64%, floor space by 75% and cost per bit by 20% compared to the previous generation.

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