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Cisco, Fujitsu to collaborate on high-end routers, switches

Posted: 09 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cisco systems? fujitsu? high-end routers? switches? crs-1 core router?

Cisco Systems and Fujitsu Ltd said Monday (Dec. 6) that they will collaborate on the development of high-end routers and switches for the Japanese market. Separately, Cisco also announced a smaller version of its carrier class CRS-1 core router.

The initial collaboration will be to develop Cisco's IOS-XR operating system for multiterabit routers. This is the first time Cisco has joined with another communications equipment manufacturer in router operating system development. The companies said that by combining their engineering knowledge they would be able to accelerate the development of features critical to Japanese service providers and large enterprises.

As part of what they term a "strategic alliance," Fujitsu will offer Fujitsu and Cisco co-branded routing products running IOS-XR to service providers in Japan. Fujitsu plans to release the first co-branded product in the spring of 2005. "Partnering is a strategic imperative for companies such as Cisco and Fujitsu to address service providers' and enterprise customer requirements," said Mike Volpi, senior vice president of Cisco's Routing Technology Group. Chiaki Ito, corporate EVP, Fujitsu Ltd, added, "Through the joint development and other collaborative efforts we are embarking upon, we will be able to address service providers' needs."

Cisco's "Mini CRS" allows service providers to buy into the core router platform, introduced with much fanfare last May, with lower investment (entry price is quoted at $225,000) and lower capacity. The latest version has eight slots instead of the 16 on the original CRS-1, but the chassis still supports the IOS XR operating system and the original routing line-cards, including the latest 40Gbps optical interface card.

As well as half the size, the new versions have half the switching capacity, 320Gbps.

Major competitors such as Juniper Networks and Avici Syetems followed similar market strategies with their high-capacity core routers, first introducing large, highly scalable versions followed by smaller capacity options. Hence, Cisco's move was widely expected.

Cisco also said it now has six paying customers for the CRS-1, which has only just started shipping but is said to be gaining momentum. The company was able to name four of the initial users, Japanese Internet service provider SoftBank BB and research networks such as the Japanese National Institute of Informatics and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

The company also said 14 providers have started trials with different capacity versions of the CRS-1, including Telecom Italia.

- John Walko

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