Cisco Tuesday unveiled its Internet of Everything router, a device intended to address the growth in Internet traffic brought about by cloud, mobile, video and machine-to-machine communications.
The Network Convergence System (NCS), which was expected, is the culmination of three years of work by 450 engineers and $250 million in funding, Cisco says.
NCS includes a new network processor Cisco introduced two weeks ago: the nPower X1.
The system is not a core router like the Cisco CRS, or a successor to the CRS, the company says. Rather, it is a network fabric designed to scale CRS cores and ASR 9000 edge routers in service provider networks from centralized systems to distributed architectures able to accommodate the growth of Internet connected "things," like cars, homes and machines.
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Cisco says it plans to equip the CRS systems with the nPower chip as well to improve scale and introduce programmability into the platform for core routing requirements.
Cisco says the NCS can transport the entire NetFlix library in less than one second in a full multi-chassis deployment. It converges IP and optical networks in the service provider realm with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) server and Dynamic Fabric Automation networking in the data center to serve as a "central nervous system" for a programmable infrastructure founded on the nPower chip and onePK APIs in Cisco operating systems.
This "central nervous system" is designed to shift and redirect data center, core, edge and optical resources in real-time to speed service rollouts and reduce operational cost and complexity, Cisco says. This is enhanced through virtualization capabilities in system software that elastically scale up and down network and compute resources, and manage multi-chassis configurations as a single system.
If system scale is exceeded in one part of the network, NCS moves control plane functions onto UCS servers in the data center, Cisco says. NCS can also harness distributed Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and other Cisco virtualization mechanisms to enable cross domain function orchestration and service placement where required, the company says.
Analysts say the fabric and programmability of NCS will turn up the competitive heat with Juniper's PTX and Alcatel-Lucent's 7950 XRS routers.