The sheer power of the ASR1000 routers marks a big step up from the company's current WAN edge routers. A single ASR1000 could give every employee in a company of 60,000 a personal broadcast channel and provide a secure, encrypted connection to every city in the world with a population over 150,000. A standard telecommunications rack of the routers could provide Internet service with quality of service and a firewall to every person in Frankfurt, Germany, Cisco said. That's largely thanks to the QFP, which consumed about US$100 million of the approximately $250 million Cisco invested in developing the new series. The platforms that customers currently use at the WAN edge, chiefly the 7200, 7600 and Catalyst 6500, are still suited to some customers' needs and will continue to be updated, Cisco's Davidson said.
By building many capabilities into one device, Cisco is taking a similar tack with the ASR1000 line as with its popular ISR (Integrated Services Router) for small and branch offices, said Synergy Research Group analyst Ray Mota. In both cases, this saves capital, operational and energy costs, compared with using a string of specialized devices, he said. ASR1000 routers configured for IPSec encryption, security, voice and video could save the equivalent of between four and 77 barrels of oil per year depending on the ASR1000 model and comparative solution, according to Mota's tests.
When the line ships in April, it will be available in three models: the ASR1002, ASR1004 and ASR1006, which will take up two, four and six rack unit shelves, respectively. Prices will start at $35,000.