Cisco 7000 Family Adds Compact 5-Slot Model; New Silicon Switching More Than Doubles Performance
High-End Router Family Enhanced in Move to the CiscoFusion Architecture
MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 28, 1994 -- Cisco Systems has enhanced itshigh-end Cisco 7000 family of multiprotocol routers with a new five-slotchassis designed for applications requiring high-end routing technology ina compact, cost-effective package. The company has also introduced aSilicon Switch Processor that more than doubles the 7000 family'sthroughput to over 250,000 packets per second; this processor is the firstimplementation of a key technology in the CiscoFusion architecture forswitched internetworks.
The new Cisco 7010 router offers the high performance and broad arrayof network interfaces of the seven-slot Cisco 7000,
The Cisco 7010's three configurable interface slots support up to 18LAN or 24 WAN interfaces, a combination of Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI, HSSIand serial. An ATM interface will be available in mid-1994(see accompanyingrelease).
Dale Boehm, Cisco 7000 product manager, said, "User feedback in theyear since we introduced the Cisco 7000 has shown that many customers wantfull performance and functionality but don't necessarily need a full-sizechassis. Linking an ATM network to an FDDI network, for example, requiresmaximum performance but only two interface slots. Our performance isconsistent across both Cisco 7000 models. Customers have the flexibility toinstall a solution suited to their needs without compromising systemperformance."
The Cisco 7010's loosely coupled multiprocessing architecture isidentical to that of the Cisco 7000. A Route Processor handlesnon-time-critical functions, while a Switch Processor determines eachpacket's destination and switches it. The TRI-Bus design -- consisting of adata-switching bus, a processor-to-processor communication bus and anoverhead functions bus -- separates router control data from user data,leaving the data highway always available for transmitting mission-criticalinformation. Processors are fully interchangeable between the two products,and on-line insertion and removal of interfaces minimizes downtime. Systemflash memory allows the software in all units to be administered and/orupgraded from a central point. The Cisco 7010 offers the same comprehensivemedia and protocol capability as all other Cisco routers, supporting morethan 15 LAN and WAN protocols via dynamic routing and numerous bridgingtechniques.
Silicon Switch Processor -- Growth Beyond 250,000 ppsAvailable in May for both the Cisco 7000 and 7010 will be a SiliconSwitch Processor (SSP), an upgrade to the family's current bit-slice-basedSwitch Processor that users can install in the field, increasingperformance on all media from roughly 110,000 packets per second to morethan 250,000 pps.
SSP-level performance is targeted for very high-speed backbones,particularly those where extensive security is a requirement. The highperformance is needed in scenarios where packet-by-packet access-listchecking is done -- for example, to keep personnel files private, isolatesoftware development projects so source code stays secure, or protectsensitive financial information.
Cisco achieved this major increase in performance by taking the packetswitching decisions, normally part of software, and accelerating them withcustom hardware. The SSP incorporates a special-purpose silicon switchingengine that examines the packet headers, identifies the appropriate routingor bridging information, and forwards the packet to the proper interface.Because the SSP is programmable, it can easily be adapted to reflect newversions of protocols, giving it all the flexibility of software switchingin large multiprotocol environments.
"The SSP protects users whose networks are growing and becoming moresegmented -- especially if those networks started out as a collapsedbackbone, which can be an architectural cul-de-sac," Boehm said. "As userschoose to implement distributed backbones, especially using ATM, they cando so with either Cisco 7000 model and will not be limited by performancebottlenecks at the interfaces to the backbone. Cisco's is the onlyarchitecture to maintain consistent performance regardless of media orwhether the network is collapsed or fully distributed. The siliconswitching engine, which is the basis of the SSP, enables multilayer LANswitching, a key component of the CiscoFusion architecture for switchedinternetworks."
Pricing/AvailabilityNow shipping, the Cisco 7010 router is priced at $11,900 with RouteProcessor, Switch Processor, three open interface slots and a single powersupply. With a Silicon Switch Processor, available in May 1994, the Cisco7010 will be $16,900.
By comparison, the Cisco 7000, with Route Processor, Switch Processor,five open slots and one power supply, is $19,900; with a Silicon SwitchProcessor, it will be priced at $24,900.
Users of existing Cisco 7000s can upgrade from a Switch Processor to aSilicon Switch Processor for $7,500.
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