Well, Cisco finally introduced the ASR 1000 family of routers this morning. It was, well, underwhelming. After a secretive ad campaign that featured the Easter Bunny, a bird man, a transvestite cupid, and a unicorn lady, I was geared up for something exciting. Instead, I got the ASR.
- First, I would not hang it out there as a badge of honor that you spent $250M and 5 years on this thing. If you're a Cisco stockholder, you should be screaming bloody murder. I talked to an analyst today who pointed out how many start ups you could have funded with that cash and how much technology you would have gotten back in return. Cisco should be hanging its head in shame.
- It's positioned to replace the 7200, sort of. They'll still sell you the 7200 if you want, so it isn't technically obsolete... yet. Or you can pay something like 30 percent more for the ASR. Your choice. Light Reading says:
"It doesn't have the performance of the 7600 at the higher end, and it doesn't have the price point of the 7200 at the lower end," Shetty admits. Moreover, he notes the ASR isn't a carrier Ethernet platform like the 7600.
- They spent 5 years and $250M but could only come up with a 10 Gbps router?
- The routing table size is only 1 M IPv4 routes and 250k IPv6 routes. So that means that it's less scalable than the 7200 and if the world converts to IPv6 tomorrow it's obsolete immediately because the current Internet routing table is ~250,000 routes already. Fire the guy who did that math.
- The ASR runs a new version of IOS, called IOS-XE. IOS seems to be breeding faster than tribbles on the USS Enterprise, in spite of Cisco's claims that they would actually reduce the number of IOS versions out there. Notably, IOS-XE is not derived from IOS-XR, in spite of the similar name. Rumor has it that it's the 7200 IOS running as a daemon on Linux. Network World notes the Linux connection and Light Reading says:
Cisco did need to do something new to let the ASR run two copies of its operating system, something Shetty says hasn't been done before in boxes this small.In fact, it has been done in boxes this small for quite a while (ahem, Vyatta), years in fact. In fact, Vyatta uses true virtualization, rather than just running an old operating system in a single process.
- I just about sprayed coffee out my nose this morning when I was reading the Cisco press release:
The Cisco ASR 1000 Series also enables service providers and enterprises to reduce their carbon footprint. By surpassing the capabilities possible in multi-device, multi-vendor solutions, the Cisco ASR 1000 Series dramatically decreases both the architectural complexity of deployment for service providers and enterprises but also their carbon footprints as well. Analysis conducted by Synergy Research found that, when compared to competitive offerings, each implementation of the Cisco ASR 1000 Series can result in carbon footprints savings up to 3754 gallons of gasoline or 17 tons of coal annually.Gak! Are we really at the point of computing carbon offsets for networking equipment? Are price-per-port or maximum-performance now passé competitive metrics? Coming to an Interop panel near you: "Well, how many cars did your router take off the road??" Or maybe in a future datasheet: "The ASR 1000 has a performance to carbon ratio of 38949 Gbps per coal ton." Sigh...
And here I thought networking was starting to get boring. Between the chicken-man and carbon offsets, I spent the morning laughing...