NEW YORK—Cisco Systems, one of the world's largest networking and communications technology vendors, announced a new series of router hardware that will be capable of handling dizzying amounts of Internet and data traffic.
Cisco said that the CRS-3 router will be capable of handling 322 terabits per second (Tbps) of data in a certain configuration with 72 of the devices together, triple the capacity of its predecessor, the CRS-1.
The company detailed the importance of speed in its press release, saying that the amount of data the 322 Tbps routing system can process "enables the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress to be downloaded in just over one second" and for "every motion picture ever created to be streamed in less than four minutes."
CRS stands for Carrier Routing System, and is expected to be used at the backbone of large network carriers and Tier-1 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, which handle the core network on which the Internet runs.
Cisco said that the CRS-3 is in field trials, with pricing for the router starting at $90,000. It said that AT&T had recently tested the CRS-3 in its first live field trial for a 100-Gigabit backbone network between New Orleans and Miami.
The networking giant said that it had invested $1.6 billion in the CRS family of routers.
One terabit is one thousand (1000) gigabits, which is the commonly measured volume of consumer Internet traffic. However, network traffic at the core is measured in terabits or larger quantities, such as petabits (one thousand terabits) or zettabits (a million petabits) or yottabits (one thousand zettabits), since the core networks carry much larger volumes of data than at the edge of the network closer to the end-user.
Analysts say that the CRS-3 might never be deployed in the real world using the configuration that Cisco used for its 322 Tbps test, but that the release was nonetheless a significant step forward in the networking world.
Internet networking companies and telecommunication vendors are trying to adapt to the massive volume of data that is being carried over the Internet today. In an interview with the New York Times, Doug Webster, a market executive at Cisco Systems said that "A couple of years ago we had to start measuring [Internet traffic] in zettabytes, and now we’re measuring them in what we call yottabytes.”