Finally, as IP-based traffic continues to grow and the global market becomes more aware of rising router/switch power consumption, Cisco's new product includes modular power sequencing coupled to an airflow design that it says reduces power requirements relative to competing products.
Like all new network platforms, the ASR 9000 will not spring fully-grown from Cisco's collective head into the market when it arrives in 1Q09. Rather, its functionality will grow over time. For example, the initial product will have 10GE interfaces and 40G (OC-768), integrated DWDM transponder, and other options over time, with the ultimate goal being 100GE after industry standardization in 2010. It is unlikely as well to scale to 6.4 Tbps from the start; it will take multiple hardware and software releases over several years to realize the full breadth of platform capabilities described by Cisco.
The trends reflected by service provider IP/MPLS edge products in 2008 - increasing integration of subscriber management and Ethernet aggregation in a single platform, support for a wide variety of applications, and more focus on video and power features - will deepen in the coming years, providing opportunity for vendors trying to grab a bigger piece of the growing edge router market.