The Cisco® 7304 Router is designed for the network edge where high performance IP services are required to enable profitability, service differentiation, and business agility. Utilizing a compact (4 Rack Unit), modular (4 slot) form factor, the Cisco 7304 platform delivers high-touch IP services at optical speeds necessary for applications in the high-end enterprise and the service provider managed service customer premise equipment (CPE).
Figure 1. NSE-100 for the Cisco 7304
High performance services are critical in these implementations, and the Cisco 7304 delivers an evolving set of hardware accelerated IP Services via the Cisco patented Parallel eXpress Forwarding (PXF) IP Services Processor technology. The Cisco 7304 provides a wide range of connectivity from DS-0 to OC-48 performance, an architecture engineered for high availability, and multiprotocol support. With Gigabit Ethernet ports built into the system, the Cisco 7304 is the evolution of Cisco System's® 7x00 series routers.
The NSE-100 is the forwarding engine/route processor for the Cisco 7304. In order to provide both a rich feature set and a forwarding rate of up to 3.5 Mpps, the NSE-100 utilizes PXF technology to deliver hardware-accelerated network services and a RM7000 MIPS microprocessor to leverage various multiprotocol capabilities such as IPX, AppleTalk, DLSw, SNAw, and other features from Cisco IOS.
QUICK-LOOK FEATURE SUMMARY
• Centralized PXFs for hardware accelerated features (CEF, Turbo ACLs, NetFlow v8, MPLS, MPLS VPN, priority queuing, classification and marking, etc.)
• Up to 3.5 Mpps CEF forwarding performance for PXF accelerated services
• 350 MHz RM 7000 MIPS microprocessor allows non-PXF accelerated features to run at 450 Kpps
• 4 Gbps bidirectional throughput supported through NSE-100 for line cards
• Two GBIC based Gigabit Ethernet ports
• Multiprotocol and feature support via Cisco IOS (IP, IPX, AppleTalk, DLSw, SNAs)
• FE Management port
• Console/Auxiliary ports (RJ-45)
• 256 MB removable compact flash
• 512MB SODIMM memory
Cisco 7304 Chassis Features
• Compact (4RU), modular, NEBS-3 compliant system
• Redundant Route Processor capable
• Front to back airflow
Minimum Recommended Software Release
CISCO 7304 PROCESSOR OPTIONS
The Cisco 7304 Router offers two types of processor options: general-purpose network processing engine (NPE) and hardware-accelerated network services engine (NSE).
In addition to providing increased LAN connectivity (three fixed 10/100/1000 Mbps ports copper or fiber), 1 GB SDRAM, and 256 MB compact flash, with over 1 Mpps switching performance, the NPE-G100 also offers full Cisco IOS Software feature support at a higher processing speed than the route processor of the Cisco 7304 NSE-100 (approximately 450,000 pps). This means that the NPE-G100 can deliver all Cisco IOS® Software-based services at high performance, thus providing maximum versatility. The PXF-based NSE-100 offers superior 3.5 Mpps performance for specific applications through those features that are hardware accelerated and also supports line-rate performance for high-speed interfaces (up to OC-48/STM-16).
Table 1 provides a quick overview of the primary differences between the two Cisco 7304 processing engines.
Table 1. Comparison of the Cisco 7304 NPE-G100 and NSE-100 Network Processing Engines
General purpose processor
PXF-based processor plus general purpose RP support
Over 1 Mpps route processor (RP)
3.5 Mpps (PXF); 450 kpps (RP)
3 fixed 10/100/1000-Mbps ports (RJ-45) or SFP optics