The Cisco® XR 12000 Series routers accelerate the service provider evolution toward IP Next-Generation Networks, combining the unparalleled innovation of Cisco IOS® XR Software with investment protection of the market-leading Cisco 12000 Series (Figure 1).
Offering secure resource virtualization, integral service delivery, continuous system operation, and multiservice scale, the Cisco XR 12000 Series provides intelligent routing solutions that scale from 2.5- to 10-Gbps capacity per slot, enabling next-generation IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks.
The Cisco XR 12000 Series is powered by Cisco IOS XR Software, allowing service providers to isolate public and private services through the virtualization of a single router into separate physical and logical partitions. Cisco IOS XR Software is a unique self-healing and self-defending operating system designed for always-on operation while scaling capacity and adding new services or features. With distributed processing intelligence and robust quality-of-service (QoS) and multicast mechanisms, the Cisco XR 12000 Series allows providers to scale services and customers with performance.
Built upon a foundation of investment protection, the Cisco XR 12000 Series provides fully upgradable, single-chassis platforms ranging from 2.5- to 10-Gbps capacity per slot and combines the latest hardware advances of the Cisco 12000 Series with the industry's first fully modular, fully distributed internetwork operating system, Cisco IOS XR Software.
Figure 1. Cisco XR 12000 Series Router Portfolio
Accelerating the Transition to IP Next-Generation Networks
As intense competition continues to erode their profitability, service providers are accelerating their transition to packet-based IP Next-Generation Networks. Service providers require innovative, converged infrastructures to improve delivery of current services that are also the foundation for tomorrow's new, bandwidth-intensive services. Solutions that provide greater network intelligence, integration, and flexibility will not only give carriers short-term relief but also enable them to combat competitive pressures and address new market opportunities.
From the perspective of Cisco, IP Next-Generation Networks bring about a broad network transformation that encompasses not just the service provider's network but its entire business. The IP Next-Generation Network can enable service providers to meet all the needs of all customer segments efficiently and economically - and can be the basis for delivering applications that enable sustainable profitability.
In Cisco's view, the phased development of the IP Next-Generation Network involves creating an intelligent infrastructure from which application-aware services are delivered by service-aware networks. This type of intelligent, IP-based Next-Generation Network will open new opportunities for service providers to offer advanced and personalized all-media services over any type of connection. Because it provides convergence in three interworking layers - application, service, and network - intelligent IP can be the technology foundation to bring about the IP Next-Generation Network transformation.
The adoption of a converged IP Next-Generation Network represents a move away from service-specific voice and data networks to a common packet-based core and multiservice edge that supports transport, application, and content-delivery services. The edge and core functions are gradually consolidated onto a single flexible and scalable IP Next-Generation Network system while reducing capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) for the network operator.
The Cisco XR 12000 Series routers accelerate the service provider evolution toward IP Next-Generation Networks, combining the innovation of Cisco IOS XR Software with the investment protection of the market-leading Cisco 12000 Series.
Key Attributes of the Cisco XR 12000 Series
The Cisco Service Separation Architecture (SSA) on the Cisco XR 12000 allows service providers to consolidate multiple networks and services onto a single, "virtualized" platform while keeping each network and service instance separate and secure. This consolidation helps ensure that network anomalies experienced in one service (for example, the public Internet) do not affect another (for example, a private VPN). Services and customers are isolated from each other for maximum security. Additional benefits of consolidation through secure virtualization include feature transparency, optimal point-of-presence (POP) design, and OpEx and CapEx efficiencies as a result of a reduced number of network elements. Primary features include:
• Cisco SSA for complete physical separation of network and system resources between each logical routing instance on the Cisco XR 12000
• Isolation of traffic flows and management- and control-plane functions per routing instance
Continuous System Operation
The Cisco XR 12000 Series is built on Cisco IOS XR Software, the industry's only self-healing and self-defending operating system. This microkernel-based operating system provides granular process independence, fault containment, and isolation. With these unique capabilities, the Cisco XR 12000 Series can be maintained, upgraded, enhanced, and scaled without requiring service interruptions. Combined with the distributed architecture and redundant components of the Cisco XR 12000 Series, Cisco IOS XR Software helps enable a carrier-class infrastructure that supports "always-on" operations. Primary features include:
• Redundant power supplies, fans, controllers, and processing elements
• Distributed architecture with separation of data, control, and management planes
• Process management through redundancy, failure detection, isolation, tolerance, and recovery
• In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU), which supports nonstop forwarding (NSF) and graceful-restart extensions of routing and signaling protocols
• Hot-swappable hardware support with online-insertion-and-removal (OIR) functions
• Hardware memory fault detection and correction through parity or error-correction-code (ECC) memory
With distributed processing intelligence and robust QoS and multicast mechanisms, the Cisco XR 12000 Series allows providers to scale both services and customers with predictable performance. In order to support demanding applications and the rapid growth of services and customers over time, the Cisco XR 12000 Series with Cisco IOS XR Software supports distributed processing, which allows for adding route processors to the router and results in a more scalable and available control plane. This distributed processing provides processing power for not only increased performance and resource management, but also check-pointing and process redundancy for resiliency. Also, the consolidation of multiple services onto one platform requires robust QoS that preserves service-level agreements (SLAs) associated with each service, and intelligent multicast mechanisms that allow carriers to move up the service value chain from basic transport to content delivery. Primary features include:
• Cisco IOS XR Software distributes processing intelligence to each Cisco IP Services Engine (ISE) line card (that is, OS infrastructure and applications, Layer 3 forwarding, line card-specific control functions, and packet manipulation) and to additional route processors installed in the system (that is, Border Gateway Protocol [BGP], Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System [IS-IS], etc.). Distributed processing intelligence removes software limitations to system scalability and allows network operators to take full advantage of the aggregate capacity of installed hardware in the system.
• ISE line cards use the industry's most sophisticated 2.5- and 10-Gbps application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), which are fully programmable to support the diverse and continually changing Layer 3 feature set required by multiservice IP Next-Generation Networks.
• Dedicated queuing ASICs on each ISE line card provide unparalleled per-customer QoS that protects against jitter and delay of video and time-sensitive data and voice applications without affecting scale or performance.
• Multicast replication is handled by the switch fabric to avoid service-disrupting congestion associated with other routers that replicate frames at the line-card level.
• Cisco IOS XR SSA between data, control, and management planes enables deployment of new features without service disruption. Its modular software architecture accelerates service delivery with individual packaging of feature sets, and allows components to be installed, updated, or deleted individually.
Cisco XR 12000 Architecture Components
The Cisco XR 12000 architecture consists of five basic building blocks:
• Cisco IOS XR Software - At the heart of the Cisco XR 12000 is a unique self-healing and self-defending operating system designed for always-on operation while scaling service capacity and adding new services or features. Cisco IOS XR Software takes full advantage of the distributed intelligence and hardware capacities of the ISE line cards and Cisco XR 12000 and 12000 Series Performance Route Processor-2 (PRP-2) technology on the Cisco XR 12000 Router. It also powers the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System (CRS-1), the IP Next-Generation Network platform designed for service provider points of presence (POPs) requiring multiterabit scale, providing consistent features, services, and management and multishelf configurations.
• Cisco XR 12000 multigigabit switch fabric - The switch fabric is the high-speed interconnect between all router components, including the route processor and the Cisco intelligent programmable interface processors (Cisco ISE line cards). The fabric is highly optimized for both unicast and multicast, and is supported on both the Cisco 12000 and Cisco XR 12000 Series.
• Cisco XR 12000 intelligent programmable interface processors - The Cisco intelligent programmable interface processors (Cisco ISE line cards) terminate the physical interface and provide the forwarding decisions, payload processing, payload accounting, policy management, and security. Combining a programmable feature set with high performance, the ISE line cards are available in fixed-port (line cards) and modular-port (shared port adapters [SPAs] and SPA interface processors [SIPs]) versions. They are supported on the Cisco XR 12000 Series as well as the Cisco 12000 Series.
• Cisco XR 12000 Series Control Plane Route Processor - The Cisco XR 12000 Series Control Plane Processor uses the Cisco PRP-2 from the Cisco 12000 Series to provide chassis management, route protocol processing, and external management.
Cisco IOS XR Software Architecture
Cisco IOS XR Software, the operating system of the Cisco XR 12000 and Cisco CRS-1, is the first fully modular, fully distributed internetwork operating system featuring a memory-protected, microkernel-based architecture and distributed processing (refer to Figure 2). The microkernel includes only the most essential services of the operating system such as message passing, memory management, process scheduling, and thread distribution. All other elements that are part of the kernel in traditional operating systems such as device drivers, file systems, network drivers, and system management are implemented outside the kernel.
This modern operating system architecture design is the basis upon which Cisco IOS XR Software can offer continuous system operation and multiservice scale as well as complete separation of the data, control, and management planes. Every operating system function runs in its own protected memory space and is divided into processes that can be distributed to any available processing resource on any shelf in the system to eliminate processing bottlenecks and to ensure that no potential hardware failure adversely affects system operation. Cisco IOS XR Software processes can be stopped, started, or restarted dynamically, either automatically in response to a failure or by the system operator. This granular modularity helps ensure that only the required processes are restarted upon process failure or during software upgrades, enabling ISSUs.
Figure 2. Modular and Distributed Cisco IOS XR Software
The ISSUs are further simplified through the use of a modular software-distribution mechanism that bundles similar or dependent components together so they can be upgraded as a set. If necessary, individual processes can be upgraded or patched to apply critical fixes or new features (Figure 3). This capability allows service providers to add new features or fix software defects without having to requalify a completely new operating system version.
Cisco Service Separation Architecture - Providing Secure Virtualization
The Cisco SSA takes advantage of hardware and Cisco IOS XR Software designs of the Cisco XR 12000 Series to provide total separation of traffic and network operations on a per-service or -customer basis. This unique implementation allows carriers to isolate the control, data, and management planes along with associated line cards and route processors to create logically and physically separate routers that operate independently within a single Cisco XR 12000 router. The Cisco SSA provides secure virtualization and gives carriers the flexibility to test, deploy, and implement a comprehensive offering of converged services with the confidence that they can meet customer SLAs (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Cisco SSA - Moving Beyond Virtual Routers to Complete Physical and Logical (Memory Protected) Separation for Services or Customers
Cisco Technical Support Services have been extended to the Cisco XR 12000 Series. These services are positioned to deliver solutions that meet customers' needs today and to support their transition to IP Next-Generation Networks.
Contact your Cisco Services account representative for more details.