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Message started by Rad on Mar 9th, 2010 at 5:41pm

Title: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by Rad on Mar 9th, 2010 at 5:41pm
Check THIS out.

Link to video

Cisco Says New Router to "Forever Change the Internet"

Download the whole Internet in less than a minute.

doesn't US$90K seem excessive for a router?

some houses don't cost 90K.

maybe it's gold-plated.

Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by MrMagoo on Mar 9th, 2010 at 6:23pm
No, that's actually a really good price for a router that size.  Keep in mind, this router isn't anything like the one you have at your house.  It is about the size of a refrigerator, has multiple modules that each have their own processors, firmware, and fail-over functions, and can switch data at record speeds. 

Also, the Cisco IOS (router operating system) isn't something that's borrowed from open source or half-baked like the firmware on your home router.  Considerable time and effort goes into the IOS, and it has a huge range of features yet has to be incredibly stable.  If a Windows computer stays on for a week without rebooting, it starts to act funky.  On a router directing traffic for the Internet, such funkyness is completely unacceptable.  If you reboot a Cisco router once a year, that's a lot (and you usually reboot to upgrade the IOS, not to fix funkyness.)

$90K is probably the base price for the chassis.  By the time you buy all the modules, it probably is more like $1mil.

And since we're discussing it, there's a lot of marketing in the statement that it will "forever change the internet."  The amount of bandwidth used on the Internet has been growing since it was invented.  Current routers have reached their limits, and this is just the next generation.  ISP's are no doubt excited to get the extra capacity, but this is an evolutionary step, not a game-changer.   People come up with amazing new ways to use the Internet every day, and many of those new ways use more bandwidth than older applications.  Cisco does a great job of evolving fast enough to keep up with bandwidth demands and the exploding scale of networks, but the heros of innovation on the Internet are the are the visionaries and web developers coming up with new and useful uses of that bandwidth.

Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by MrMagoo on Mar 9th, 2010 at 6:38pm

Rad wrote on Mar 9th, 2010 at 5:41pm:
some houses don't cost 90K.

Some thoughts on that... While comparing a router to a house puts it in perspective, it is an apples to Italian sports car comparison.  Here's a few other comparisons that give a different perspective:

A small plane (like a Cessna 172) costs $250K new. 
Air-to-air missiles cost $800K each. 
Interstates cost $20-200 mil / mile to build, and I'd argue that a router can carry more commerce than a mile of freeway. 

Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by Rad on Mar 9th, 2010 at 6:44pm

MrMagoo wrote on Mar 9th, 2010 at 6:23pm:
size of a refrigerator


Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by Rad.Test on Mar 10th, 2010 at 12:21am
from nigel

$90k is nothing outrageous for a good piece of infrastructure kit. Although infrastructure routers and local switches aren't the same thing, still it might be instructive to compare the pricing on the now quite venerable Cisco 6500 series switches which we used at our Queen Street office.

These switches consist of a chassis, dimensions of which are in table 7 at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/modules/ps2797/ps5138/product_data_sheet09186a00800ff916_ps708_Products_Data_Sheet.html into which you can add X number of modules and then as well you can trunk multiple chassis together.

So, a base switch chassis will probably be just under a meter high. On top of that, any realistic premise or server room wiring will indirect through a patch panel http://cableorganizer.com/panduit/patch-panels.htm which is then patched into your switch; since each 48 patch panel occupies an addition 2U of 19" rack space (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rack_unit for what a "U" is) even a relatively small installation like the one we had occupies a fair chunk of rack space in a server room.

Inside each chassis you need a PSU, Supervisor Engine, some number of switching modules providing user ports, some WAN/firewall modules, and there are all kinds of additional stuff you can buy to do things such as trunk together multiple 6500 series chassis and run them together. So with that in mind have a look at some typical pricing for the components and price one out for, say, 192 ports (i.e., capable of ~0.2 terabits of aggregate switch capacity with 1Gbps modules): http://www.barcodesinc.com/cisco/catalyst-6500-series.htm - bear in mind that's USD for what is a now a very standard, well-established workhorse piece of networking equipment that's been in the market for years.

That's nothing bleeding edge, that's just workaday gear. Have no doubt whatsoever that the pricing on that line is also worth every penny because you get bulletproof reliability and performance. We'd be running dozens of Ghost multicasts to racks of test machines continuously 24x7 on the 1Gbps development network and have no problems whatsoever the entire time.

Consider how much capacity this router you linked to has:
It can handle 322 terabits of traffic per second, or simultaneous video calls for every person in China

Now think about the price of 0.2 terabits in a quality corporate switch like the 6500 to the 1000 times more capacity infrastructure router to put the price (probably $90K is a base configuration) into perspective.

- Nigel

Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by Rad.Test on Mar 10th, 2010 at 12:23am

Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by Rad.Test on Mar 10th, 2010 at 12:23am
Another test.

Title: Re: US$90K Cisco router?
Post by MrMagoo on Mar 10th, 2010 at 7:22pm

Rad wrote on Mar 9th, 2010 at 6:44pm:

These routers usually come in different sizes depending on how many modules they accept.  The smallest, usually accepting 5 modules, is about 3-4 ft high, as Nigel described.  The largest, accepting 13 modules, is 5-6 ft high.  All sizes are designed to fit in a standard server rack, which is 19" across.

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