I’m just on a Cisco CRS-1 Essentials course this week, which has been pretty interesting all round We had a peek inside their NGN test-lab at 300 Longwater Avenue this afternoon for a look at the physicals of the box itself, and man – it’s a beast.
For a start, they recommend you need three people for two days to install this thing (the 16-slot version). It comes in so many boxes you wouldn’t believe, so for a start you need to plan where it’s all going to go while you get the chassis inside.
The chassis itself can weigh 1800 pounds in total, so you need to re-inforce the floor all the way to its final resting place. You also need to make sure the thing will fit through all the doors – it seems to be about 7 feet high, and you don’t want to be tipping something like that over to get it in a lift.
In order to help you in this, Cisco have invented a kind of dolly for transporting it. This thing is like a pair of car-jacks welded together, and you get one for each side. Each one slots into holes at the bottom, and you and your rack-n-stack colleague need to wind each side up simultaneously to raise it 3/4 of an inch. Once that’s done you can wheel it around. The dolly comes in a box that looks twice as big as a washing machine, and will set you back in the region of $20,000… I asked if I could use it on my car after I’ve installed the CRS-1, but they don’t think it will fit.
Everything about this thing is massive:
– There are six power supplies, each taking TWO 60 amp DC feeds
– The blowers in the unit really chuck out a lot of air when you’re walking past – like nothing I’ve ever come across before. In fact, drop anything in front of it while you’re cabling up (like a fibre cable or whatever) and it may get sucked into the inlet at the bottom!
– The routers themselves are in a separate room from other equipment because you need ear defenders when working in the presence of one for more than 10 minutes.
– The fan tray has a sticker on it saying that it needs two people to lift.
– They have a 12-port 10Gbps line card (oversubscribed – these are 40 gig slots) and the market’s first single-port 40Gbps blade.
– The routers can be chained together via a number of fabric chassis so that you can have a total of 72 chassis behaving as one mastodon of a router.
– 96 terabits.
– The max power draw on the box is 15 kilowatts.
– The room full of batteries I saw (1Mwh) would only sustain the facility for only 20 minutes.
Just an amazing facility – immaculately clean and orderly. And an amazingly large product. I’ve got to write up my notes on how the guts of it work, but it’s getting a bit late now, so I’ll do it at the weekend. In IOS-XR, they’ve taken quite a bit of what JunOS has, added more stuff, improved a few things and done some stuff differently – all in all, quite a nice bit of kit to work with. You just need to be Popeye to install it.