Cisco CRS-1 Rack and Stack

28 06 2007

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.



6 responses

5 07 2007
Richard Hintz

Did the instructors talk about the 8 slot variant at all? We’ll be installing several of these soon and helpful factoids such as you mention for the 16 slot version isn’t all that prevalent.

6 07 2007

Hi Richard – Yes they did. I will write up some notes on what they said and publish them today. Was there anything in particular you were interested in?

10 07 2007
CRS-1 8-slot physicals « The Data Plumber

[…] ones can be can be chained together to become the kind of super-node that I wrote about in my previous post.  The 16-slot one is pretty massive though, so may people on the course seemed to be about to put […]

28 10 2009

If you have any question or need someone to install CRS16’s or CRS 8’s either ac or dc just let me know as we have installed over 100 crs 16’s!
Glad you like the labs at Green Park 🙂

22 07 2010


Was just doing some research on the CRSI, and I came across this blog.

I wanted to know everything about how this things works. The company I work for is installing 5 of these at 5 different sites, and we have to do the physical install of the equipment.

Might you happen to have any additional notes on how it should be fitted with its slots and everything?

Any additional info would be outstanding (CRS 8’s in particular)


28 07 2010

Hey – sorry to be slow coming back.
Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of info – I went on a course called “Advanced Services CRS-1 Installation and Site Planning” that was run to cover these aspects, but can’t find the course notes. I do have a CD, but it’s basically a rip of the product page and doesn’t have a lot of useful information with regard to the physicals.

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