CRS-3: The marketing flop of the year

When I received the first invitations to Cisco’s product announcement that will “forever change the Internet”, I knew it would be another case of overpromising and underdelivering. But even being prepared for the let down, I was totally disappointed when the “magic” product was another high-end router. No doubt it’s an important product, no doubt it will give the Tier-1 service providers a tenfold improvement of the total network throughput, no doubt it’s a wonderful piece of engineering (quoting the Cisco’s press release: it unifies the combined power of six chips to work as one ... you see how banal and degrading the engineering efforts look when described by marketing?), but it will “forever change the Internet” in the same way that AGS+, Cisco 7000, Cisco 7500, Cisco 12000 and CRS-1 did ... by providing ever-higher core network throughput.

It’s about time Cisco’s marketing “wizards” wake up from their self-induced Web 2.0 stupor and stop ruining Cisco’s hard-won reputation that it got through 25+ years of building, delivering and supporting great products and solutions. It’s also time to realize that the routers stopped being sexy over 15 years ago and that they’re no more exciting to 99.999% of the population than a paper mill. They’re still incredibly complex feats of engineering, but that never incited the viral crowds the marketing “gurus” at Cisco are obviously trying (and failing) to target; these crowds are way more impressed by a back-flipping cat than a high-end router.

18 comments:

  1. Piotr Wojciechowski10 March, 2010 11:18

    CRS-3 on one hand, Flip camcorders on other.... where are you going Cisco?

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  2. Giovanni Perteghella10 March, 2010 12:12

    Big get Bigger but the problem of digital divide still remain.

    "every man, woman and child in China make a video call, simultaneously" : prepare for a total blackout of power

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  3. Ivan Pepelnjak10 March, 2010 12:16

    ... not with the low-power high-density video phones from Cisco (or Flip cameras, they work on batteries :D ).

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  4. I'd say this is a case of the-cisco-marketing-machine trying to overcompensate for something. Wonder what that might be..

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  5. Ivan Pepelnjak10 March, 2010 15:55

    ... the fact that a bigger, faster, more expensive box looks as boring as it should?

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  6. Another failure by Cisco's marketing department

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  7. Who uses these things? Guys like Sprint & AT&T?

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  8. <posted>
    The article about CRS-3 in the tech section on CNN
    already has comments in it like "Oh, well Cisco
    owns Linksys and I have a Linksys router so will
    my ISP be updating me to the CRS-3 so I can
    download at those speeds?" LOL</posted>

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  9. Ivan Pepelnjak11 March, 2010 12:29

    Yes. You have to be a pretty big ISP to have bandwidth needs requiring a CRS-3.

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  10. Should he sell them after they're worth nothing? That's kind of the whole point with stock. You wait for it to gain value and then you sell them.

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  11. Where can I see the back-flipping cat?
    :-D

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  12. Ivan Pepelnjak11 March, 2010 16:04

    Where else ... http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cat+back+flip 8-)

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  13. Hey Ivan, how about a post explaining where a BFR like the CRS-1 or CRS-3 would actually be used in a SP design? It has never made sense to me have one giant router versus many similar, smaller ones...

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  14. Very true routers aren't sexy (I don't really understand anyone who wants to grope a router) and not many people do care... what people do care about though is OMGWFTBBQS speed. Google is talking about gigabit to the home and it gets mentioned on every news outlet in America, hell a town even renamed it self to Google for a month trying to stand out and get noticed so they could get in on the deal. If you say "Here is a router" in all honesty not many people will care. If you say "Here is an amazing speed connection (That might be cause we have good routers)" it would appear people do care.... alot

    So do people in your office care about having new good powerful routers?? If not lets try replacing them with all 2600s: if no one cares no one will complain

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  15. Ivan Pepelnjak11 March, 2010 18:47

    That's a great idea. Will do.

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  16. In my naive mind I thought that owning shares of 'your' company is a way to tell the world you trust company's health to make good business.
    Or is J. Chambers just a high ranked speculator?

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  17. Ironically the router that really did change the Internet actually does belong to Cisco (at least now), but is at the totally opposite end of the spectrum: The Linksys BEFSR41 was essentially the first widely available and affordable home router on the market. It's not that another company didn't have anything similar or that these types of devices wouldn't have taken off, but you have to admit the thing is simply iconic, and the decisions made when implementing it (NAT-T, no "real" firewall, 192.168.1.0/24, etc.) really did have a profound effect on the overall design and operation of the Internet.

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  18. Bastiaan Spandaw20 March, 2010 21:03

    @stretch
    "Hey Ivan, how about a post explaining where a BFR like the CRS-1 or CRS-3"

    The BFR is the 12K.
    The CRS has the acronymn HFR (the H stands for huge)

    ReplyDelete

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Ivan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354, is the chief technology advisor for NIL Data Communications. He has been designing and implementing large-scale data communications networks as well as teaching and writing books about advanced technologies since 1990. See his full profile, contact him or follow @ioshints on Twitter.