Cisco plans network OS overhaul

Cisco Systems this summer plans to release a major overhaul of its Internetwork operating system, a move that is expected to bring long overdue improvements--and some possible complications--to software that runs most of the world's routers.

The upgrade to the software known as IOS will be demonstrated on a new core router that will be unveiled in June at the Supercomm tradeshow in Chicago, company representatives said Tuesday. That device, code-named Huge Fast Router, or HFR, will be the first router to support single 40 gigabits per second optical interfaces. The total system capacity of the new 16-slot chassis will be at least 640 gigabits per second--double that of any product from Juniper Networks, Cisco's closest competitor in the market for core routers that power network backbones.

Analysts say the upgraded operating system will eventually run a wide variety of Cisco products, promising to simplify network management, bolster security and create new software products for the company. "IOS has been getting long in the tooth for some time," said Stephen Kamman, an analyst with CIBC. "It's important to see Cisco announcing a new version that could work its way across its entire product line."

News source: C|Net News.com

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