Unanswered Question
Nov 11th, 2008

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn about the latest addition to the Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) portfolio with Cisco experts Andy Schutz and Dennis Cai. Andy has been with Cisco for eight years in several different roles. He has worked extensively and is knowledgeable in the broadband aggregation, DSL, and carrier ethernet arenas. He also has experience in several different Cisco platforms including the Cisco 10000, 7200, 7300, and 7600 Series and most recently the Cisco ASR 9000 Series. Prior to Cisco, Andy worked for various service providers designing and implementing ATM, frame relay, and DSL networks. He holds CCIE certification in the service provider track. Dennis is a senior technical marketing engineer, defining product requirements and marketing of the Cisco ASR 9000 Series router, Cisco's next-generation service provider carrier ethernet platform. In his eight years at Cisco, he has served as technical marketing engineer for the Cisco 7600 Series router and as a technical leader in the Cisco technical assistance center. Dennis holds a US patent in carrier ethernet technology. He is a frequent speaker at Cisco customer and partner events. Dennis holds CCIE (# 6621) certifications in the routing switching and security tracks.

Remember to use the rating system to let Andy and Dennis know if you have received an adequate response.

Andy and Dennis might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through November 21, 2008. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

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william.caban Tue, 11/11/2008 - 10:44

1) What technologies are supported by the ASR9000 in terms of: EVC? MPLS? VPLS? H-VPLS? QinQ?

2) Are there any special licensing for features like L3VPN or L2VPNs for the ES40s as happen with the ES20s?

3) If MPLS is supported, are multicast VRFs and v6 VRFs supported?

4) Any hardware documentation for the ASR9000 platform, how it works, etc, besides the marketing presentations?


aschutz Tue, 11/11/2008 - 14:35

Hi William,

I'll just go through the questions outlined.

1) The ASR 9000 has extensive support for MPLS related technologies including EoMPLS, VPLS, and H-VPLS all within the scope of the MEF definition of EVC. This also includes support of QinQ and 802.1ad. When you refer to "EVC", if you mean the EVC infrastructure that is already implemented on Cisco IOS platforms, the answer is yes, the ASR 9000 also supports this set of functionality. This includes flexible VLAN matching, VLAN tag translations, popping, pushing, and of course flexible service mapping (EoMPLS, bridging, VPLS, local connect).

2) The ES40 and the ES20 are Cisco 7600 line cards. These line cards are not usable on the ASR 9000. That said, we will utilize licenses to enable features on the line cards without requiring upgrades to the hardware itself.

3) MVPN and 6VPE will not be supported in the first release. These features are being considered for a future release.

4) We have posted several documents on the ASR 9000 product page located here:



Sushil Kumar Katre Tue, 11/11/2008 - 20:45

Hi Andy,

What it the product positioning for ASR 9000.

Shall it be considered as a replacement of 7600 router?

-> Sushil

aschutz Wed, 11/12/2008 - 08:57

Hi Sushil,

The ASR 9000 is optimized around the Carrier Ethernet market segment. Cisco has a wide portfolio of devices that form a complete solution end-to-end and the ASR 9000 adds to this solution. We see the ASR 9000 solving the increased bandwidth requirements we are seeing more and more. In fact, the ASR 9000 far exceeds the requirements we see today.

In regards to 7600 replacement, the ASR 9000 *is not* a replacement. The ASR 9000 is focused on high-density ethernet aggregation. The 7600 has a much wider range of features and applications that it performs. Examples include non-Ethernet interfaces and their associated features, service blades for things like IPSec, IDS, server load balancing (ACE) and much more.

I hope this helps.



chatasos Wed, 11/12/2008 - 01:41

Hi Andy & Dennis,

1) What type of line-cards are going to be used with the ASR 9000? Will any of the existing SPA be supported too?

2) Comparing it with a 7606/RSP720 fully populated with ES40 cards, would it be preferable (in terms of supported features and price per port) when dealing with carrier/metro/iptv services?

3) When are the prices going to be announced? What about orderability?

What is included in the starting price ($80.000) mentioned below?

4) Will it ever be able to handle (limited) BBRAS/BNG functionality, like PTA? What about ISG?

5) Are the 2 RSPs mandatory? If not and only one is used, does the single fabric result in any limitations, like halving the 400 Gbps per slot?

6) Is 802.1ad - Provider Bridges fully supported? Can you change the outer ethertype?

What about 802.1ah - Provider Backbone Bridges? Mac-in-Mac?

7) Why XR and not XE? Since XR seems to have limited support for edge/aggregation features in comparison to the 12.2SR, will it catch it in the future?



aschutz Wed, 11/12/2008 - 09:09

Hi Tassos,

Answers to your questions follow.

1) We have a new set of line cards that will be supported on the ASR 9000. We are evaluating SPA support for a future release.

2) I'm not sure this is the right forum to address pricing for a solution, you are better off to contact your Cisco sales team and ask them to provide a comparison for you.

3) The ASR 9000 will be generally available in 2QCY09. We will make pricing and ordering details available in conjunction with this. We are currently in Field Trials with several prominent service providers worldwide.

4) The support of BRAS/BNG is under consideration.

5) Dual RSPs are not mandatory but advised to provide full redundancy. The linecard performance is not affected if it is single or dual RSP deployment.

6) 802.1ad is supported. The ethertype 0x88a8 is part of this. 802.1ah is under consideration for a future release.

7) IOS-XR has a number of inherent advantages and is aligned well with the carrier class focus of the ASR 9000. We are introducing a lot of new edge/aggregation features into IOS-XR to properly support the ASR 9000, but you are right, 12.2SR has a more complete set of features for the edge. This is why we are very focused on high-density ethernet aggregation on the ASR 9000 and the supporting feature set there.

Hope this helps.



chatasos Wed, 11/12/2008 - 02:28

One more question regarding the following statement:

"Fast channel change and onboard error correction capability for

both unicast and multicast video traffic help ensure that errors

can be detected by any set-top box (STB) and retransmitted

within milliseconds to maintain a transparent visual experience."

Does the "any set-top box" mean something special? Is there a new standard that's being followed by all STB vendors and Cisco?



dcai Wed, 11/12/2008 - 14:07

Hi, Tassos,

this works in client/server model. STB need to run client portion. ASR 9000 run the server portion. It uses standard based protocol, RTP/RTCP, which can be developed by any STB in theory. And Cisco can provide the application APIs for STB vendors to integrate this function



devang_etcom Wed, 11/12/2008 - 13:14


As you wrote 12.2SR has more features to support as a PE router! so again the question is: can we use ASR9000 as a PE? I guess not!!! right! as you are mostly focused this product as a aggregation purpose...


Devang Patel

aschutz Wed, 11/12/2008 - 14:13

Hi Devang,

I assume when you say "PE", you mean L3VPN PE? If so, the ASR9000 can perform this function but this is not the primary focus for the ASR9000. Between the ASR1000, 7600, GSR and CRS-1, the L3VPN PE role is well covered.

If you are referring to the L2VPN PE, the ASR9000 is well positioned to perform the role of a PE-Agg or N-PE.

Hope that helps.



job.snijders Wed, 11/12/2008 - 15:31

Dear Cisco,

Regarding xconnects:

Will the ASR9000 have per subinterface mtu settings? For pseudo-wires to come 'up' the MTU needs to be the same on both sides. But through a single physical interface you might want 1500 mtu pseudowires on some subinterfaces, and higher MTU mpls links on others.

dcai Wed, 11/12/2008 - 16:07

yes, ASR 9000 support per sub-interface MTU setting for both VPLS and VPWS pseudo-wires



referinfo Wed, 11/12/2008 - 19:26

Hi,the technology of ASR 9000 seems to show a milestone.I want to konw whether the technology platform (such as backplane technology,switching fabric technology,the network processor,etc)will be used in the catalyst 6500 next generation project(some analysts say that there seems to be a project under code name "big bang" which is related to 6500NG)?

Thank you.

aschutz Wed, 11/12/2008 - 20:55


It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on rumors like this. The ASR 9000 does offer a technology break though as you mentioned and other product lines within Cisco will evaluate all of the latest and greatest components.



amritpatek Tue, 11/18/2008 - 09:30

Will the ASR 9000 support L2VPN and L3VPN on the same platform simultaneously?

dcai Thu, 11/20/2008 - 14:29

yes, this is treated as "basic" requirement

dcai Thu, 11/20/2008 - 14:57

this is a BIG question. I will try to answer you in the following categories, but it's not limited to those categories to enhance video application

(1) bandwidth

For video application, bandwidth is the key. The ASR 9000 can provides upto 400G/slot, 6.4 TB per chassis

(2) Scalability

Specifically for multicast Video, the ASR 9000 can do very efficient multicast replication which is done by switch fabirc and egress linecard. It ONLY replicate multicast if it's necessary. It's very optimal. It can provide line rate multicast regardless of the multicast load. For example, one port or fully loaded chassis all run multicast make no difference

(3) High availability

Video is very sensitive for packet loss. The ASR 9000 provide high availability in system level and network level

At system level, it can provide hitless process restart by XR modular OS, hitless RSP failover by PIM NSF, hitless SMU installation.

At network level, it inherit the existing IOS XR fast convergence features as CRS-1

(4) video quality monitoring and management

All the existing line card of ASR 9000 support inline video monitoring. It can detect video packet loss and monitor the jitter without relying on any external video probe. Cisco video assurance management solution can provide the integrated video management solution

(4) Advanced video features

The advance video service module provide many advanced video features/applications, such as video streaming, quality monitoring and error repair, ad insertion, lossless video transport. But keep in mind, some of these features are not available in the first release.

The ASR 9000 also plan to support RSVP based on path video call admission control



william.caban Thu, 11/20/2008 - 15:29


1) When you say "it only replicate multicast if it's necessary"... what is the different between what an ASR 9000 does and with the regular multicast support, lets say, on a 6500/7600 or any other switch or router running IGMP or pim-sparse or MVR? How does it behave differently between the two types of platforms?

2) The video quality monitor, is it similar to the OAM with IP SLA for MetroEthernet and IEEE 802.1ag or is it something different?

3) When you mention the "video service module", is this going to be a concept similar to the "service modules" for the 6500/7600s? Is there any public information on them?

Thanks in advance,


dcai Thu, 11/20/2008 - 15:49


for the first question, depends on the platform, the multicast packet replication could not be that optimal. For example, some platform do ingress replicaiton. Some platform even don't have fabric replication. Some platform has maximum multicast bandwidth limitation per slot. Please look into those details and you will find what I meant "replicate ONLY if it's necessary". This is platform dependent part, not PIM/IGMP protocol level

for the video quality monitor, this is different than traditional OAM or IPSLA. This is called inline video monitorting. It means we monitor the quality of the real video stream. For the OAM and IPSLA, it send some "testing" packet, then measure the round-trip time, jitter, delay based on those packets. Even if it goese through same network path, but it's still different packets. If you want to know more, you can refer to RFC 4445 and RFC 3550/3551

yes, the video service module is similar concept as other service modules on 6500/7600. It's for video application



william.caban Thu, 11/20/2008 - 15:59

Thanks Dennis.

Wow!, so the multicast replication it is really at hardware level!

I will read those RFCs. I didn't knew about them.

Thanks again,


william.caban Thu, 11/20/2008 - 16:27

Well, I just notice the RFCs3550/3551 are the definition of RTP but the RFC4445 is an interesting description of the MDI calculations.

Now, since the MDI may also be use for monitoring VoIP, would that means that the ASR9000 will also have a similar monitoring capability for VoIP as it has for video? (With the same or similar service module)


dcai Thu, 11/20/2008 - 16:38


currently we are focusing on the Video application. But as you said this inline media monitoring capability can apply to VoIP as well potentially. At this time, we don't have any plan to apply this to VoIP yet



dcai Fri, 11/21/2008 - 10:33

This is a "BIG" topic. I won't go through all of the related HW/SW features, but will highlight the following carrier class features

(1) IOS-XR modular OS is carrier class OS

This provide true modularity, including release modularity, run-time modularity, physical distribution of components, distributed in memory database, logical distribution of components.

It has separation of control plane, data plane, and management plane.

it can provide hitless process independent restart

(2) Hitless RSP switchover

The RSP failover , including both software failover or physical RSP OIR, is hitless, there is zero packet loss

All of the protocols are NSF capable in the day 1.

It also support NSR for major routing protocols and MPLS features like OSPF, ISIS, BGP, LDP , and will add more protocols in the future releases

(3) ISSU

Hitless SMU upgrade is in the day 1. ISSU MDR with line card reload will be in the future release. The ASR 9000 has strong ISSU roadmap as CRS-1

(4) Carrier class HW design

Major HW components are redundant, including RSP, Fan tray, Power supply.

The modular power supply can provide "pay as you grow" model. The average power consumption per GE/10GE is lower than our competitors

(5) Network fast convergence features

This include both L2 and L3, unicast and multicast. Native IP and MPLS

It inherits those advanced fast convergence features from IOS-XR like CRS-1. In addition, it has many L2VPN fast convergence features as well as multicast video fast convergence feature.

All these network fast convergence features try to provide sub second to 50msec convergence time to give non stopping user experience

(6) The system has system level hardware queues including switch fabric and HW components in the line card. It has separate unicast and multicast queue. And both unicast and multicast has high and low priority queues. This can guarnatee the high priority traffic go through high priority queues across all system components

It has fabric VoQ, and multi-stage flow control to avoid head of line blocking



aschutz Fri, 11/21/2008 - 13:31

We actually have a good document that goes through all the management aspects for the ASR 9000. The aim is to have management inherent to the box day one. This means the interfaces (physical and logical) along with network and element management suite integration support in place. Please see the whitepaper located here for more details:



kelash.kumar Fri, 11/21/2008 - 10:28


6509 switch showing high cpu utilization,it has already configured NAT when we cleared the NAT table then cpu utilization go down after b/w 3 to 4 hours again show high? do you have permanent solution?


kelash kumar

aschutz Fri, 11/21/2008 - 13:33

Hi Kelash,

I think this is probably the wrong forum topic for the issue you are having. I would suggest contacting Cisco TAC to help diagnose the problem and find a suitable resolution.




I was wondering if i can create SVI  on ASR9000 ?

We have a metro deployment with L2 rings using REP  and ME3400.

We are also considering of buying 2 ASR9000 routers.

For  example we want to have a daisy chain of ME3400 interconnected via L2  trunk ports and have this daisy chain connected from one end to one of  the ASR9000 and from the second end to the other. The ASRs would be  interconnected with 10G dark fiber.

Since the chain is L2 we  probably need to run REP over the ASRs to create a ring. Now the  question is can ASR have SVI in those vlans ?

dcai Tue, 04/20/2010 - 22:59

SVI is currently not supported on the ASR 9000. The plan is to support it in 4.0.1 release. Timeline is around the end of this year. At this time, it can use external loopback cable as workaround

dswarbrick Mon, 05/31/2010 - 15:41

Does the ASR-9000 support TCP MSS clamping (eg. in IOS "ip tcp adjust-mss ")?

I cannot find any reference to this feature in the ASR-9000 documentation, but would be surprised if this feature was omitted, considering its long history in IOS.

If it is supported, do the packets get punted?


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