Keynote Speech

Innovation and Challenges in the Design of
High-Speed Commercial Routers and Switches

Dan Lenoski, Ph.D.
Vice President of Engineering
Cisco Systems





Internet growth continues unabated as the real value of the internet catches up to the hype of the late 1990's. As we enter the second-half of the decade, an increasingly large fraction of the world have become dependent of the net for all forms of communication, conducting their business and entertainment. This increased usage and reliance on the net place increasing demands on the performance, functionality and reliability at the core and edge of the network.
In this talk we will describe how these demands have challenged designers of network devices ranging from core routers to access switches. Examples of the real-world trade-offs and implementations from Cisco's latest core router, the CRS-1, and Cisco's stackable switch, the Catalyst 3750, to achieve these goals will be given.  We also highlight how these requirements manifest themselves differently based on the place in the network of the device.
We conclude the talk by outline areas of continued design challenges and how these challenges will affect both system design and users of next generation equipment.


Dan Lenoski is a Vice President of Engineering for Cisco System.  His current role is running the engineering team responsible for Cisco's stackable switching products the Catalyst 3000 and 2000. Previously, Lenoski led the development of Cisco's high-end router, the CRS-1 and its distributed software base, IOS-XR. Before joining Cisco, Lenoski was a founder and Vice President of Engineering at Growth Networks, a fab-less semiconductor company focused on silicon and system solutions for terabit network switching equipment. Growth Networks was acquired by Cisco in March 2000.
In addition to his positions at Growth Networks and Cisco, Lenoski has held multiple senior engineering positions at Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems and Tandem Computers. He has twenty-four issued and five pending US patents in the area of network switching, processor design, multiprocessor system design, high-speed signaling and fault-tolerance. Lenoski's research at Stanford University, work at Silicon Graphics, and authorship of a book on scalable supercomputer systems has made him a recognized industry leader in high-performance computing.
Lenoski holds both a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.