Cisco has announced new routers covering both carrier needs and wide area file services.

The existing CSR-1 now has a four-slot model, a smaller, more affordable version of existing eight and 16-slot models. The product provides 320Gbit/s total switching capacity in what Cisco claims to be the industry's most compact 40Gbit/s-per-slot routing chassis.

Cisco claims its lower entry cost aids fast deployment and continued expansion of IPTV, digital video and other advanced business and residential IP services.

Iyad Tarazi, network development VP at Sprint, said: "By creating a smaller form factor for the CRS-1 platform, Cisco is enabling us to lower costs and more efficiently handle the convergence of voice, video, data and mobility services."

In a second announcement, Cisco said its wide area application services (WAAS) would make it easier to run applications to remote offices over WANs.

WAAS improves application performance and accelerates file transfers through file sharing, and WAN optimisation techniques including compression, redundancy elimination, transport optimisation, caching and content distribution.

The aim is to provide LAN-like levels of service from a data centre to branch offices across wide area distances. An integrated services router can be used for this. The WAAS product can also run on a stand-alone-appliance.

Verizon Business uses WAAS to enhance its Resilient Network Attached Storage (RNAS) offering, a service that helps businesses manage and store data for remote locations.

Cisco is also adding wide area file services (WAFS) to WAAS and claims that: "the integrated branch-office product accelerates the performance of any TCP-based application across the WAN and enables the consolidation of the branch office server, storage and backup infrastructure for easier management and lower cost."

Cisco's WAFS and WAAS products are quite late to the market and follow those of Riverbed with its Steelhead appliance, generally thought to lead the market.

The WAAS appliance-based product is available immediately starting at $8,500 and the network module version will be available later this year starting at $4,000. The CRS-1 four-slot single-shelf system will be available in November. The starting system list price is $160,000.