Cisco Ramps Up Its 10G Strategy

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-10-03

Cisco Systems on Tuesday put the finishing touches on its portfolio of 10-gigabit-per-second networking gear, a move CEO John Chambers said should boost the companys service provider income to 60 percent from 25 over the next five years.

Cisco needs the traction.

Industry analysts at RHK last month reported that Cisco continues to lead in the IP router market, having captured about 70 percent of sales in North America. But Juniper Networks is gaining steam and has captured about 25 percent of the overall market, valued at $972 million in the first half of the year.

At the network core, Cisco has about 60 percent of the market, down from 78 percent at the end of 2000, compared with 33 percent for Juniper, up from 21 percent. Avici claimed 7 percent of sales, up from 1 percent in 2000, RHK reported. Core gear directs traffic to the optical core at OC-48 (2.5-Gbps) or OC-192 (10-Gbps) speeds and was valued at about $535 million in the first half.

"Were giving our customers a new set of options for moving 10G through the entire network, giving them the bandwidth to sell advanced services," said Rob Redford, vice president of Ciscos Public Carrier IP Group.

Cisco announced its 10G line back in March. This week, the company said it was extending the 12000 Series of core routers with new edge-optimized line cards based on Ciscos IP Services Engine; the 12404 Internet Router, a smaller 10G box at one-eighth of a rack, is suited for use in small and medium points of presence.

The additions represent "unparalleled investment protection," said Praveen Akkiraju, Ciscos director of product marketing. The company claims an installed base of about 20,000 12000-Series routers and those customers are looking to wring as much value as possible from their capital investments.

"Any customer can take a line card and reuse it in any of the four chassis," Akkiraju said. "This is critical for customers looking to optimize capital expenditures. The second key aspect is that we are the only platform to offer modular switch fabric. This means a customer can double or quadruple the per-slot capacity of the chassis with a fabric upgrade in the field. To move from 2.5G to 10G speeds, all you have to do is swap up to five line cards."

At the network edge, Ciscos share declined to 81 percent from 91 percent, compared with Junipers, which jumped to 14 percent from 7 percent. Unisphere Networks captured 4 percent and Ericsson had 1 percent. The segment was valued at $437 million in the first half of the year.

"By no means has Cisco taken this lightly. It has taken steps to broaden the capabilities and form factors currently available in its edge portfolio," said Rosalyn Roseboro, senior analyst in RHKs Switching and Routing Service unit.

In fact, Cisco this week said it was pushing the IP edge into the metro market with its 10720 Internet Router. The box integrates IP-optimized transport using Ciscos resilient packet ring technology, Dynamic Packet Transport, for full IP routing and services, as well as Ethernet subscriber interfaces.

Cisco advances aside, network engineers arent ready to ignore Juniper.

"I would not ever count Juniper out," said David Diaz, CEO of International Wire Communications. "They place their money on maxing out line rate, while being able to filter everything a network engineer can think of. Design engineers dont like to hear that while you have a high-speed interface in the router, it only pushes 40 percent capacity with the real-world filters on."

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