Revamped Cisco routers offer more choices

Cisco is developing enhancements to its edge routers that are designed to help corporate customers support and support for multiple services such as Ethernet, Frame Relay, ATM and broadband aggregation, through a wider range of platforms.

The company says that the common features that cross the lines of software for Cisco 7200, 7600, 10000 and 12000 allow users to support services routers with different configurations and densities rather than having to rely on a specific model for service specific.

The improvements, which will run for the next nine months, comes at a time when the company 20 years of age, facing perhaps the greatest challenge to its core technology: routing. Cisco lost significant market share in carrier routing core in the third quarter, and has even tried to navigate through a profound transition of new router product to support higher-base line, the CRS-1, and new operating system. Meanwhile, Cisco is fighting against new competition or a new momentum in corporate markets and Asia, Juniper and Huawei Technologies.

“While Cisco is in this transition, they remain vulnerable,” says Mark Seery, an analyst at RHK. “There has never been a better time to attack Cisco, especially in the service provider market. However, if Cisco gets through this technology gap, its position is very strong.”

Cisco was stingy on the details of future improvements, discussed last week during the company’s analyst conference per year. But the 7200, which serves as a large office or aggregator companies, see IPSec VPN and other security extensions in a couple of versions of software, said Mike Volpi, Cisco senior vice president in the routing technology group.

The 7600, which is used in enterprise networks and carrier, inherit the VPN 7200 has increased a smaller chassis for lower density requirements, and software updates that improve high availability features. Cisco also plans to increase the performance of the router and revealing the line cards to improve carrying capacity of the border.

Cisco is preparing a new generation of its 10000 series routers, which are used in carrier networks. Volpi says he expects the enhanced features of broadband aggregation and increased capacity. Cisco also released software updates to provide a common release cycle to better align the router leased line and broadband aggregation features.