Cisco this week unveiled three service provider edge routers, along with an aggressive marketing campaign against rival Juniper.
Cisco added three platforms to its ASR 9000 line of edge routers, all designed to better support mobile Internet services and devices such as tablets, smartphones, and connected appliances. The new routers support Cisco's nV network virtualization technology, which is intended to scale the service provider edge, aggregation and access networks into a 96Tbps system optimized for IPv6.
ASR BACKGROUND: Cisco overhauls Ethernet edge routers
These new routers bring the nV technology to the access layer, where service providers can further virtualize their infrastructure for resource consolidation, and operational and cost efficiencies, Cisco says. Cisco nV is a software upgrade to the ASR 9000 line that the company says can lower operating costs by up to 74 percent when compared with competing edge platforms, due to its ability to support low-power usage, zero-touch configurations, single-click upgrades, and single touch-point management.
The routers will go up against Juniper's MX 3D line and Alcatel-Lucent's 7210, 7450, 7705, and 7710 Ethernet services switches and routers. Against Juniper, Cisco also launched an aggressive marketing campaign designed to call attention to what Cisco alleges are broken promises and missed product shipment deadlines.
Calling out a competitor by name in an advertising or marketing campaign is a departure for Cisco, but recent challenges in its core switching and routing businesses have prompted a new strategy. At Interop in May, Cisco also called out HP specifically when introducing an upgrade to its Catalyst 6500 switch line.
Juniper declined to comment on the Cisco campaign with this stinging retort from its PR department: "We're not going to comment on a competitor's publicity stunt. Customers tell us they want an alternative to the legacy approach, and we're focused on delivering innovation for them. It appears as if Cisco has once again lost focus."
Speeds and feeds
The three new routers include the ASR 901 cell site router, for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile cell sites; the ASR 903 unified Ethernet access router, an Ethernet access device for business, residential, and mobile applications; and the ASR 9001, a smaller version of the Cisco ASR 9000-series edge router for smaller deployments.