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Thursday, Sep 5
Reports: Cisco prepping new core routers, possibly eying Big Switch
- Network World reports Cisco (CSCO) is getting set to launch the NCS 6000, a core router/optical transport platform meant to smoothly handle diverse IP traffic loads (important as video and mobile accounts for a growing share of that traffic).
- The 6000, likely to feature a new ASIC Cisco has spent $250M developing, would go head-to-head against Juniper's (JNPR) successful PTX Series and Alcatel-Lucent's (ALU) 7950 XRS. Juniper says the PTX Series routers, which began shipping early last year, is now used by "dozens of the top 130 service providers in the world."
- In theory at least, the 6000 complement Cisco's more powerful but less complex CRS core router line. But one source asserts its launch will make CRS "a legacy platform." Cisco is less than 3 months removed from announcing the CRS-X, which delivers a 150% increase in capacity/slot over its predecessor.
- Regardless, Cisco's core router ops could definitely use a boost following a difficult July quarter that sparked concerns about share loss. The company's edge router sales are faring better.
- Meanwhile, SDN Central reports rumors are floating hyped software-defined networking (SDN) startup Big Switch could be acquired by Cisco for less than $100M, presumably for its talent. The company, which once poached Cisco exec Parashant Gandhi, has recently been hit by executive defections of its own (one of them to Cisco).
- Whereas Big Switch initially proposed to completely remake customer data centers through an SDN platform based on the OpenFlow standard, companies are now more partial to the gradual (overlay-based) approaches pushed by Cisco, VMware, and others.