Juniper Networks' introduction of two new high-speed network routers, the M5 and M10, is a logical extension of the company's core business.
Appropriately enough, this business focuses on the "core" of ISP networks, which is
The new routers represent an opportunity for Juniper to exploit the foothold it has already gained with its M40 and M160 products against giant rival Cisco Systems. Because the new products are targeted at service provider products and therefore are sold to the same customer base, Juniper has a ready-made market.
Cisco captured the router market by being able to deliver every possible combination of protocols and interfaces in an era in which there was a lack of standardization. The market clearly has changed, and new opportunities are emerging for leading-edge IP performance. For example, providers want to be able to turn on features such as IP filtering without degrading system performance, and Juniper has proven adept at that. Juniper's superior technology density, enabling smaller equipment footprints, is also more important than one might think.
Juniper's success is one example of how, as a market changes, new suppliers step forward with new solutions. This is not to say Cisco doesn't make good products--it does--but competitors such as Juniper will always be around to prevent the leaders from resting on their laurels.
(For related commentary on one way to plan and lay out a network, see TechRepublic.com--free registration required.)
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