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Cisco exec to head start-up competitor

Jan 05, 20042 mins

Latest Cisco news.

Cisco exec to head start-up competitor

By Jim Duffy

The Edge, 01/05/04

IP router start-up Procket Networks has named Cisco executive Roland Acra as its new president and CEO.

Acra was a Cisco senior vice president and Service Provider CTO. He oversaw much of Cisco’s router technology development and had been at Cisco since 1991.

Procket has been looking for a CEO since Randall Kruep left the company last summer. Acra will also be appointed to Procket’s board of directors.

Prior to his last position as senior vice president and Service Provider CTO, Acra was group vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Public Carrier IP Group. He helped maintain Cisco market leadership in high-end routing despite losing – and then regaining – market share to Juniper Networks.

He previously served as vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Dial Access business unit, and had earlier established Cisco’s technical field operations in Europe, starting in 1991. 

Acra’s earlier career was in software development in networking and operating systems, including at 3Com Corporation and Interphase.

Acra is expected to build up Procket’s sales and marketing momentum while the company enters its next phase of product development. Procket recently unveiled its PRO/8000 series of routers, which are based on Procket’s custom very large scale integration programmable chips and modular software.

Procket claims these developments provide industry-leading densities and forwarding performance. In the press release announcing his appointment, Acra states that Procket’s products are “significantly ahead of the incumbent offerings.”

Indeed, Cisco’s next-generation routing platform has been anticipated for some time. This platform, known as “HFR” around the industry, is expected to feature multichassis interconnection for multiterabit scale, and “purpose-built” software innovations that bear little resemblance to the structure of Cisco IOS code that pervades the industry.

Cisco first disclosed a terabit scaling strategy with 1999’s introduction of the 12000 GSR series routers, but has since backed off from that vision. Indeed, a Cisco executive recently revealed that multichassis scale is not planned for the 12000 series.

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