Juniper Networks this week unveiled two edge routers designed to unseat older routers from rival Cisco already installed in service provider networks.The M7i and M10i routing platforms are targeted at small and midsize points of presence, campus networks and managed services environments that may be straining the performance and feature limits of Cisco\u2019s 7200 and 7500 series systems. Juniper claims the new routers allow service providers to turn up any feature or service without compromising performance\u00a0- while at the same time indicting the Cisco routers for not being able to offer the same.The M7i supports 16 million packet\/sec performance, even with features such as IP\/MPLS Provider Edge capabilities turned on, Juniper says. Cisco\u2019s 7200 and 7300 platforms only forward 1 million to 3 million packet\/sec with a reduced set of features, Juniper claims.The M10i is targeted at the installed base of Cisco 7500s, which, according to Juniper, forward a maximum of 2 million packet\/sec. When certain 7500 features are turned on, however, service to other users is impacted, Juniper claims.Cisco\u2019s upgrade to the 7500 - the 7600 Optical Services Router\u00a0- also suffers from a service\/performance compromise and is missing some key MPLS Provider Edge functions such as Fast Reroute, Traffic Engineering, ATM\/frame relay-over-MPLS, and IPv6-over-MPLS, Juniper claims.Cisco declined comment on Juniper\u2019s assertions.Juniper also says that service providers mixing and matching Cisco and Juniper routers in their networks is a common occurrence, despite the apparent feature inconsistency and incompatibility between Juniper\u2019s JUNOS operating system and Cisco\u2019s IOS.One analyst disagreed.\u201cIt\u2019s not a common occurrence\u201d for service providers to replace Cisco routers with Juniper platforms, says Ray Mota of Synergy Research. \u201cTo just go out there and rip them out... that will be a tough sell job. If they\u2019re comfortable with IOS it\u2019d be difficult to just pick that up\u201d and remove it.Juniper says features in both JUNOS and IOS that are based on standards are compatible. If they are not, this is nothing new to Cisco 7X00 router customers.\u201cThey\u2019re living with that [feature inconsistency] now\u201d via the myriad versions of IOS in their networks, says Mike Capuano, senior manager of portfolio marketing at Juniper.Both Juniper platforms support Physical Interface Cards from Juniper\u2019s older M5 and M10 routers for investment protection. Base list prices start at $15,000 for the M7i and $25,000 for the M10i.Both routers are available now.