• United States
Managing Editor

Juniper goes for an edge

Nov 06, 20033 mins

* Aims for Cisco’s older 7X00 series with new routers

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’s 7200 and 7500 series systems. Juniper claims the new routers allow service providers to turn up any feature or service without compromising performance – 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’s 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’s upgrade to the 7500 – the 7600 Optical Services Router – 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’s 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’s JUNOS operating system and Cisco’s IOS.

One analyst disagreed.

“It’s not a common occurrence” for service providers to replace Cisco routers with Juniper platforms, says Ray Mota of Synergy Research. “To just go out there and rip them out… that will be a tough sell job. If they’re comfortable with IOS it’d be difficult to just pick that up” 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.

“They’re living with that [feature inconsistency] now” 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’s 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.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

More from this author