• United States
Managing Editor

Operation Decouple

Apr 10, 20032 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworking

* Router newcomers look to disengage service providers from Cisco/Juniper duopoly

With their souped-up engines and buckets of cash, two new router players have ambitious plans to break the two-headed tyranny of Cisco and Juniper.

They feel they can sway service providers now beholden to Cisco and Juniper to their wares, built, they say, from the ground up to accommodate the millions of hosts and astounding growth of the Internet, through flexibility and financial incentives. The stability of their own financial backing doesn’t hurt either.

Procket Networks, which has raised close to $300 million in four years, debuted this week with programmable products and a portability plan designed to put its routing smarts on the platforms of some influential partners.

A big part of Procket’s strategy is to license its IP software to strategic partners to enable new applications – such as blade server virtualization and low-end enterprise routing. The company says it already has “significant engagements” with big server vendors, among others.

Procket hopes the licensing strategy will attract buyers who feel Cisco’s software is old and unwieldy, and Juniper’s has already been surpassed by the growth of the Internet.

“Customers are tired of the fact that they have to continually upgrade,” Procket CEO Randall Kruep says. “They’re sick of all the churn. They’re tired of all the software stability issues and the 25 to 30 different versions” of the same code.

Debuting with Procket this week is Caspian Networks, which has also raised close to $300 million in four years. Caspian has an aggressive trade-in program to go along with the “flow-based” router it unveiled this week.

The Caspian “CORE” (Capex/Opex Reduction Enhancement) trade-up program allows network service providers trading in existing routers or ATM switches from leading manufacturers to receive credit toward purchases of Caspian’s Apeiro routers. Competitive products must be currently deployed in production service provider networks to qualify for credit.

The amount of credit varies and depends on the purchase price of the original equipment, the length of time it has been in service and the volume of Caspian equipment committed to under the program.

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