Juniper gains on Cisco

Juniper has gained on arch rival Cisco in the key router segment according to Dell’Oro. The research firm also says the router market is seeing its strongest growth for five years.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  August 21, 2005

Juniper has gained on arch rival Cisco in the key router segment according to Dell’Oro. The research firm also says the router market is seeing its strongest growth for five years. Cisco still dominates the market with 78% market share but Juniper Networks saw its share jump from 13% in 2004 to 16% in 2005. According to Dell'Oro, the router market recorded the highest quarter-over-quarter growth rate since 2000. Worldwide sales of routers grew 8% in the second calendar quarter of 2005 to a total of US$2.5 billion. The firm says new product cycles drove router demand at both ends of the router technology spectrum. At the high-end of the router market, where systems can sell for millions of dollars each, sales grew 15% sequentially, while at the low-end, where devices sell for as little as five hundred dollars, sales grew by an equally impressive 14%. Router revenue has been flat since the dotcom bubble burst. The recovery is in part fueled by telcos revamping their infrastructures to take advantages of new services such as triple play. “Telecommunications service providers are investing heavily on new high-end router technologies to transform their network architectures,” says Shin Umeda, principal analyst of router research at Dell'Oro Group. “At the same time, businesses are purchasing low-end routers at record rates to take advantage of the performance and feature improvements of the latest products,” he adds. There was further encouraging news for Juniper in an enterprise router survey carried out by Infonetics Research. The study, User Plans for Routers, was based on interviews with 180 medium and large organisations from six vertical markets — education, federal government, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. The survey asked users about their perceptions of leading enterprise router manufacturers and products, and how they select and evaluate manufacturers. The study featured user scorecards for six router manufacturers (3Com, Adtran, Cisco, Enterasys, Juniper, and Nortel) with ratings on overall satisfaction, pricing, value, security, technology, management features, product roadmap, financial stability, and service and support. Cisco was rated best in all categories except pricing and value, for which users rated 3Com, Adtran, Juniper, and Nortel higher than they do Cisco. Juniper jumped to number two on the customer short list despite being relatively new to the enterprise router market. “Cisco continues to top respondents’ short list of vendors for future router purchases, but the surprise this year is that Juniper shoots up to second, which is impressive considering they've only recently entered the market,” says Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst at Infonetics Research. “Cisco’s vulnerability in the pricing category increased this year, with all vendors but one outscoring them, and with Juniper outscoring them on value. Still, Cisco continues to get the highest satisfaction marks overall — almost double the votes than competitors. And more importantly, companies are not all that likely to change router vendors; in fact, they’ll avoid it if at all possible,” he adds. The survey also highlighted that voice over internet protocol (VoIP) support is quickly becoming a critical router feature, while firewall, virtual private networks (VPN), intrusion detection systems (IDS) are emerging as key technologies. Users said the top three criteria for selecting routers were adherence to standards, management features and high availability. In terms of installed equipment, Cisco leads the market by some way according to Infonetics and is followed by Nortel in the number two position.

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