Router Choices Grow - InformationWeek

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6/18/2004
03:40 PM
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Router Choices Grow

Juniper Networks rolls out its first networking devices designed for businesses

Juniper Networks Inc. last week introduced its first line of business routers in a bid to take a bite out of competitor Cisco Systems' dominant market share. The three routers are designed for low and midrange branch-office deployments.

Juniper claims that the hardware, known as the J-Series, offers better stability than Cisco's products because Juniper's Junos router operating system lets different modules operate independently, so bugs won't crash the entire device. They also boast a "rescue configuration button," which lets nontechnical staff at a branch office push a button on the device and roll it back into a safe configuration. Starting prices range from $2,000 to $9,000; the devices will be available later this summer.

Cisco is expected to respond by releasing updated versions of its business routers later this year that incorporate built-in hardware-enabled VPN and firewall capabilities. Cisco already is working to shore up its dominance in the router market (see story, "Cisco's Second Act"). Last week, the company said it will buy the assets of router maker Procket Networks Inc., which sells high-end routers in markets in which Juniper has been winning more business. Last month, Cisco launched the Carrier Routing System, a high-end router that's expected to provide tougher competition for Juniper.

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