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Cisco Beefing Up the B-RAS Story

Light Reading
Supercomm News Analysis
Light Reading
5/30/2003

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) next week will announce significant upgrades to its edge and access routers, morphing the machines into broadband remote access servers (B-RAS), sources say.

In fact, with other vendors, such as Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK), expected to announce B-RAS developments, the category is already shaping up to be the toast of Supercomm 2003, taking place in Atlanta next week.

The specifics of Cisco's announcements aren't known yet, and the company declined to comment. Cisco already has B-RAS functions working in its 6400 Broadband Aggregator. It also has two groups of products designed for collocation with DSLAMs (DSL access multiplexers): The 7400 series router and the 7200 series router. The 7200 can handle up to 16,000 user sessions, but both are designed to be collocated with DSLAMs. Cisco is also adding B-RAS capabilities to its larger 10000 Series edge routers, which are already built to handle several kinds of high-density, dedicated-access services (see Evolving SDH with IP, DWDM, ATM, Gb/E in the Multiservice Network).

Why all the focus on B-RAS? The B-RAS feature set, whether integrated into an edge router, a DSLAM, or a standalone platform, plays a crucial role in easing one of the service provider's most serious points of pain in the access network. The B-RAS's emergence as a strategic platform was detailed in a recent Light Reading Insider (see Getting a Bead on B-RAS ).

The B-RAS isn't just about subscriber management, where users are given password-protected access to the services they pay for via VPNs or static tunnels. With services such as telephony, TV, radio and video-on-demand (VOD), and video conferencing all beckoning deployment, the B-RAS also requires sophisticated multicasting and quality of service (QOS) features.

A key debate in the B-RAS wars is where in the network to put the functionality. For example, does it go in the edge router or does it cohabitate with the DSLAM?

In the Light Reading Insider's review of B-RAS products, neither Cisco nor Redback came through with flying colors, based on the product information available at the time of the report. Other B-RAS competitors -- like Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK), and CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN) -- beat them in key areas of functionality. However, no single vendor appeared to have every B-RAS feature that a service provider could want in a single package. Come Monday, things may change. Both Cisco and Redback look to have something up their sleeves -- and Cisco's sleeve, obviously, is wrapped around a lot more market muscle.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

For extensive and up-to-date coverage of next week's Supercomm tradeshow, visit Light Reading's Supercomm Preview Site.

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optical_man
optical_man
12/4/2012 | 11:59:01 PM
re: Cisco Beefing Up the B-RAS Story
The RBOC's I've been deep into all have teams actively working on B-RAS projects. Cisco is usually mentioned as the front runner/winner before the RFP even comes out sometimes (even though they just announced B-RAS enhanc. today). You know Cisco, the deal is done between CEO-CEO somewhere over the US at 33,000 feet on JC's jet, the Cisco Express. Product works or not, Cisco is chosen b/c of their industry leadership, customer support.
Yes, the Engineers at the BOC's moan about Cisco junk, IOS antiquity, etc., but the deal is closed 7 levels above their input (dual meaning there!) (for better or worse)....I have my opinions, and I know you have yours about Cisco. You gotta respect 'em, they've got this game down.

Cisco Carrier Class? I saw a 1990 Rolls Royce broken down today near my town with the hood up (100 degrees here) and a flatbed hooking up (you wouldn't DARE 'tow' a Rolls would you?) I passed it in my rather large air conditioned, stamped sheet metal, mass production box and felt sorry for the woman and her upcoming "world class standards" repair bill.....
!!!funny thing though, I noticed her cell phone was a giveaway Nokia type. What's that tell you?
road__runner
road__runner
12/4/2012 | 11:58:58 PM
re: Cisco Beefing Up the B-RAS Story
optical_man

Hmm lets see what you have there

Vague open ended ranting: check
No specific concrete information to back your claims: check
Claiming customer decision making process is stupid: check

And you wonder why cisco is usually the front runner and not your outfit ?
optical_man
optical_man
12/4/2012 | 11:58:54 PM
re: Cisco Beefing Up the B-RAS Story
optical_man
Hmm lets see what you have there
Vague open ended ranting: check
No specific concrete information to back your claims: check
Claiming customer decision making process is stupid: check
And you wonder why cisco is usually the front runner and not your outfit ?

road_runner:
nothing in my earlier post but the truth about Cisco (and a lot of praise). Who's bigger, McDonalds or Whole Foods Market; WalMart or Albertsons? You can argue the estetic points on that forever, but $ is $. (personally, I enjoy a great Symphony Orchestra, and a great deal on kick-around tennis shoes at Wal-Mart)
If you think deeper than your seemingly reactionary reply, you'll see that I'm semi-mocking those "carrier class" overpriced legacy beast companies who are increasingly relying on 'Pro Services' revenues to sustain the remaining 30-60K employees they have.
What we want/need is simple communications. The killer app will be, IMHO, something extremely mundane and stupid but will hog so much bandwidth that not only 'my outfit' but yours as well can find some lucrative niche to help build the next generation of pipes serving our ultimate customer, Joe and Jane (or Jose and Juanita) American.
btw, a little deeper read of situations helps 'my outfit' land business instead of pooh-pooh'ing everything which I'll leave to your sales/eng. team.
Belzebutt
Belzebutt
12/4/2012 | 11:58:48 PM
re: Cisco Beefing Up the B-RAS Story
har har har...
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