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Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) representatives peeked into Juniper Networks Inc.'s (Nasdaq: JNPR) Infranet Initiative for the first time last week, apparently to tell them to cut it out.

Cisco officials confirm the company sent two ambassadors to the Infranet Initiative Council (IIC) meeting held in France early this week. Their goal was "to push the council into moving the activities into the standards bodies, which is where we've always maintained these kinds of activities belong," a Cisco spokesman states.

They were not there to sign up for the Infranet club. "They made their point, but as far as any implications of Cisco joining, we have always said we have no interest," the spokesman says.

The Infranet is Juniper's vision of a highly intelligent Internet, one that can deliver the appropriate quality of service (QOS), reliability, and security based on knowing who is connecting and in what context. The goal is to make advanced services a reality, and getting there will require input from equipment vendors, software experts, and service providers.

The IIC, chartered with figuring out how to make this work, started out with a Juniper-centric membership that included the company's resellers and key customers. It has since broadened to include about 20 carriers -- but still no Cisco, and some observers have wondered if that's a handicap (see Juniper's Infranet Takes Baby Steps).

Cisco didn't send lightweights to the meeting. Monique Morrow is a CTO consulting engineer with Cisco and is actively involved in MPLS standards. And Suraj Shetty, director of marketing for Cisco's routing technology group, handles Cisco's current hot property, the CRS-1 core router (see Cisco Test Finds the Spotlight and Cisco Scores CRS-1 Customers).

On the surface, the IIC doesn't seem insulted by Cisco's suggestion. "The IIC continues to welcome Cisco Systems and feels its participation would be in the best interest of the industry and global business," an IIC spokesman says.

In fact, Juniper officials maintain that the IIC is all about standards. The group's goal, they say, is to kickstart ideas that would later be submitted to standards bodies, meaning the end-result Infranet wouldn't be the purview of some exclusive club.

Not good enough, Cisco says. A full-standards approach is needed to "draw on a very diverse set of expert opinions," the spokesman says.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading




For further education, visit the archives of related Light Reading Webinars:

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light-headed 12/5/2012 | 3:25:56 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative Dumb marketing idea with little or no technical value just to make Juniper feel special. All of the ideas can be done today on a variety of vendor platforms without some new architecture or standards. The existing standards are just fine or juniper would pursue this in IETF, MFA, IEEE, etc. Cisco is just calling their bluff and once they go to standards it will be thrown where it belongs...

the trash.
kongfromhk 12/5/2012 | 3:25:55 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative who got lucky with Juniper. Now to justify his existance as the CTO, he comes up with this stupid Infranet bullshit. Juniper will be better off without this egomaniac and might as well boot him now. Juniper needed new management at all levels and they are halfway there.
chook0 12/5/2012 | 3:25:53 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative Certainly there is an element of marketing initiatve there. Anything with a name like "Infranet" has to be...

But it does target a real need. Contrary to your assertion, there is no way to do a lot of the stuff being tackled just using published standards. Or even by using the half-baked stuff coming out of the IETF. No MPLS equivalent of X.75 or the B-ICI. Much less any standard way of using all the QoS tools, much less any way of communicating what they mean today between a carrier and a customer.

Looks to me like the carriers have gone to the IIC because they are tired of the testosterone-fuelled confrontation (and Juniper is certainly no angel here) of the IETF and the glacial pace of the ITU. Maybe if they can all agree on something at the IIC they can then work to ram it through one of the standards forums. When what you have doesn't work, then I guess you have to try something different.

Cisco as the incumbent naturally fights anything to do with interoperability tooth and nail. They are nt the first incumbent to do this. (Remember IBM?)

But they will soon have less than 50% of the carrier router market and then they will have to play ball.

--Chook
chook0 12/5/2012 | 3:25:53 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative My My, are we bitter or what?

Can't you come up with something constructive or informative?

Jeez, even some empty assertions would improve your post.

--Chook
dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 3:25:52 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative My impression is that Cisoc owns the IETF. I attended a working group meeting concerned with L2TP once to take notes fro a colleague. The draft had been approved for submission as an RFC. There were a few miscellaneous presentations and then the chair announced that Cisco had an important announcment.

The announcement was rather important. Cisco announced that they had intellectual property that covered the L2TP RFC though their previous work on L2F.

Cisco did announce that tehy would 'freely' licence this technology BUT

a) it would be at a rate that they would deytermine
b) is any licensee sued Cisco for any reason, Cisco would suspend the licence

This dispelled any illusions that I ahd about the IETF. Recall all the statements and RFCs about intellectual property. It seems that these do not apply to Cisco.
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 3:25:52 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative The Cisco way is to stuff standards bodies with their people to influence the standards in ways that benefit Cisco and undermine their competitors. If a competitor comes up with a better mousetrap, Cisco pushes a new standard on everyone that essentially says, "Don't buy that old stuff from our competitors, wait a little bit and buy the new stuff." A recent example happened at CableLabs. Motorola and Arris have been killing Cisco in the carrier-class CMTS space. Cisco doesn't have a viable product so they launched a "Next Generation Network Architecture" that breaks up today's CMTS into separate functional components. The approach is a disaster when it comes to redundancy and gives the cable operators a nightmare of discrete network elements to manage. Cisco is so entrenched with the technical decision makers at the Cable companies that this approach is being pushed through even though it has significant technical flaws.
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:25:51 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative Yours truly,
(John) I may make my next quarter (Chambers).
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:25:50 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative Excuse me, but if we lived with a Net that had no DOS attacks, no viruses and always acceptable jitter or latency, perhaps you would be right. But we don't. If what we have was delivered on CSCO technology, and we want something different, perhaps we need to look elsewhere.

On the other hand, if what we have is what we want, given all constraints that come with changing the situation, then Juniper is wasting our time.
infranet_rulz 12/5/2012 | 3:25:49 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative When Pradeep announced the infranet intiative in the quarterly employee meeting, all the engineers were laughing their asses off. Only the marketing folks were listening to his speech as if it was gospel. Pradeep was spouting some nonsense and was comparing infranet to C language, English language, McDonalds burgers blah blah blah.

But nobody had the balls to standup and say that the Emperor had no clothes.
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:25:47 AM
re: Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative OOOH material girl you are all wored up. As is the case with material girls you shop a lot, know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Thats right. Before Cisco sold Self Defensive Networks were they not Self Healing Networks and so on?.

How about the next marketing campaign be Payback Networks. This way Cisco can payback all of the customers that had to over engineer with Cisco gear to keep traffic moving. Oh, and how about all of those SLA claims to business users caused by GSR packet loss, and suffering through IOS up-grades. Oh go back to work, John wants you in his office, he found something in the Victoria Secret catalogue for you. Tee Hee
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