Cisco Heckles Infranet Initiative
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
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