Optical/IP Networks

Cisco Launches ISR Mini-Me

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is keeping up the pressure in the 802.11 switching market, as it races to integrate a host of routing, switching, and security features with its wireless access technology.

Today, Cisco announced a line of smaller devices within its Integrated Services Routers (ISR) family, all of which will include managed security, Ethernet switching, and 802.11 a/b/g access for under $1,500.

”It’s about our ISR products having embedded wireless and security features and operating at wireline speeds,” says Jeanne Dunn, senior director of Cisco’s routing and switching product marketing.

All of the products will include VPN, intrusion detection (IDS), and an integrated firewall (see Wireless IDS Is All the Rage). The products also provide 802.11 a/b/g wireless switching and four or eight ports of Ethernet switching.

Cisco claims that the ISR series, launched last year, is the company’s “most successful product line ever,” because it has ramped up to $600 million in shipments in under three quarters.

Cisco rival Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) has been aiming at the same target, recently announcing its first wireless LAN product, a security gateway combined an access point intended for the branch office market (see Juniper Unwires NetScreen). Despite this, analysts feel that Cisco has an edge in integrating all the pieces of wireless LAN switching, and that Juniper has yet to put together a full strategy in that market (see Juniper Unwires NetScreen).

Some of the enterprise wireless LAN startups have also put together products that combine WiFi access capabilities with security for both wired and wireless traffic. Aruba Wireless Networks has been particularly vocal about this, talking up securing wired and wireless traffic as part of its “grid” strategy (see Aruba Targets Wired World).

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor,Light Reading, and Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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