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Ethernet equipment

Redback Targets AlcaLu – Again!

As each month passes, so Redback Networks Inc. looks more and more like an Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) IP wannabe.

Redback, now part of the growing Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) empire, has already pitched its SmartEdge edge router as an alternative to AlcaLu's widely deployed 7750 Service Router. (See Redback Beats AlcaLu to French Deal.)

Now it's launching a family of carrier Ethernet products, starting with the SM 480 Smart Ethernet Switch, which, says senior strategy director Alexis Berthillier, "is going after Alcatel-Lucent" -- in particular, the giant vendor's 7450 Ethernet Service Switch. (See Redback Unveils SM 480, AlcaLu Beefs Up Its Routers, AlcaLu Tops $1B in IP Gear Sales, KPN Picks Alcatel Ethernet Gear, AlcaLu Wins Shanghai Deal, and Chunghwa Picks AlcaLu Ethernet.)

The move is all part of Redback's efforts to pack a bigger punch in the Internet Protocol (IP) and Ethernet markets, where both fixed and mobile carriers are spending increasing amounts of their capex dollars: According to Heavy Reading forecasts, the market for metro Ethernet equipment will more than double in the next four years, from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $4.7 billion in 2012. (See Redback Targets 30% Market Share, Redback Goes on the Offensive, and Ethernet Expo Europe: Switch/Router Update.)

Redback says its SmartEdge is already being used for Ethernet traffic aggregation, but the edge router isn't optimized, either technically or in terms of price, for the Ethernet market. "Ethernet transport has been a hole in the Ericsson portfolio that needed to be filled," says Berthillier.

And while the market for Ethernet aggregation switches is already very competitive, with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) just some of the other active players in addition to Alcatel-Lucent, the Redback team believes it can use Ericsson's large installed carrier customer base to quickly build market share.

The SM 480 Smart Ethernet Switch
To develop its switch, Redback has taken a leaf out of its main rival's book. In the same way that Alcatel-Lucent simplified its 7750 Service Router to create the Ethernet-oriented 7450, so Redback is subtracting from its SmartEdge line to create the SM family, leaving out Layer 3 VPNs, broadband remote access server (B-RAS) capability, and features such as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) support.

But having such a box seems sensible, given the publicity surrounding carrier Ethernet. "It would be a mistake not having a carrier Ethernet product," says Michael Howard, principal analyst with Infonetics Research Inc.

That kind of reasoning even got Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), a long-time Ethernet holdout, into the game with its EX series. (See Juniper Storms Into Ethernet Switching.)

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light-headed 12/5/2012 | 3:38:36 PM
re: Redback Targets AlcaLu – Again! "Berthillier believes the SM 480 will have an edge over AlcaLu's 7450 by having an in-house policy manager. "The more control you have, the better," says the former Juniper and Alcatel (TiMetra) man, who notes that AlcaLu's policy control is developed by partners and integrated, though that's something that's changing at Redback's key rival."
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Berthillier may be former Alcatel but he is not former TiMetra. He left Alcatel just as the acquisition was done. He is not really correct about policy management. He was gone when the 7450 was developed and he was long gone when 5750 SSC was introduced the 5620 SAM platform was integrated.
NPR 12/5/2012 | 3:38:01 PM
re: Redback Targets AlcaLu – Again! The way this guy has been hopping jobs from Alcatel --> Juniper --> Redback, he will say anything to keep his job. Get input from objctive tech.
IPfuture 12/5/2012 | 3:37:57 PM
re: Redback Targets AlcaLu – Again! I guess all of you have to get their facts straight on this one.
He was there when the 7450 was done and was part of the Timetra team working on this project.
In addition he was at JNPR quite a long time.
Do some more research before
yarn 12/5/2012 | 3:37:54 PM
re: Redback Targets AlcaLu – Again! He actually came to Alcatel through the Xylan acquisition.
speedy1 12/5/2012 | 3:37:42 PM
re: Redback Targets AlcaLu – Again! He certainly was not with TiMetra pre-aquisition.

-d
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I guess all of you have to get their facts straight on this one.
He was there when the 7450 was done and was part of the Timetra team working on this project.
In addition he was at JNPR quite a long time.
Do some more research before
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