Procket Reaches 'End of Life'
"End-of-Life" notices for the PRO/8800 line of routers came out July 10, confirming the widely held assumption that Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) would discontinue the product line after acquiring the intellectual property.
Cisco agreed to buy certain Procket assets, including engineers, in an $89 million deal expected to close before October (see Cisco to Pay $89M for Procket Assets).
EOL notices originally marked July 31 as the final day. Procket has decided to extend the date until the closing of the Cisco deal.
Politically, it's a decision Cisco had to make. Many assume Procket is being acquired to cover Cisco's perceived shortcomings; for Cisco to offer the PRO/8800 would just fuel those suspicions. Moreover, the Procket acquisition comes on the heels of Cisco unveiling the CRS-1, a competing router being hyped as a key to "The Next 20 Years" for the company (see Cisco Unveils the HFR).
So, will the installed PRO/8800s get sold off like old Foghat albums at a garage sale? It doesn't seem likely, especially when you consider that Foghat's album releases may outnumber Procket's contract wins. No Procket items have appeared on eBay to date.
The University of Oregon, for one, will keep its lone Procket router in place (see U. of Oregon Picks Procket). It's in a redundant pairing, sitting beside a Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) router, and senior network engineer José Domínguez figures that arrangement can stand up for easily another year or more.
Other Procket owners will do something similar, he thinks. "The big deal is that you're not going to get support," he says. "What you do is put it in a place where it won't be a bottleneck -- in terms of features, not in terms of bandwidth. You could live with it for a little while. Think of it as an old switch. But you're not going to get any new features."
Domínguez says most PRO/8800 buyers had come down to a choice between Procket or Juniper, so he thinks those who need more routers will probably head Juniper's way. And for the folks who fell in love with the PRO/8800 line, Domínguez thinks there's hope.
"With Cisco buying the engineering, the copyrights, the patents -- hey, I think they're going to come out with something like it," he says.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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