Optical/IP Networks

Procket Reaches 'End of Life'

It's official: The Procket Networks Inc. core router is done.

"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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Sibylle 12/5/2012 | 1:26:36 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life'
Cisco agreed to buy certain Procket assets, including engineers, in an $89 million deal expected to close before.....

Thought Abe outlawed slavery. Did shrub bring it back in the dead of the night or something...?
coreghost 12/5/2012 | 1:26:36 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' What I've been told is that cisco isn't even
much interested in the engineering. They are
keeping hardly anyone on. The rumor-numbers
(and names) would barely seem sufficient to
transfer the technology. Its literally a handful
of people out of the whole company. If the
numbers are true, its so few that its the kind
of numbers you would expect to hire out of the
liquidation sale rather than an 80+ million

As far as the CRS, nothing in the procket deal
fixes any of the number of problems it has. The
impression I get is that the current CRS is
cisco's equivelent of a "concept car" at an auto
show and that the real version of the CRS will
be a year or more away.
procket_guy 12/5/2012 | 1:26:35 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' coreghost,

Way off base here. Can't really say more about it than that, as I am there and you are not. Sounds like you are desperately trying to throw mud on Cisco/Procket technologies because why? Fear perhaps? Is that the sound of footsteps behind you? - no, wait, now they are ahead of you...

Stop posting lies.
the_lord 12/5/2012 | 1:26:35 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' An earlier post in this notesfile, a nice fellow by the name of "SIGNMEUP" wrote:

> As far as the $$$/engineer, you are not counting > the cost of the IP associated with the deal.
> Even though the real deal was for the people,
> keeping the IP out of competitors hands was just
> an added bonus. BTW, how DO you develop a shared
> memory architecture that can support 40Gbps per
> slot cost effectively? I dunno, ask Cisco as
> they now own that IP... How to create a 40G ?
> programmable network processor without it using
> [email protected],124 BTU/Hr like the HFR?

Sounds like Cisco's HFR had 2 significant hardware issues....

- 40G NPU is consuming too much power.... This might explain the recent brownouts in California (you girlie men).
- The switching fabric has too much bus contention .

OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 1:26:34 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' Are you nuts?
Another core router company?
That would mean that they did not learn anything from their Procket experience.
Optic_Dude 12/5/2012 | 1:26:34 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' If Cisco is keeping no one from Procket and shelving the IP, then why don’t the Procket people go start another company developing a similar but not identical core router product? It seems too obvious for me. And who cares if you signed a non-compete, Cisco wouldn’t know about your startup if you truly operated in stealth mode anyway. Just curious to hear from some of the Procket people what they will do now. Certainly not throw away the knowledge they have gained and go work for Starbucks.

coreghost 12/5/2012 | 1:26:34 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' procket_guy,

I think the flaws of the CRS are already well
known to lots of people. You can live in denial
of them if you want, but you (and cisco) are not
really fooling much of anyone. You may want to
have a talk with your own sales and marketing
organization about it. And because its
flawed doesn't mean that Cisco's friends are not
going to order bunches of them.

On Procket, nobody cares about their technology
much. Procket is interesting because of the
collosal egos involved and the scale of the
failure that you and others are associated with.
Its more interesting as a case study of a failed
business than as technology.

As far as procket, the rumor-number for engineers
kept is less than 25. Are you saying that cisco
is keeping more than that around? Or are you
just blowing smoke?

Optic_Dude 12/5/2012 | 1:26:32 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' So, you are saying that the only real routing product companies allowed to exist are Cisco, Juniper, and maybe Huawei?
If 3 companies were the max for every telecom industry segment, then 60% of this industry would be unemployed right now.

networking_legend 12/5/2012 | 1:26:32 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' The true talent of Procket is going to remain at Cisco. The rest of them are going to have a tough time find a job given that VCs have no interest in investing in another core router company. Most of them will probably have to cash in their engineering careers.
Mezo 12/5/2012 | 1:26:31 AM
re: Procket Reaches 'End of Life' your comments are stupid...
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