4:40 PM -- I'm not trying to imply that the winner of our Top Picks: Switching and Routing award has to be a router. But in seeding the nominations, the obvious thing to do was to include the four "100-Gig" announcements from the four big router vendors.
In order of their appearances in Light Reading, we had:
- Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) -- 100-Gbit/s interfaces for the T1600
- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) -- 100-Gbit/s Ethernet ports for the 7750 Service Router and the 7450 Ethernet Service Switch
- Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. -- NE40E Universal Service Router, which promises 400-Gbit/s ports (like the ASR 9000, below) and integrates practically every bell and whistle ever conceived
- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) -- 160-Gbit/s card for the ASR 9000, but no 100-Gbit/s Ethernet ports yet
I do like the Arista Networks Inc. nomination, too, but let's look at how the routers compare. My gut feel says the edge would go to AlcaLu and Huawei here.
Keep in mind that coolness counts; the Top Picks winners don't have to be shipping yet. So the NE40E, which is long on promises, seems, well, promising. (Note, also, that most Top Picks categories will have winners chosen from multiple geographies. I haven't seen a comparable Asian competitor for this category.)
And AlcaLu has put quite a good story behind its 7750/7450 upgrade, which culminates what you might call the terabit router plan from the original TiMetra. I've heard others remark that AlcaLu's IP group is doing a marketing job that could rival Cisco's.
Thoughts? Feel free to share them below, or better yet, on this category's Top Picks message board.
By the way, Top Picks nominees and nominee-wannabes are more than welcome to join the discussion. We'd love to hear any arguments you think might help seal the decision.
If you've no idea what I'm talking about, keep reading:
How to become one of Light Reading's Top Picks
Here are three things you can do to vault your company into Top Picks contention:
1) Nominate. Let us know what your company is doing that's so great. Don't overthink the category placement or how much information we'll need. Just shout out and tell us you want to be considered and we'll let you know what info we'd like to have.
2) Participate. If we pose a question to you via our message boards, you have to respond on our message boards. If you don't, that could hurt your chances of winning. Having your lazy PR firm cut and paste chunks of your corporate Website into emails is not the way to win this contest. We want to talk to the companies directly and hear why they're excited about what they're selling, building, or planning.
3) Reciprocate. If you really want to be a Top Pick, you'll go the extra mile and help us evaluate your category peers. Why not pose some hard questions to your competitors in the space? Why not challenge our editors to explain why their shortlist of companies includes products and services that are clearly inferior to yours? Most people in telecom don't have that kind of backbone, but for the few that do, your efforts will be rewarded.
Finally, here are some Top Picks links to help you out and cover any questions you may have:
- LR Top Picks Program Launches
- Light Reading's Top Picks FAQ
- Here's an update on Light Reading's flagship awards program, the Leading Lights.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading