As the alpha male of the pack – with about 74 percent of the $924 million in edge routers sold in North American in 2001 – Cisco knows the business of IP traffic aggregation better than anyone.
But the 800-pound gorilla of the router industry is rapidly becoming acquainted with the aggravation factor, as well, as an army of companies looks to steal the edge router market out from under it.
Dynamic Table: Edge Router Vendors
The arrival of so many new players has caused a great deal of confusion about the edge routing market – with seemingly as many opinions about what makes a good edge router as there are vendors making them.
The following report attempts to clear up the confusion by providing overviews of both the edge router market and edge router technology, and then drilling down to examine the following issues in more detail:
- Who’s playing in this market (and who’s got a shot of making it big)
- What edge routers are – and what they are not. (Hint: They’re not multiservice switches or MPLS switches)
- How edge routers save money using new, smaller “high touch” form factors that are optimized to aggregate heterogeneous traffic at the edge of the network
- How edge routers can convert capacity in the core into hard currency via state-of-the-art technologies such as virtual routing and differentiated services
Hot! Hot! Hot!
Edge routers have remained relatively immune to the capex crisis, and the market continues to grow.
Cisco dominates, but Juniper, Riverstone, and Unisphere are coming up fast, and new entrants are cropping up.
The Startup Scene
Analysts differ among themselves, but many feel a shakeout is inevitable in this crowded space.
Or, at least, complicated marketing claims make comparison shopping tricky. We're here to help.
What They Ain't
Be they neither multiservice switches nor MPLS switches.
The Edge has always been with us – but it's gone through some changes.
Critical Features List
Some of the key criteria carriers may want to take into consideration when shopping on the edge.
It’s the Services, Stupid!
Where the money is.
— Jim Carr and Stephen Saunders, Founding Editor, Light Reading
Jim Carr is an Aptos, Calif., freelance business and technology writer. He can be reached at [email protected]