Procket's Test Teaser

At first glance, Procket Networks Inc.'s announcement this month that it had shipped a beta version of its "Internet infrastructure software" to seven service providers for testing marked a significant milestone in the IP router startup's progress (see Procket Announces Beta Shipments).

Better yet, the press release included a positive user testimonial from one of those service providers, Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (MFN) (Nasdaq: MFNX), which suggested that MFN had already evaluated the code, with positive results.

“Procket’s software is remarkably robust and complete,” according to Andrew Partan, senior network architect for MFN.

But on closer examination it appears that the announcement may not be all that it seems. For one, it's not known whether Metromedia Fiber has had its hands on Procket's routing code.

Procket won't say. "I cannot confirm or deny [that it was the routing software]," says Tony Li, Procket's founder.

Further, it turns out that Andrew Partan, the MFN exec quoted in the release, is a member of Procket’s strategic and technical advisory board. Hardly an unbiased reference, especially as advisory board members typically receive an equity share in the companies that they help in return for their time.

Partan did not return calls.

How close is Procket from having a real product? That’s hard to tell, considering that the company hasn’t disclosed any details about what it’s working on. Company executives also haven’t disclosed any sort of timeline for the product.

But judging from the history of other core routing companies, it could be a very long time before Procket has anything to ship. Pluris Inc., IronBridge Networks Inc., and Charlotte’s Web Networks Ltd. are all examples of companies that have been working on core routers for the past three years -- and none of them has yet shipped commercial product.

Clearly, it's early days for Procket. The company has raised $34 million in venture capital in two rounds of funding. Pluris just completed its fourth round for $100 million (see Pluris Preparing for Its Public). And Ironbridge, which has already raised $83 million, is looking to complete a $100 million round (see IronBridge Over Troubled Water ).

-- Stephen Saunders, US editor, and Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 8:59:33 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser would welcome any new insights into what Procket is really working on

Steve Saunders 12/4/2012 | 8:59:31 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser Sorry. Fixed now.

tony1athome 12/4/2012 | 8:59:31 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser My name is spelled with a 'y'.

pablo 12/4/2012 | 8:59:25 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser Look at the positions they're hiring for - system company, no doubt about it. Given the background of their (impressive) management staff, the level and background of some guys they've hired out of large system vendors, and their current vision statement, it is safe to assume they are working on a very high-end next generation routing solution. Given the issues ISPs, their target customers, are facing, I assume they focus on reliability, scaling, QoS and routing enhancements.

Brilliantly new insights, hey? :-)

It would be intersting to know whether they're trying to spin off their own ASICs, or whether they're looking to outsource to some of the emerging high-end folks (Bay Micro, Zettacom, OneX and such).
samia 12/4/2012 | 8:59:17 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser Buzz ! Buzz !
Believe me they won't have something ready before
juniper or cisco. juniper is already working on an OC768 for the M160.
I think what they are trying to do now is getting the netwoking community attention so that some hopeless nortel or alcatel or even cisco will jump
and acquire them.

pablo 12/4/2012 | 8:59:17 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser "Juniper is already working on an OC-768 for the M160" - Now *that* is buzz. Unless it's channelized OC-768, I don't see how the M160 can architecturally support OC-768. Not that it needs to do OC-768 to generate a billion in revenue at some point in time. In my opinion, high density OC-192 is where it'll be at for the next few years - OC-768 will *not* make it to the Internet backbone in October '02 with the big bang people assume. There's a lot of hype surrounding OC-768. When even the transport Sonet interface experts tell you there's "issues", you know the high end routers are not going to be using it that quickly. Mind you, higher OC-192 port density poses nearly identical requirements on the internals of the equipment.
voice of sanity 12/4/2012 | 8:59:06 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser I agree. OC-768 is a cannon, basically. Can current router technology really handle it? Doubtful.
samia 12/4/2012 | 8:59:01 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser Amazing how people talk about things they ignore !
M160 can support *today* and will support in the near future an OC768 interface. It can handle up to 10 OC768 interfaces with some h/w and s/w enhancement. Bottom of the story is that procket is not the only company working on Oc768 -this is if they are really doing :)
pablo 12/4/2012 | 8:59:00 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser
".. M160 can support *today* and will support in the near future an OC768 interface. .."

The existing M160 architecture is well documented. Go to http://www.juniper.net/techpub... and check it out for yourself. The OC-192 blades hog additional size.

" .. It can handle up to 10 OC768 interfaces .."

That is a silly statement. The present tense makes is utterly inaccurate. With current and projected memory chips, me and several other people that have dabbled in system design for, oh, some years, doubt the M160 can be taken to support OC-768. It would require very significant changes. None of it impossible, and Juniper has awesome people and sense of product direction, but your claim stated as above is silly: The M160 can *not* support 10 OC-768 interfaces, anyone with an IQ above the chair they're sitting on can verify that by accessing readily available information.
celyle 12/4/2012 | 8:58:35 PM
re: Procket's Test Teaser
This "board" tries to set an incredibly long cookie
with each page view, along with two or three normal ones.
I have to chase it about four desktops over to
cancel it, very inconvenient.
You might get more traffic if you fixed that.
You will not be able to bully people who don't
want your cookies to switch to accepting them;
we just won't come back.

Sign In