Cisco Continues Dominance With Overhaul To Its Most Popular Router - InformationWeek

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12/4/2006
03:32 PM
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Cisco Continues Dominance With Overhaul To Its Most Popular Router

The company adds a WAN optimization engine, a Network Analysis Module for visibility into network traffic, a faster services engine, and flexible WAN interfaces that can work with cable and DSL instead of just traditional T1 lines.

Cisco Systems is packing a bunch of upgrades into its hot-selling Integrated Services Router for branch offices, the company announced today, extending its lead over a distant pack of enterprise router competitors.

"The enhancements create further distance between Cisco and the rest of the enterprise router vendors," says Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerravala. "Most of the other vendors have been focused on selling cheaper routers, but clearly, what customers want is a router with more features, not one that just routes at a lower price."

The company's adding a bunch of optional pieces, including a WAN optimization engine, a $4,495 Network Analysis Module for visibility into network traffic, a faster services engine, and flexible WAN interfaces that can work with cable and DSL instead of just traditional T1 lines. Branch office bandwidth constraints and a booming market could make the $3,750 WAN optimization engine, called the Wide Area Application Services Module, a hot seller.

Cisco also has updated IOS, the router's operating system, to include voice and video enhancements and a new form of VPN, called Group Encryption Technology VPN, that the company says will be faster and easier to administer than traditional VPNs. AT&T plans to offer a managed service based on this functionality.

The company also announced it has now sold 2 million ISRs, only 9 months after it sold the first million. The router's new features should keep that pace moving for a while to come.

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