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Cisco's top 10 rivals

Jim Duffy | Oct. 13, 2010
Cisco battling Juniper, IBM, HP and more across the enterprise network market

FRAMINGHAM, 13 OCTOBER 2010 -

Competition is only getting tougher for Cisco as it continues to expand in 30 or so new markets while attempting to maintain growth in its core routing and switching businesses.

In FY 2010, Cisco's fourth quarter results were disappointing, as was the company's outlook for its current fiscal 2011 first quarter. At the same time, competition with major players in its core and adjacent markets is heating up.

Google's 10 toughest rivals 

Which players? Below is our list of Cisco's 10 toughest rivals in a handful of its key markets, such as video, data center and collaboration.

Cisco vs. Juniper

Juniper took one-third of Cisco's share in core routing shortly after coming onto the scene in 1997. The company remains Cisco's one and only rival in core Internet routing with a 30% share of the $643 million market in the second quarter, according to Dell'Oro Group. And the two companies seek to one up each other with every announcement of a higher speed, higher density system. Current entries in this race are Cisco's recently-announced CRS-3 and Juniper's 250Gbps per slot ASICs for its T series systems.

Juniper is also Cisco's closest competitor in a number of security markets, including the $2 billion VPN hardware and software market, and in the $7 billion overall security market, which includes firewalls, VPNs, unified threat management and intrusion detection and prevention systems, according to IDC. Juniper gained a big presence in firewall/VPN systems with its 2004 acquisition of NetScreen.

Cisco vs. Alcatel-Lucent

Juniper is also an adversary in carrier edge routing but so too is Alcatel-Lucent. Alcatel-Lucent and Juniper take turns trading the No. 2 position in edge routing, where Ethernet service delivery is a key requirement for applications such as IPTV, Ethernet VPNs and mobile backhaul. Both companies are targeting Cisco's aged 7600 series and new ASR 9000 routers as their key competitive targets. Cisco's advantage is its vast installed base – 43% of the $1.34 billion market in the second quarter, according to Dell'Oro. Alcatel-Lucent's challenging that and looking to grow beyond its 19% share with terabit ASICs for its Service Router 7750 optimized for traffic management and processing of IPTV, WebTV, mobile backhaul and business VPN traffic; and 100Gbps Ethernet interfaces for the edge router.

Earlier this month, Alcatel-Lucent even made some noise in the enterprise switching market with a 5Tbps OmniSwitch with 10/40/100G Ethernet support that takes aim at the enterprise core – and Cisco. 

 

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