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Cisco's Not Kidding

It's been a long time since Cisco Systems was anything but the biggest dog in most of networking -- and the company means for things to stay that way. Even

It's been a long time since Cisco Systems was anything but the biggest dog in most of networking -- and the company means for things to stay that way. While Cisco is in fine financial shape and is maintaining leads in such key, growing sectors as enterprise wireless local-area networks (WLANs) and IP telephony, it knows that there is still a lot business to be mined at the high end of the market, in selling core routers that keep wide-scale networks, such as the Internet and the telecom systems, running.

Thus, its announcement this week of a new carrier-class router aimed at telcos, the CRS-1, can be seen as notice that isn't going to cede any ground to companies like Juniper Networks, which have made inroads in that part of the business. The thing is, Cisco's potential customers aren't exactly swooning over its newest offering -- at least not just yet. Since such high-end systems take time to evaluate and deploy, telcos didn't rush to commit to the CRS-1 at the rollout event. To make sure the CRS-1 ends up as more than just an ego box for Cisco engineers, it's going to have to do some real selling here.

Cisco certainly has the overall strength to play against its competition. Its latest quarter was viewed as a sign of networking's continued surge, and its marketing muscle is unparalleled in its sector. Further, the company promises many more products in coming months. A bet that Cisco will continue on the upswing over the next few quarters would likely be a good one. But the initial pushback on the CRS-1 suggests that competitors and customers, alike, won't just roll over when the big dog enters the room.

Cisco Introduces 92-Terabit Router
The carrier-class CRS-1 promises continuous uptime, higher throughput, and easier provisioning for service providers.

Carriers Show Tough Love For Cisco, CRS-1
Lukewarm response to new router shows Cisco still needs to win over service providers.

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