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Supercomm Showdown For Router Giants

Juniper or Cisco? Cubs or Sox? Ah, nothing like a good red-hot
controversy for the sweltering Chicago summer.

Instead of baseball, though, it will be debates over the future of the Internet's infrastructure that should create the heat at the upcoming Supercomm
show in Chicago this June, given recent announcements from networking giants Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

Juniper, which just had another positive quarter, used its conference call to do a little chest-thumping Wednesday, with CEO Scott Kriens decrying "old world" network architectures (guess who he meant), while planting Juniper's flag on the future. To that end, Juniper announced that Supercomm would be the place for the first planned meeting of its Infranet Initiative
group, which actually now has some members besides Juniper, including Oracle, Ericsson, Siemens and BT.

Cisco, meanwhile, this week leaked out the news that it will formally introduce its long-awaited "HFR" (which stands for "huge f-ing router" or "huge fast router," depending on whether or not The Godfather of Decency is listening) at Supercomm, along with plans for an overhaul of its IOS network operating system, a technology that has shown its weaknesses quite a bit over the last few weeks.

While Cisco hasn't officially announced the router and IOS news in a press release, Cisco execs confirmed the plans in reports published by Network World earlier this week. Of course, in those same stories, Cisco senior vice president Mike Volpi was quoted as saying IOS doesn't have many security problems, a point that's somewhat questionable given the news that cropped up this week and last.

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