Cisco today outlined a strategy for its new Internet protocol (IP) networks and gained technical and Japanese market support by striking a deal with Fujitsu.
The company announced that its “IP NGN” — IP Next-Generation Networks — architecture was pushing network convergence to provide various voice, video and wireless capabilities and controls.
In partnership with Japanese giant Fujitsu, Cisco will develop high-end routers and collaborate on routing and switching technologies. Cisco is battling Juniper Networks for the increasingly valuable IP side of networks.
The companies said they would work together developing Cisco’s IOS-XR operating system for terabit routers. The joint development represents the first time Cisco has partnered with another communications equipment manufacturer to develop router operating system technology, Cisco said.
Converged Service, Control
Cisco said its network convergence efforts, including its ERS-1 Carrier Routing System — considered the core of the next-generation network — was gaining ground in Asia, as evidenced by both the Fujitsu partnership and a deal with China Telecom to provide the business network portion of the Chinese carrier’s CN2 network.
The technology will help achieve true service convergence in which voice, video, data, mobile and other technology providers can operate, bill, and manage services across the different network media, Cisco said.
Cisco said the recently acquired P-Cube would provide service control at the subscriber and application levels. The company also pointed to its acquisition of Dynamicsoft, a session initiation protocol (SIP) provider that will support voice, data and multimedia services via broadband networks.
Cisco said the Fujitsu partnership would allow the company to provide new network solutions and support for high-quality service levels.
Meta Group senior analyst David Willis, however, told TechNewsWorld that the service levels on the IP side of the converging networks were taking some time, while carriers are used to very high degrees of reliability.
Still, Willis said the Cisco-Fujitsu collaboration would give Cisco better access to the Japanese market and also fill some technology gaps for the company.
“This really gives them faster inroads to the Japanese market,” Willis said, adding that “Fujitsu has tremendous strength in optical and to some degree wireless.”
“It not only gets [Cisco] into the Japanese market, but it fills out some areas in Cisco’s technology strategy,” Willis explained.
Battle of Routers
Willis said that networking companies are now competing more than ever to provide the end services that customers receive through networks, such as voice, video and converged offerings.
“There’s definitely a battle going on at the edge,” Willis said. “It’s mostly between Cisco and Juniper.”
Yankee Group senior analyst Zeus Kerravala told TechNewsWorld earlier this year that Cisco, Juniper, 3Com, Foundry, and others were all in heavy competition over routers, which have evolved beyond networking traffic to include a myriad of add-on capabilities.
“It’s a multiservices box that has routing capability,” Kerravala said of the current generation of router.
He indicated that vendors will be competing by providing increasingly advanced voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), security and other capabilities with their networks.