Thursday, April 14, 2005

Cisco, Juniper & Next Generation Networks

In an April 2005 article titled Cisco and Juniper Joust for Supremacy, noted industry consultant Tom Nolle compares and contrasts Juniper's and Cisco's approach.

From a layered perspective, both schemes appear to have the same decomposition: 3 layers in both prescriptions. The devil, of course, is in the details.

Juniper's Infranet:
A quick summary of the Infranet approach, available on the Infranet web site, describes it in 3 layers: signaling stratum, control stratum and data stratum.

Cisco's NGN:
Cisco describes its solution in terms of application convergence, service convergence and network convergence.

Apart from the innocuous equivalence of the 3 layers in either approach, a fundamental difference between the two approaches seems to be in the use of basic IP connectivity to accomplish future services off the "new Internet", be it Cisco's NGN or Juniper's Infranet. Before any kind of a new service can be provided to a subscriber, basic IP connectivity must be present. (The entire world has now gotten used to the ubiquitous nature of IP connectivity; you are too late if you are thinking differently). Thus, it seems that Cisco's idea is superior, particularly if the new ISP will only provide new services in a "container" that a subscriber has specifically requested through a secure request.