Cisco Unchallenged in Router Arena

Two new studies, one on enterprise routers, the other on Ethernet switches, confirm that customers consistently rate Cisco highest overall when ranking manufacturers on a number of criteria, such as technology, roadmap, security, management, and service and support.

This year, however, ProCurve Networking by HP is closing in on Cisco in the Ethernet switch arena, materializing as Cisco’s biggest challenger.

According to the switch study published by Infonetics Research, ProCurve for the first time outscores Cisco in customer ratings on price-to-performance, and the gap between their service and support ratings is closing.

“Cisco continues to dominate the router and switch markets, but on the switching side, ProCurve buyer perceptions have improved across the board compared to last year, which explains why they’re now a solid second on respondents’ vendor short list,” said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.

Infonetics’ router study, “User Plans for Routers: North American Vertical Markets 2007,” indicates no such competitor has emerged yet to challenge Cisco on its dominance in the router market.

“Juniper comes close, but doesn’t yet score higher than Cisco in any of the router criteria we pose in the study, which is key to moving up on respondents’ short lists. The companies we interviewed are medium and large size companies, and run large networks, so understandably they’re not keen on swapping out vendors. If they do, there must be a very compelling reason,” Machowinski added.