Brocade takes aim at Cisco with new Carrier Ethernet line

NetIron CER 2000 series routers launched

Brocade has launched a line of small form factor Carrier Ethernet routers designed to make Ethernet service delivery at the edge more cost and power efficient.

The NetIron CER 2000 series routers are designed to go straight up against Cisco's ME 6524. Brocade boasts almost three times the performance of the 6524 at half the cost, and at least one-third more energy efficiency.

It will be an uphill climb for Brocade, however. Cisco owns 45% of the $1.25 billion Carrier Ethernet switch and router market based on revenue in the second quarter, according to Dell'Oro Group, followed by Alcatel-Lucent (23%), Juniper (9%) and Huawei (8%). Brocade's offerings up to now have been the NetIron XMR and MLX routers and CES series switches, while Cisco's success has been largely due to the 7600 series router .

Nonetheless, Brocade is aiming these new CER 2000 series compact routers at Cisco's ME 6524 and at a market that the company, citing data from Infonetics Research, says will grow from $20 billion in equipment and services this year to $35 billion in 2013.

Brocade's CER 2024 is 1RU and features 24-ports, a forwarding capacity of 88Gbps, performance of 65 Mpps, a 128K MAC address trable, a 512K routing address table, 4.6 watts per gigabit port and a price -- including MPLS -- of $15,490. Without MPLS, it is $12,495.

The CER 2048 has 48-ports, a forwarding capacity of 136Gbps, performance of 101Mbps, 128K and 512K on the MAC and routing tables, respectively, and 5 watts/gigabit port. It costs $22,990.

Both models are field upgradeable to two-port 10G Ethernet and support copper and fiber connectors, Brocade says. They are also certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum, support multiple virtual routing and forwarding instances, and ingress and egress ACLs.

Brocade says the routers cost up to 42% less than Cisco's ME 6524 and are up to 66% more power efficient, while doubling routing capacity and increasing performance sevenfold.

In addition to serving as a carrier metro edge and MPLS provider edge router, the CER 2000s can function as border routers in enterprise data centers and campuses.

The CER 2000 series will be available in the first quarter of 2010.

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