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NetIron MLX fuels Foundry vs. Cisco Battle

Summary: Launch of the NetIron MLX cuts into Cisco’s metro market share

San Francisco, California January 30, 2007: With internet traffic increasing at unprecedented rates, service providers are ramping up their networks to support the bandwidth intensive applications of the ever-growing web. According to a recent Dell’Oro report, the worldwide market for service provider routers is projected to approach $9 billion by 2011. Targeted at Internet service providers (ISPs), cable network operators, as well as triple and quadruple play operators, Foundry Networks has made a power play for the metro network space with the NetIron MLX routers. Based on the flagship XMR series router, the MLX offers the highest 10GbE and GbE density available to address current and forthcoming service provider capacity requirements. With Foundry’s compelling price of only $600/Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) port, industry leader Cisco Systems is starting to take notice.

After more than four years in development, the Carrier Routing System, or CRS-1 was released by Cisco in 2004 at a development cost of $500M. However due to changes in the IOS (Internetwork Operating System) and cost of almost $450,000 upon release, it only offered a rare glimpse of light for competition in the metro network space. Not surprisingly, competitors Foundry and Juniper quickly jumped into the ring.

Built on newer chip technology and advanced processors, Foundry’s XMR series edge routers answered the demand for a comparable router that is almost 1/5 th of the price. Released in 2006, the MXR 3200 and MLX-32 MPLS enabled routers were developed to offer the highest 10GbE and GbE density and provide up to two billion packets per second (Bpps) of IP/MPLS routing in a 128-port system. These improvements targeted the Triple and Quadruple play service providers who host bandwidth intensive applications, such as video on-demand, broadcast television, and large scale Voice over IP (VoIP).

Just this month, semiconductor developer Cadence Design Systems announced they would be integrating the NetIron MLX as part of their new centralized data center network. With a price/performance level that rivals any router on the market, Foundry has raised the stakes in the competitive 10Gbe market. Rival Cisco has already started to position itself as a provider of a broad range of management solutions targeted towards the coveted triple-play sector. The release and initial positive market response to the MLX series will likely prove a challenge to Cisco’s previously uncontested dominance.


“Service Provider Router Market to Reach $9 Billion .” Dell’Oro Group. January 29, 2007. January 30, 2007. <http://www.delloro.com/news/2007/Rtr013007.htm>

“Cisco Unveils the HFR .” Light reading. January 29, 2007. MAY 25, 2004 . <http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=53319>

“Force10 Adds SONET/SDH Support to Its E-Series Routers – Looking More Like an IP Core Router.” Current Analysis. . January 29, 2007. July 26, 2006. <http://www.currentanalysis.com/h/2006/Force10SonetSDH-22818.asp>

“Cadence Design Systems Selects Foundry Networks to Improve Data Center Performance .” Morningstar. January 29, 2007. January 3, 2007. <http://news.morningstar.com/news/ViewNews.asp?article=/PZ/111125_univ.xml&pgid=qtqnPress2>

About Author:

Brian Stadtmiller is currently the Technical Sales Manager for Townsend Assets Group (TAG), a leading reseller of pre-owned and refurbished data networking equipment like the NetIron MLX. With more than 2500 customers in 23 countries, TAG helps customers acquire, manage and remarket their technology. For more information go to http://www.townsendassets.com/

For information on current Foundry Networks offerings, or other pre-owned networking hardware, be sure to check out our inventory page for current pricing and specials. We strive to help our customers find the right equipment to meet their unique needs. I can be emailed at brians@townsendassets.com