Cisco's top 10 rivals

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Cisco's top 10 rivals Cisco's top 10 rivalsCisco's top 10 rivals

 

15 October 2010

Competition is only getting harder for Cisco as it continues to expand in 30 or so new markets while attempting to maintain growth in its core routing and switching businesses.

In FY 2010, Cisco's fourth quarter results were disappointing, as was the company's outlook for its current fiscal 2011 first quarter. At the same time, competition with major players in its core and adjacent markets is heating up.

Below there is the list of Cisco's 10 toughest rivals in a handful of its key markets, such as video, data center and collaboration.

Cisco vs. Juniper
Juniper took one-third of Cisco's share in core routing shortly after coming onto the scene in 1997. The company remains Cisco's one and only rival in core Internet routing with a 30% share of the $643 million market in the second quarter, according to Dell'Oro Group.

Cisco vs. Alcatel-Lucent
Juniper is also an adversary in carrier edge routing but so too is Alcatel-Lucent. Alcatel-Lucent and Juniper take turns trading the No. 2 position in edge routing, where Ethernet service delivery is a key requirement for applications such as IPTV, Ethernet VPNs and mobile backhaul. Both companies are targeting Cisco's aged 7600 series and new ASR 9000 routers as their key competitive targets.

Cisco vs. HP

With a 72% share of the $16 billion market in 2009, Cisco is dominant in Ethernet switching. It would be hard to pinpoint a rival in a market where Cisco is essentially unrivaled. Yet HP is most active and vocal in taking on Cisco in enterprise switching. At 10% share, HP is the No. 2 vendor, thanks in large part to its $2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com earlier this year.

Cisco vs. Aruba

Similar to switching, Cisco has a close-to-dominant position in wireless LANs with a 58% share of the $1.6 billion market in 2009. Aruba's next with 9%.

Cisco vs. Polycom

Cisco's keen on video, noting – by its own research -- that it will exceed 91% of global consumer IP traffic by 2014. Cisco rolled out TelePresence virtual conferencing systems for the business and home, and acquired both Pure Digital, the maker of Flip pocket video cameras, and Polycom rival Tandberg to fill out the low-end and mid-range enterprise videoconferencing portfolio.

Cisco vs. Avaya

Avaya and Cisco are Nos. 1 and 2 in enterprise telephony, according to Dell'Oro Group, with 17% and 14.6% shares, respectively, of the $12 billion market in 2009.

Cisco vs. Microsoft

Microsoft and Cisco are in that gray area referred to as "coopetition." They compete and collaborate on unified communications. After Microsoft entered into the Innovative Communications Alliance with Nortel in 2006, Microsoft and Cisco stated their intentions to continue working together as well as compete.

Cisco vs. Check Point

Cisco is far and away the leading vendor in the $7 billion overall network security market – which includes firewall/VPN, unified threat management, intrusion detection and prevention, and standalone VPNs, according to IDC. The company leads in each market except for unified threat management. But in the largest sub-segment – the $2.6 billion firewall/VPN hardware and software market – CheckPoint is No.2.

Cisco vs. IBM

IBM has been getting tighter with Cisco rivals Juniper and Brocade ever since Cisco set its sights on data center servers and virtualization, an opportunity that Cisco says is $350 billion annually. IBM is OEMing switches and routers from both companies and, though much quieter than HP, distancing itself from Cisco at every opportunity.

Cisco vs. Brocade

Brocade and Cisco are 1 and 2, respectively, in Fibre Channel storage-area networks. Brocade has the lion's share of the Fibre Channel SAN market at 64% and Cisco's attempting to take the industry to Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet, a converged SAN/LAN switching fabric dependent on Ethernet switches – an area where Cisco is dominant.

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