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Cisco misrepresents test results

Spin at Borg-central goes into overdrive

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A publishing firm has slammed Cisco for misrepresenting the results of its tests on high-end optical networking kit.

Cisco claimed in a press release issued Tuesday evening that it, rather than Juniper Networks came out on top in publisher Light Reading's tests of Internet core routers.

After Light Reading issued a press release complaining about what Cisco had done, the networking giant revised partially revised its statement but the affair has angered those involved in the testing, which took six months to put together.

Peter Heywood, founding editor of Light Reading, told The Register: "Cisco has taken out factual inaccuracies in the original press release but we still feel what it did originally was underhand."

Light Reading commissioned tests which were carried out by benchmarking design consultancy Network Test using Spirent Communications performance analysis systems.

The tests looked at Cisco's flagship 12416 router, the M160 from Juniper and kit from Foundry Networks and Charlotte's Networks, and found that Cisco and Juniper were far superior to the competition.

However being rated a close second wasn't good enough for Cisco, which has 60 per cent of the high-end routing market to Juniper's 30 per cent, and it decided to spin the results in its favour.

"I'm very disappointed in this misrepresentation," said David Newman, president of Network Test. "Cisco's 12416 put up some very, very good numbers in this test, so the company had no need to spin it the way they did."

Among the points on which Light Reading believes Cisco's spin went into overdrive are claims that it did better overall when it won four of 16 tests, compared to the 12 won by Juniper.

Cisco's original release claimed it had won nine tests and also boasted that it was the only kit to demonstrate Line Rate IP and MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) performance with 2.5Gbps and 10Gbps throughput. According to Light Reading throughput on one of these tests was just 52 percent.

High end optical routers will sit at the core of service provider networks and present a huge marketing opportunity for vendors selling next generation networking technology to telcos. Success in selling such kit will be fundamental to the fortunes of firms like Cisco and Juniper, so it's not entirely surprising that the results of one of the first tests on suck kit has been so bitterly contested. ®

External links:
Network Test's results
Cisco's spin
...and the rebuttal
Light Reading

Related stories:
Cisco pushes optical router
Cisco ships 10Gbps router
Juniper gets edgy with latest boxes

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