SOURCE: Infonetics Research

September 19, 2006 16:11 ET

Cisco scores big with router and LAN switch customers; Juniper is 2nd for routers, ProCurve is 2nd for switches

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 19, 2006 -- Two recent studies, one of enterprise router users, the other of LAN switch users, confirm that customers consider Cisco the top dog of the router and switch industry.

The studies, released by analyst firm Infonetics Research, validate a trend seen in previous years. When asked to rate manufacturers on a number of criteria, such as technology, roadmap, security, price-to-performance, pricing, and support, router and switch buyers consistently rate Cisco the highest. Cisco received especially strong marks for security, technology, financial stability, and service and support.

Router respondents rate Juniper second overall, giving them high marks for technology and product roadmap. Switch respondents rate ProCurve second and Dell third overall, giving each of them high marks for financial stability. Dell also scored well on pricing, and ProCurve scored well on support.

The only category in which the competition beat out Cisco was pricing, although Cisco still comes out on top for price-to-performance ratio, albeit by a small margin. In other words, customers may not like Cisco's pricing, but they feel they get a good value for their money.

"Based on the results of these studies, incumbent manufacturers are in a good position, since most companies will try to stick with their current vendor," said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research. "Medium and large companies have big, complex networks, and they tend to employ a single vendor strategy and are reluctant to swap vendors. This bodes well for incumbents, but makes it hard for smaller vendors to expand their market share. However, there are areas that could cause buyers to defect, namely value and support, and vendors that are under-delivering in this area could be in for a rude awakening."

Sample Data

--  The top emerging technology trend for enterprise routers continues to
    be the integration of security features like firewall, VPN, IDS, etc.
--  The top emerging technology trends for LAN switches are 802.1x and
    VoIP support
--  Buyers invest in emerging networking technology to make the network
    more secure, more reliable, and more efficient, which in turn should lower
    long-term operating costs
--  Respondents plan to almost double the average number of 1G ports on
    their workgroup switches, and expect the number of 10G ports to increase
    another 42% over the next 2 years
--  Cisco leads the list of installed router and LAN switch vendors by
    far, with 87% of router respondents and 68% of LAN switch respondents using
    Cisco products
--  The gap between Cisco and the competition is wide: for installed
    router vendors, Nortel is second with 6%, and Juniper follows closely with
    5%; for installed LAN switch vendors, 16% of respondents use 3Com, 15% use
    ProCurve (HP)
The studies, "User Plans for Routers" and "User Plans for LAN Switches," examine the purchase plans of 300 medium and large organizations deploying routers and LAN switches in 5 vertical markets (education, federal government, finance, healthcare, and manufacturing). Each study takes an in-depth look at perceptions of leading manufacturers and products, how organizations select and evaluate manufacturers, reasons for switching to new manufacturers, and emerging technologies being deployed.

The studies feature scorecards with user ratings of top manufacturers on everything from pricing and financial stability to technology roadmaps, service and support, and overall satisfaction. The router study includes ratings on 3Com, ADTRAN, Cisco, Enterasys, Juniper, and Nortel; the switch study includes ratings on 3Com, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Foundry, ProCurve, and Nortel.

Download sample data at For sales, contact Larry Howard, vice president, at or +1 (408) 583-3335.

Infonetics Research ( is the premier international market research and consulting firm specializing in data networking and telecom, providing a complete view of the market. Services include quarterly market share and forecasting, end-user survey research, service provider survey research, and service provider capex analysis.

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Matthias Machowinski
    Directing Analyst, Enterprise Voice & Data
    Infonetics Research, Inc.
    Email Contact