Meanwhile, Cisco’s SDN portfolio includes the CSR 1000V router, which is designed to give network managers the flexibility to enforce policy, connect or provide high availability using familiar Cisco tools and technologies.
Juniper’s Marcellin said: "We’ve a much more comprehensive feature set [than Cisco’s] but then we also have the level of scale. This means that the amount of traffic that the virtual router can process, ours is higher than anything we’ve seen from Cisco. We’ve tested them in a lab. I don’t know what they claim but in actual real testing we significantly outperform them in how much traffic we can pass through."
Cisco declined to comment on Juniper’s claims, but did outline why its portfolio reduces the overall buden of costs for customers.
"Most of the vendors in the market space for SDN and NFV are centred around their specific domains, focusing on either customer premise, wide area network or the data centre," said Cisco’s Service Provider Networking director Sanjeev Mervana.
"Whilst such an approach provides a domain based solution which may help reduce operational expenditure in one domain, it does however restrict the end customer in their choice, and increase the overall burden of cost on the customer."
He said: "Cisco’s approach is based on solutions and architecture which span multiple domains. Crucially, we do not aim to only be competitive on the specific domain based solution around agility, performance and scale for the controller or individual virtual function; we operate on a solution based approach. This cross domain orchestration helps us solve the ultimate business outcome for customers in an open and multi-vendor environment, and not simply a domain specific issue managed by one vendor."
Current Analysis’s Hunt added: "I think Juniper is coming at it from a very different perspective than Cisco. Cisco obviously wants to maintain their customer base, provide the really leading enterprise application, retain that enterprise customer base and so forth but they realise that they have to offer a more nimble and agile infrastructure to do that. Whereas Juniper is trying position itself as the high performance platform vendor with a great and expensive partnering system."
He added: "Cisco has all the technology around the platform. They have the data center solutions, they have the cloud solutions, they have the enterprise solutions, so they’re looking at it from a much more holistic perspective and whether or not they have a carrier grade router of X capacity with these features today that they’re talking about is maybe a short-term thing… but they certainly have all that technology and capability to make it happen when they need to."
451 Research’s Christy added: "So Juniper’s claims are probably right, but that doesn’t directly impact the utility or competitive strength of a Cisco virtual router or Brocade Vyatta virtual router.
"The unanswered question is whether there are additional valuable applications that can be done on the Juniper router and not on Cisco or Vyatta which is to be determined. Might well be true, but that’s different than saying that they can do what a Cisco or Brocade virtual router is capable of doing better in a meaningful sense."