What is the Difference between Cisco and Juniper Routers?
Both Cisco and Juniper brands supply edge and core routers, available in fixed and modular setups. The routers support a variety of port configurations, speeds, and optics. Also, they are designed for specific networking environments.
Many fundamental characteristics of Cisco and Juniper routers are common. But, if you look closely and compare them, you will come across a few key differences. And because of these differences, the choice between Cisco and Juniper routers becomes confusing. People are unable to find the right fit for their needs.
One of the common differences is the mechanics of the modular systems of the brands. Other differences, we will discuss in this post.
Key features of Cisco and Juniper routers
Cisco routers are categorized into many series that cover almost all the networking environment and use. You will find Cisco routers for small businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, industrial settings, and service providers.
The range of Cisco routers is between 1 rack unit and full-rack heights. There are Cisco router models that are designed as fully customizable chassis, allowing for greater scalability. Also, there are high-end Cisco router models that support 100G Ethernet speeds. The prime examples of Cisco routers are ASR 1000 Series and the ASR 9000 series.
Juniper supplies routers for both standard and specific networking environments. For example, the MX series of Juniper routers cover enterprises, data centers, and service providers. Other series like the M Series, the J Series, and the E series take care of specific networking environments such as industrial settings.
The range of Juniper routers is from 1 rack unit to full-rack heights. There are higher-end models as well. Some Juniper routers support up to 100 Ethernet and some of them are available as chassis, providing flexible port configurations and extra room for additional modules in the future.
Difference between Cisco and Juniper routers
Both Cisco and Juniper routers are designed to be linked to networking hardware made by the same company, avoiding the most major compatibility issues. You don’t have to worry about the pieces of networking hardware when using Cisco or Juniper switches.
The difference is based on three important parameters
The market share – Being one of the oldest brands, Cisco has a larger share of the overall router market. This is why it has more certified Cisco service engineers and more online support resources compared to Juniper’s troubleshooting hardware issues.
The two different modular configuration architectures- Both modular Cisco and Juniper routers have mechanisms for customizing port configurations and modules but the systems are very different. In Cisco routers, the line cards are used that are inserted directly into the router chassis. In Juniper routers, the system is multi-layered that involves Modular Port Concentrators (MPC) and Modular Interface Cards (MIC). The Juniper router system is very different. Here, the MPC goes into the chassis followed by multiple MICs getting inserted into the MPC.
The optical transceiver form factors – Cisco has its own proprietary CPAK optical transceiver form factor, supporting up to 100G Ethernet. Even Juniper routers support a combination of optical transceivers that support 100G Ethernet but they are not compatible with CPAK optics.
Advantages and disadvantages of Cisco and Juniper routers
Cisco routers are easy to configure. One of the valuable features of Cisco routers is their simplicity of the command-line interface. It’s easy to find out how the command needs to be configured for a specific use case. The routers are reliable and don’t require any major change. They are the most stable and have the highest availability in the market. Other than this, the performance is reliable and the solution is stable.
Cisco routers should be more secure with better pricing and support. There should be more boundaries for better performance. Compared to other routers, the life cycle of the Cisco routers is short. The routers lack features such as a free firewall and VPN along with a generic box that can be used as a router, firewall, and switch.
Juniper routers are very flexible with the most useful features such as VPNs, IPsec, VPLS, and firewall filters. They are stable, scalable, and give good performance. Most importantly, the technology used in the Juniper routers is good along with the price of the product. Compared to Cisco routers, Juniper routers are more stable and faster. Also, they are pretty easy to set up after a bit of training and offer high protection.
The integration and web interface of the Juniper routers are not as good as expected. Both should be improved for better performance. They don’t have a graphical user interface, making it difficult for the new users to get familiar with, configure or set up the router. They lack reliability and some important features. The warranty of Juniper software is short and not lifetime like other solutions. Also, customer support is a bit slow in giving solutions.
Cisco or Juniper routers: What should I choose?
Both Cisco and Juniper routers are technologically strong. Also, there are lots of advantages and disadvantages. This means none of the options is the best.
To choose the right option, you should consider your requirements. Based on the requirements, you should analyze and evaluate all the router models and find the best fit for your organization. Ignoring some disadvantages will not be impactful. Just make sure you connect with the right supplier so that you get genuine products.