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Procket Starts Terabit Router Race

Looking to get the jump on Cisco and others, Procket Networks has begun shipping terabit router products to make Internet protocol networks run faster and more efficiently.

The Milpitas, Calif., company's PRO/8000 High-Availability Router Series is being used, or tested, by more than 20 service provider and enterprise customers. Procket will also try and sell the products to government agencies.

The offering will "enable truly reliable, fault tolerant and scalable IP-based services," said Dorian Kim, director of IP engineering and network development at NTT/Verio, a Web hosting firm that is testing the product.

The unveiling comes four years after the company was founded by industry veterans including Bill Lynch and Tony Li. In that time, Procket (a shortened version of Packet Rocket) amassed a $272 million in venture capital in three rounds.

It has always been tight-lipped, though, offering few details about the company's structure or products. And since its privately held, it's under no obligation to do so.

Because of the PRO/8000 routers high capacities and lower power consumption, customers will save money over traditional offerings, Procket said. The products also occupy less floor space.

In conjunction with the router release, Procket revamped the accompanying software. The company's PRO/1 application has developed enables autonomic operation -- the ability to heal, configure, monitor and protect itself.

This cuts lost revenues due to downtime, whether it is planned or unplanned. A recent study by Network Strategy Partners found that software upgrades accounted for 22 percent of all downtime.

PRO/1 supports the full range of IP routing protocols and standards, including Multiprotocol Label Switching for advanced traffic management.

Procket's PRO/8801 is now shipping, and starts at $65,000 for the base system. The PRO/8812 can be ordered now and, will ship in Q2 2003. It starts at $237,000 for the base system.

In addition to Cisco, Juniper Networks and a number of other firms are prepping terabit router offerings. Some startups that were founded around the same time as Procket, failed when investors became wary after the tech downturn.