Juniper Offers Its Vision

October 29th, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

This seems to be the season for wide ranging visions of the network of the future, or perhaps it’s always the season for that in the tech world.  Today it was Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings) who took the stage and laid out its strategy in a blitz of PRs held together by this one.  Personally, I’m still trying to figure out what it all means, however it is clear that Juniper is simply laying out the next generation for a familiar path, i.e. where the internet is routers and routers are the internet.  The main features of the plan boil down to:

Expansion of JunOS – Juniper is expanding its software plans into an open cross-network software platform that includes the flagship JunOS Operating System, the new application service platform JunOS Space, and the available-in-2010 integrated network client JunOS Pulse.  The idea here is a familiar concept:  smart networks whose programmable components talk the same language and therefore work together better.  And once you’re a JunOS shop, you’ll buy lots of JunOS gear of course. To go with the launch, they’ve also got a major licensing deal for JunOS lined up with Blade Network Technologies and an expanded OEM relationship with IBM going on.

The Trio chipset – No vision would be complete without new hardware, so therefore we have a new chipset called Trio.  The Trio promises the ability to achieve massive, dynamic scale at lower power per gigabit than other solutions.  Finishing this new silicon is apparently where a good chunk of Juniper’s mysterious R&D this year went, they apparently spent $80M over the last 5 years on it.  The specs on the new chipset are:  65-nanometer tech, four chips, 1.5 billion transistors, 320 simultaneous processes, and “total router throughput up to 2.6 Tbps and up to 2.3 million subscribers per rack”.  And no new chipset announcement would be complete without new gear using it, so we have two new MX80 Series D universal edge routers, two new line cards, and two new software applications to run on them.  The new gear will become available in the next few months.

The Cloud – That Juniper wishes to be tightly integrated with cloud computing platforms and virtualization is something they have already been talking about.  So connecting the dots they  packaged everything with a new security package for cloud computing platforms and mega datacenters.  The new solutions come via the Juniper’s SRX Series Service Gateways.

That’s a lot to absorb in one sitting.  Light Reading has a nice piece on the subject, as does Data Center Knowledge.  In contrast with Alcatel-Lucent’s vision, Juniper of course doesn’t mention the transport side at all, no packet-optical fusion, no router bypass, etc.  But anyway, visions of the future tend to oversimplify somewhat, no matter what approach they take.  At the moment, I’m just hoping to see spending recover on today’s technology.

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