Juniper Networks officials are bringing the company's Converged SuperCore networking architecture to a wider range of service providers.
Two years after introducing the Converged SuperCore solution in the form of the PTX5000 router, Juniper is rolling out the PTX3000 Packet Transport Router, a core router that is significantly smaller for customers that want to deploy the vendor's capabilities in environments that are more space- and power-constrained.
It gives these service providers a highly scalable and energy-efficient core router that can be easily installed, deployed and upgraded, all key capabilities for users that are under increasing pressure from the rapid growth in network traffic, according to Mike Marcellin, vice president of strategy and marketing at Juniper.
"The sheer volume of traffic is growing," Marcellin said in an interview with eWEEK. "And it's not just the volume, but the variability [of the traffic]. … It's a much different world than where service providers were, say, 10 years ago."
Helping to fuel that variability are the rapidly growing number of devices—from notebooks to tablets to smartphones—that are getting access to networks and the rise of cloud computing. The Converged SuperCore routers also dovetail with the increasingly popular trend of software-defined networks (SDNs), which demands a more converged network.
The PTX5000, which was unveiled in March 2011 and began shipping last year, is aimed at large-scale networking environments and the bigger carriers, Marcellin said. However, the company was seeing greater demand from smaller carriers that operate more space- and power-constrained metro offices but still want the capabilities that come with Juniper's converged networking solution.
"Metro Networks are growing so rapidly, that much of the complexity and scale in a metro core network mirror the IP core," Rami Rahim, executive vice president of Juniper's Platform Systems Division, wrote in a March 18 post on the company's blog. "But the power challenges are more acute, and space is at a real premium. Co-locations and Central Office[s] were often built years ago, before the Internet and mobility were driving infrastructure decisions."
The PTX3000, announced March 18, brings with it all the same capabilities as its larger brethren, but with greater flexibility and lower power and space costs. While other core routers are so big that they often force customers to retrofit their data centers to make space for them, Juniper's new offering is 10.6 inches in depth—about the size of an Apple iPad, Juniper's Marcellin said. The small size means it can be installed in essentially any environment, and uses less energy than larger core routers.
In addition, upgrading means a technician can carry another router and install it in a matter of minutes rather than hours, according to company officials.
Users can fit up to four of these routers into a single standard rack, though the best practice is to use two in a rack, he said. According to Juniper officials, the PTX3000 router can scale up to 24 terabits per second (T bps), which means a single router can simultaneously stream high-definition video to as many as 3 million households. Users can get started with a configuration that consumes as little as 1,200 watts and requires a single power feed, and scale from there.
Juniper's Rahim, noting the router's efficiency, said that the PTX3000 can run traffic at up to 1T bps on one kilowatt of power, up to three times what competing products can do while using one-sixth of the space that other routers require.
Juniper officials also pointed out that the router runs the same Junos operating system that runs across all Juniper networking products.
In addition to the PTX3000 router, Juniper also introduced a packet-transport physical interface card (PIC) with two ports of line rate 100 Gigabit capabilities that will be integrated into the entire PTX family. The integrated PIC will enable service providers to interconnect site that are 1,243 miles apart. The capability will bring greater architectural simplicity and interoperability, according to the company.
Juniper's Marcellin said the new PTX3000 router will enable service providers to keep up with the growing traffic demands while keeping costs in check.
"They're seeing traffic grow at 40 to 60 percent a year, but they're not seeing revenues grow at 40 to 60 percent per year," he said.
Juniper will demonstrate several networking products, including the Converged SuperCore offerings, at the OFC/NFOEC event in Anaheim, Calif., March 19 to 21 and the MPLS and Ethernet World Congress 2013 show in Paris March 19 to 22.