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Juniper Boosts the Speed, Capacity of MX 3D Routers

The company is bringing new line cards and a fabric module to its SDN-ready MX Series 3D routers.

Juniper Networks is enhancing the speed and capacity of its MX Series 3D routers with new line cards and a switch fabric module that officials say will more than double some of the router platforms.

The year-old MX Series is part of Juniper's larger software-defined networking (SDN) initiative, with the routers being enabled via the Junos Trio programmable chipset. It's through the chipset that the routers support such SDN protocols as OpenFlow and work with Juniper's Contrail SDN software controller.

Businesses and service providers alike are seeing their networks under pressure amid demand for more bandwidth. With the new line cards, Juniper officials said customers can increase the speed and performance of their routers within the same chassis, giving them more networking power and capacity in the same space and protecting the investments they've already made in the solution.

Juniper's new line cards increase the bandwidth of each slot up to 520G bps and can support up to 128,000 subscribers, according to company officials. Such capabilities are increasingly important given the growth in network traffic due to HD video, 4G mobile networks and cloud computing, they said.

The new switch fabric module will more than double the capacity of several MX 3D routers, including the MX960, and enhanced service cards will bring three times the capacity for each slot and up to four times the service density of competitive modules.

Through the MX 3D portfolio, Juniper "serves the entire spectrum of needs from the smallest access aggregation needs with the MX104, up through the very high-end aggregation and core applications with the MX2020, which is the highest capacity single chassis router in the industry at 10.4T bps," Paul Obsitnik, vice president of product marketing for the company's Platform Systems Division, said in a statement. "This gives network operators a single family of best-in-class products that can be leveraged in mobile and fixed businesses, and for residential and business applications."

Juniper officials said the switches, combined with the Junos operating system and Junos Trio chipset, offer an agile platform for SDN. Along with bringing SDN protocol support, the chipset also enables virtualized application support. The company has been aggressive in building out its SDN plans. Officials in January outlined a broad strategy that includes a mix of new products, services and licensing schemes.

In September, the company rolled out the Contrail controller, the result of an acquisition less than a year earlier, as well as OpenContrail, an open-source version.