Juniper Bringing 400GbE to PTX, QFX, MX Switches and Routers

The move to 400GbE will not only give customers more bandwidth and better economics but also an easier migration path from 100GbE.

Juniper 400GbE

Juniper Networks officials are continuing to push their product portfolios toward 400 Gigabit Ethernet as they eye the bandwidth demands that will be coming with the migration to 5G networks and the increasing adoption of such modern technologies as cloud computing, 4K video, and augmented and virtual reality.

As part of the 400GbE roadmap unveiled July 24, the company later this year and in 2019 is bringing 400GbE capabilities to its PTX, QFX and MX series switch and router lineups aimed at data centers, WANs, enterprises and telecommunications for use cases such as cloud services, hyperscale environments, network backbones and data center interconnects. The refresh of the switches and routers is the most recent step in Juniper’s push toward 400GbE, including the announcement last month of its 400GbE-capable Penta Silicon.

In addition, company officials said plans are underway for new generations of ExpressPlus and Q5 silicon to support 400GbE, as well as other features.

According to Manoj Leelanivas, executive vice president and chief product officer at Juniper, the work the vendor is doing around 400GbE—not only with upgrades to its products but its work to ensure the QSFD-DD spec for 400GbE kept the same interface densities as those with 100GbE—will give businesses an easy migration path and improve both bandwidth and costs.

“Customers will realize the economic benefits of a 400GbE solution that breaks the historic cost-per-bit economics cycle that has been seen time and time again,” Leelanivas wrote in a post on the company blog. “Delivering routing and switching platforms that offer investment protection when transitioning from 100GbE to 400GbE will also inspire our customers to pursue new applications—thanks to the significant amount of bandwidth now available to them.”

The industry is primed for the arrival of 400GbE shipments. According to a report earlier this year by analysts at Crehan Research, initial shipments of 400GbE switches will come this year and grow significantly. By 2022, most of the Ethernet network bandwidth in data centers will be 400GbE. Shipments of 100GbE systems will surpass those of 40GbE, three years after initial shipments hit the market, illustrating the demand for faster networks.

"Beginning with high-density 100GbE systems, we entered a new era of much faster data center switch upgrades, and that trend is predicted to continue with 400GbE," Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan research, said in a statement in January. "With its expected market-leading price per gigabit and no foreseeable shortage of demand for higher-speed networking capacity in cloud data centers, 400GbE should surpass a million ports shipped in less time than it took 100GbE to reach that threshold."

Organizations are increasing the capacity of their data centers to address growing high-performance applications and as the connectivity in their servers moves to 50GbE and 100GbE uplinks, according to Juniper officials. The vendor is enhancing its QFX series of switches with 400GbE capabilities, including the 3U (5.25-inch) QFX10003, which will offer 32x400GbE and can scale up to 160x100GbE. It will be powered by the next-generation Q5 silicon and offer a deep buffer enabled by Hybrid Memory Cube, which will enable it to handle spikes in network traffic and reduce application latency, they said.

It will be available in the second half of this year.

The 1U (1.75-inch) QFX5220 will run on merchant silicon and offer 32x400GbE, as well as 50GbE, 100GbE and 400GbE interfaces for server and inter-fabric connectivity. The switch will be available in the first half of 2019.

For the WAN, Juniper officials introduced the 3U PTX10003 Packet Transfer Router for backbone, peering and data center interconnect applications. The system can be used for high-density 100GbE ad 400GbE deployments and is aimed at scale-out and cloud environments. The router, due in the second half of the year, includes native MACsec support for 160x100GbE and FlexE support for 32x400GbE interfaces.

As part of the 400GbE roadmap, Juniper officials also pointed to the MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platform, which was announced in June and is powered by the new Penta Silicon and offers 400GbE interfaces.