Juniper Makes MX Edge Router Platform for Service Providers

With new software and hardware on its MX edge router, Juniper wants to make it easier for service providers to add services, find customers and reduce costs.

Juniper Networks is looking to make it easier and faster for service providers to develop and offer services to both consumers and businesses.

Juniper on Oct. 2 unveiled a host of new hardware and software offerings designed to run on the vendor’s MX Series 3D Universal Edge Router, essentially making the network edge be the platform for service providers looking to add capabilities and scale their networks. Through the platform, service providers will be able to deliver and expand their services at a rate 69 percent faster than with competing solutions, while seeing reductions in total ownership, administration, operational and management costs, according to Juniper officials.

The vendor’s Universal Edge push comes at a time when the rapid growth in such trends as cloud computing, the mobile Internet and video are putting pressure on service providers and their networks. As consumers and businesses demand more services, service providers also are scrambling for ways to monetize their networks.

And the demand will only grow, according Aruna Ravichandran, vice president of product marketing for Juniper. According to the company, 50 billion devices will connect to wireless networks by 2020, and by 2015, 60 percent of broadband traffic will be streaming video and audio. In addition, by 2016, the amount of money spent on public cloud services will hit $100 billion.

“The cloud is no longer hype,” Ravichandran told eWEEK. “It’s a reality. Most people realize that the cloud offers significant [capital expense] and [operational expense] savings.”

Service providers are at once trying to add new subscribers, offer differentiated services and leverage their networks to generate more revenue while looking to reduce the overall costs of running their networks, she said. The new software and hardware products run on the MX Series 3D Universal Edge Router, which already has been deployed by more than 2,200 customers and, through the Junos Trio chipset, can scale bandwidth and subscribers, according to Juniper.

Among the new offerings on the router is the Junos Content Encore, with the MX Application Services Modular Line Card. The capabilities found in the line card traditionally were offered in a software format, according to Ravichandran. Now those capabilities—from firewalls to In-Plane Switching (IPS) to content management—can be offered in the line card as either software or an appliance, and having it as part of the MX Router will help drive down overall costs, be significantly more energy-efficient and drive the 69 percent faster deployment of services.

The line card, at 40 Gps capabilities, improves the delivery of streaming video, video on demand and other premium content broadband services to multiple devices, from smartphones to laptops. The content caching applications bring these capabilities in the single line card with enough capacity to stream as many as 80,000 videos at the same time.

The Junos Web Aware software lets service providers offer parental-control services and targeted advertising, enabling them to differentiate their services and grow their capabilities in the $31 billion ad market, Ravichandran said.

The JunosV Firefly is software that enables service providers to quickly offer virtualized managed services, including virtualized security. The key is that with this technology, service providers can ensure that traffic for each customer is isolated and secure, and won’t be exposed to other customers in the cloud. The Junos Node Unifier brings together MX routers and Juniper top-of-rack switches to create a single virtualized element to make it easier for service providers to manage multiple nodes, streamline operations and reduce costs.

Through Juniper’s Business Cloud CPE, enterprises leveraging service provider clouds can offload the monitoring and Layer 3 routing intelligence from their own infrastructures and onto the service provider’s MX router. With this capability, enterprises can reduce the cost of managing complex on-site equipment, and service providers can offer a new range of managed services.

Junos Web Aware, Junos Node Unifier and Business Cloud CPE are available immediately. The Junos Content Encore, with the MX Application Services Modular Line Card will be available in the fourth quarter and the JunosV Firefly in the second quarter of 2013.