Juniper Expands Mid-range Router Lineup

Juniper closes the loop on Qfabric with its new MX class routers.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted May 2, 2011
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Juniper (NYSE:JNPR) is expanding its edge router lineup with its new Universal Edge WAN solution. The general idea behind the Universal Edge is to deliver to enterprises a scalable routing platform that can grow as demands require.

The Universal Edge includes the MX5, MX10 and MX40 platforms. The MX5 provides up to 20 Gbps of system capacity, the MX10 scales to 40 Gbps, while the MX40 delivers 60 Gbps of capacity.

"It's pay as you grow, so you can start with the MX5 and grow all the way to the MX80 and the whole way you have service flexibility and the ability to create high-performance service tunnels," Alan Sardella, product marketing director, Platform Systems Group at Juniper told InternetNews.com.

Juniper is taking a pay-as-you-grow approach with the capability for enterprises to scale an MX5 all the way up to an MX80 by way of interface and license upgrades.

The MX80 was announced back in 2009 and provides 80 Gbps of system capacity. As it turns out the MX5, 10 and 40 share a lot in common with MX80

"You should think of the MX5, 10 and 40 as the same chassis and packet forwarding engine and everything except for the interface availability is the same," Sardella said. "There is a much lower base price to start out with on the MX5 and what happens is the interfaces that you buy are the ones that are enabled."

Sardella added that the MX5's approach to interfaces makes it more appropriate for WAN routing applications.

"These are all derivatives of the MX80 platform," Sardella said.

The MX80 and its derivates all also include the Juniper Networks J-Web solution which enables the rapid deployment of a branch.

"J-Web enables router setup via a GUI to create a branch office very rapidly," Sardella said. "You can configure the devices with all the interfaces, routing protocols and you're just forwarding packets immediately."

The new MX80 based platforms can also be leveraged as part of Juniper's architectural approach for creating flatter networks. In February, Juniper announced Qfabric as a new cloud computing fabric that aims to reduce network layers and complexity.

"The QFabric QFX is the single layer that collapses the access, aggregation and the core and that all happens within a single location or site," Sardella said. "But what you need is a high performance WAN in order to keep traffic flowing in a way that is not disruptive to end users, that where these routers comes in."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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