Juniper Expands Core Routing Power with T4000

The battle for the next generation of top-end routing hits a new milestone this week with Juniper’s announcement of the new T4000 core router.

Juniper (NYSE:JNPR), is updating its current flagship core router, the T1600 which was first announced in 2007, delivering 1.6 Terabits per second in a half rack. The new T4000 is set to deliver 4 Terabits per second in the same half rack chassis, with up to 240 Gbps per slot of capacity and 2 billion packets per second of forwarding capacity. The new T4000 comes as rival Cisco pushes out its own next generation core router with the CRS-3, which was announced earlier this year.

“T4000 is the next logical evolution in our T-series and it’s based on the Trio technology that we use in the MX product,” Luc Ceuppens, VP of Product Marketing at Juniper told “It gives us the ability to push capacities to levels that have never been reached before.”

Juniper’s MX-3D routing platform introduced Juniper’s Trio silicon to the market. Ceuppens noted that in the T4000, Juniper has continued the evolution of the Trio with expanded performance and forwarding capacity to maximize packet forwarding in the core of the network.

“In terms of performance, it’s significantly better performance than the first generation of Trio silicon, and that’s what gets you to the 240 Gbps per slot,” Kanaiya Vasani, vice president, IPG Core Business Unit at Juniper told

In terms of slot configurations, the T4000 is engineered to handle both 10 Gigabit Ethernet as well the new 100 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet speeds.

“Right now we can achieve 24 ports per slot, so there is a 12 x 10 Physical Interface Card (PIC) and there are two PICs per slot,” Ceuppens said. “So the 240 Gbps could be used entirely for 10 GbE, where you’d have two 12×10 PICs in a single slot.”

When it comes to 100 GbE implementations, Ceuppens said that the way the PICs are being built only provides for a 1×100 GbE card. As such if a slot is only going to be used for 100 GbE, the current state of Juniper PICs only enables 200 GbE per slot in the T4000.

The upgraded performance of the T4000 is being accompanied by a reduction in power utilization. Cueppens explained that the new generation of Trio silicon is more power-efficient than the silicon used by the T1600. The move to 100 GbE also helps to reduce power as it reduced the total number of interfaces that require power.

Efficiency is also part of the migration path to the T4000. For the last ten years, Juniper has designed its core routing systems to enable users to migrate to the new T4000 without taking their existing T-series routers out of service. The first T640 Juniper router debuted in 2002 and, according to Ceuppens, that platform or any of its subsequent iterations can be used for an in-service upgrade to the T4000.

“Every T-series router has five switching planes, four active and one backup,” Ceuppens said. “We use that as the foundation for the upgrade.”

Ceuppens explained that an upgrade begins with power supplies and fan trays. Each T-series chassis has three of each (fans/power) though the system can be powered by only two of each.

“You take advantage of the fact that you have redundant hardware in the system,” Ceuppens said.

Ceuppens added that existing interfaces in an older T series router can still be used as the newer T4000 switching fabric is implemented.

“T4000 is an indication that we continue to lead in core router innovation and it will continue to maintain the T series as most widely deploy core router in the world,” Ceuppens said. “It will allow service providers to grow their core networks with maximum investment protection.”

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

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