Juniper Networks Races Toward 400 Gigabit Ethernet

400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) is the next major leap for networking speeds as organizations and carriers struggle to keep pace with accelerating demand.

Just as was the case with the initial rollout of 100 GbE back in 2009, Juniper Networks is now aggressively working to integrate the nascent 400 GbE technology into its portfolio. At the core of Juniper’s 400 GbE efforts is the company’s own customer silicon, which helps to enable packet forwarding.

“2018 marks the start of the commercial 400G market, with volumes ramping up in 2019 as 400G trials across WDM, service provider routing and data center switching applications convert into production deployments,” Matthias Machowinski, senior research director at IHS Markit, stated. “We expect $10 billion will be spent on 400G technologies over the next five years.”

For 400 GbE, Juniper has developed several silicon products including the Penta Silicon, which is a 16nm packet forward engine that is the successor to the Junos Trio chipset that was first announced back in 2009.

In addition to the Penta, Juniper is building out two new silicon architectures with the ExpressPlus and Q5 silicon, which will be integrated with the company’s data center platforms.


The new silicon will find its way into new 400 GbE enabled hardware that Juniper is building for both carrier and data center deployments.

For carriers, Juniper announced the new PTX10003 Packet Transport Router which is a three-rack unit (3RU) chassis that will support both 100GbE and 400GbE. The PTX10003 has support for 160x100GbE and 32x400GbE interfaces.

In the data center, Juniper announced new QFX10003 switches which have a 3RU chassis. The QFX10003 in the data center can support 32x400GbE and 160x100GbE ports. The new QFX5220 switch platform is a more compact 1RU form factor and will also support up to 32x400GbE.

New MPC10E line cards for existing Juniper hardware, including the MX960, MX480 and MX240, will extend 400GbE capabilities to older hardware platforms as well.

“The impending wave of network traffic is coming from all angles and affecting all industries,” Bikash Koley, chief technology officer, Juniper Networks, wrote in a statement. “Success will be about not only equipping the network with the right technology to handle the traffic in a secure way but also fine-tuning the economics so it makes good business sense.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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