Networking

Juniper Networks rolls out processor, router, network operating system revamp

Juniper Networks is rolling out new network gear and a strategy to compete with Cisco Systems. ZDNet's Larry Dignan gives an overview of Juniper's new software, routers, and processors.

Juniper Networks on Thursday unveiled an armada of new gear, software, and chips that it hopes will ding Cisco Systems while positioning the company well in the next-generation data center.

The networking company will roll out its strategy at the New York Stock Exchange later today (statement). Juniper's strategy positions the company's network operating system, Junos, as a centerpiece of the enterprise network while surrounding it with a bevy of new systems, including processors that offer "3D Scaling." In a nutshell, 3D Scaling is expected to allow for more subscribers, services, and bandwidth to be squeezed into the network.

For Juniper, the product overhaul represents a repositioning as the center of the network. Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson called the repositioning a "historic day" for the company that highlights the vision for the next decade of networking. "Juniper believes it's time for a new approach to networking. An approach based on smart systems and open software platforms. An approach that adapts to changing business dynamics. An approach that embraces partnership and unleashes innovation," said Johnson.

Juniper's biggest brother in this adventure is IBM, which has an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnership. The companies said that IBM is now shipping to customers a suite of Ethernet networking products. In addition, Juniper has surrounded itself with a bevy of other partners such as Dell.

The game appears to position Juniper as a Switzerland-type neutral and open figure as larger players vie to become the dominant data center architecture.

Among the moving parts from Juniper:

The company unveiled new Junos software platform. Junos, a network operating system that runs behind the scenes, is Juniper's answer to Cisco's Internetwork Operating System (IOS). Junos has been updated to program layers of the network for rich user interfaces. Juniper's platform consists of the Junos operating system, a Junos Space network application platform, and Pulse, a network client. Juniper rolled out new processors. The company touted a new Junos One family of processors. The linchpin here is a Junos Trio chipset with 3D Scaling, which allows enterprises to cram more onto a network. Junos Trio will be delivered in new line cards and 3.5-inch routers for the Juniper MX Series. The Junos chips are the fourth generation. There are 30 patents in the architecture. Juniper founder and CTO Pradeep Sindhu said in a statement that the company has invested more than $80 million over the last five years developing the processor line. Juniper introduced new edge routers based on its software and new processors. The systems, dubbed MX 3D, carry some heady claims, including dramatic cuts in operating expenses for carriers. Juniper is claiming that the MX Series can provide up to 2.6 terabits per second with less power consumption. To put that throughput into perspective 2.6 terabits per second equates to 8.5 million iTunes downloads in one tenth of a second or 50 Blu-ray DVDs downloaded in less than 5 seconds.

The MX 3D introductions include new line cards and two new routers. The products will be available in December and throughout 2010.

The company is offering cloud services based on its systems. Virtualized security services are the headliner here, and Juniper is also offering new support for VMware and Citrix.

Also see: "Juniper Steps Up Cisco Assault"

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