Light Reading

Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
6/12/2012
50%
50%

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) will try to convince investors it's making progress with its QFabric and PTX product lines by making announcements on both fronts Tuesday.

Juniper is announcing a smaller version of the QFabric, targeting fabrics for something other than the hugest of data centers. And it's naming Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) as a customer for the PTX, its packet-optical transport system (P-OTS). (See Juniper Expands QFabric Line.)

Both announcements are being made at Juniper's analyst day, which starts Tuesday morning in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Both are part of a quartet of new products that's been less than overwhelming so far. The other two are the T4000 core router and the MobileNext evolved packet core. Analysts will be looking for a status update for the T4000 on Tuesday. MobileNext has shown no signs of life lately.

Gone to P-OTS
Light Reading didn't have all the details on the Verizon deployment at press time, but it's probably a good thing for Juniper, since one could argue that Verizon is the network operator for which the PTX was made.

The PTX is a label-switched router (LSR) -- a really big MPLS box designed to sit at the core of the IP/MPLS network. For a lot of traffic, an LSR can be a cheaper alternative to core-router ports, as Verizon has argued for the past couple of years.

It's also a win for ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) , which provides the optical transport that goes with the PTX. (See OFC/NFOEC 2011: Juniper OEMs an ADVA Box.)

Incredible Shrinking Fabric
The new QFabric is called the QFX 3000-M, distinguished from the original QFabric, which has a part number QFX 3000-G. Each number refers to the whole QFabric platform: the QFabric Node (top-of-rack switch, essentially), the QFabric Interconnect that links the nodes, and the QFabric Director that manages all the traffic.

(Raise your hand if you didn't realize QFabric even had a product number.)

QFabric-M, as we'll call it, is meant to support 768 10Gbit/s ports, whereas the original QFabric-G can fit 6,144 10Gbit/s ports. Both use the same QFabric Director box, but the QFabric-M uses a smaller Interconnect, the QFX 3600-I, also being announced on Tuesday.

The 3600-I can also be used as the QFabric Node -- that is, the top-of-rack 10Gbit/s switch that feeds into QFabric. But the Node and Interconnect aspects use different software, so it can't do both at once.



The 3600-I can run 16 40Gbit/s ports of server traffic if necessary, whereas its predecessors in the QFX 3500 family only accepted 10Gbit/s server connections and used 40Gbit/s ports only for uplinks.

The company insists things are going well for QFabric, but its announced customers haven't blown anybody away yet. The first target customers were the very largest data centers, which by definition aren't plentiful; QFabric-M increases Juniper's potential market.

Juniper did say at the QFabric launch that it would create smaller versions.

Most QFabric customers appear to be using just the QFabric Node -- which is the designation for Juniper's top-of-rack switches, the QFX 3500 and QFX 3600. Those are fast Ethernet switches, ordinary boxes compared with the whole QFabric.

QFabric is based on Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) chips, rather than on Juniper-developed ASICs. The launch in 2011 had implied that Juniper-developed chips were at the heart of QFabric, as officials say $100 million in R&D went into systems, software and silicon.

Officials won't comment on when, or whether, an ASIC-based QFabric is coming out.

"That is not what customers tell us, and it is not a point that prospective customers bring up," says Denise Shiffman, a Juniper vice president of product marketing.

All the new pieces of the QFabric QFX 3000-M will start shipping at the end of June.

For more



— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:35 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


Ha! Actually, we do know they've sold at least two, because they've already announced LINX as a customer:


http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=220161


The headline is the way it is for brevity's sake. I originally squeezed 'verizon' into the headline and it was just too clunky for my taste.

jggveth
50%
50%
jggveth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:35 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


They may have sold two or three.

Charles_C
50%
50%
Charles_C,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:30:34 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


To be really fair you would say at least two customers :-)


And looking back at Phil's post from last week (http://www.lightreading.com/blog.asp?blog_sectionid=217&doc_id=221774) reporting from TIA on Anthony Melone talking about Verizon's plans to converge its public IP network, its private IP network, its wireless data network and its switched Ethernet network onto one backbone, this could end up being much bigger than you make it sound. Just putting one and one together ...

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:32 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


Charles - I do think you're right that the Verizon deployment will be a big deal. It's what they've been talking about for a long time.


I'm busy with Cisco Live right now, but I glanced at the Verizon press release, and it seems to say they're running 8Tbit/s in their first deployment.

torivar
50%
50%
torivar,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:31 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


Juniper's play is not to bypass core routers, they feel there is statmux gains still to be made by NOT using router bypass.  With the PTX they are just making it cheaper to do so, even without the integrated optical component.  If Juniper had their way we'd have no router bypass.  The optical portion of the PTX is still vaporware at this point.  Juniper even made an announcement about using the NSN optical platform with the PTX within the last 6 months I believe.   


Verizon isn't using the optical part of the box, they are going to use big 100GE bundles between PTXs across a Ciena transport network.   They aren't converging their transport and packet networks onto this platform, I don't think that will happen for a long time. 


The issue now is people need 100GE and using tunable 100GE optics isn't going to feasible for awhile yet since you get maybe half the ports due to packaging issues.  Just when we got there with 10GE XFPs, people started needing more 10GE moving to SFP+ which can't do tunable, and 100GE people need more density than what can be done with tunable.   So we are back to xponders. 


Also, using all 100GE ports the PTX is a 3.2Tbps (6.4Tbps Cisco math) box since you can only do 4x100GE ports in a single slot...

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:31 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


Here's the interesting question: To what extent do the PTX and the core-router-bypass strategy cannibalize core-router demand?


Should have brought that up in the story itself. There's a tradeoff there, but it's one that the vendors see they have to make.

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:30:29 PM
re: Juniper Shrinks QFabric, Sells a PTX


Thanks for the clarifications on the optical side, dwx.


I realize Juniper doesn't want core-router bypass and that it sees those statmux advantages, but ... carriers don't like spending lots of money on core-router ports. Verizon, based on what they've been saying, would certainly like to cut down on them.

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?