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.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent in Merger Talks
Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/14/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
LPWA: A Threat to 'Wait & See' IoT Operators?
Steve Bell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, 4/16/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.