Light Reading
A packet-optical win with Verizon and a shrunken QFabric take the spotlight as Juniper updates analysts on its business

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
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
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Level 3 Does Big Data Differently
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/21/2014
IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/15/2014
Comcast Streams Back to School
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/21/2014
Line-Powered Phone Lines: A Hot Topic Again
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/20/2014
Analyst: Ericsson, Oracle Top Shrinking SDP World
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/19/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed