Light Reading
It's more packet than optical at the moment, but it suddenly makes Juniper relevant in a core battle that includes AlcaLu and Ciena

Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
3/3/2011
50%
50%

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is joining the packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS) ranks, proposing an architecture that stands out for its emphasis on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS).

Juniper's PTX Series Packet Transport Switch, scheduled to launch Thursday, adopts the philosophy of using MPLS for handling packet traffic and Optical Transport Network (OTN) for circuit traffic. That's in contrast to the OTN focus of other packet-optical products on offer from vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN).

"We're saying LSPs [label switched paths] rather than OTN, because we believe LSPs are the future," says Luc Ceuppens, Juniper's senior director of marketing. That packet-based approach is more suited towards the bursty, unpredictable patters of future network traffic, Juniper believes.

The PTX is starting life as an MPLS switch -- what used to be called a Label Switch Router (LSR). As a core box it's a Layer 2 alternative to expensive core-router ports, a concept that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has been championing at optical conferences for a couple of years.

Did we mention the PTX is big? Based on a new chipset called Junos Express, the PTX can support 480 Gbit/s per slot. An eight-slot version will be available in July, and a 16-slot version should follow six to 12 months later. Later on, Juniper plans to introduce a multichassis version of the PTX, with arrangements that can handle a claimed 3,800 Tbit/s of total traffic.

Why this matters
As P-OTS has grown in importance, with even Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) announcing a box, the pressure has been on Juniper -- a company with no optical heritage -- to come up with something. And Juniper has decided to make its entrance big, producing a core P-OTS system to compete with AlcaLu's 1870 Transport Tera Switch and Ciena's 5400.

But not right away. Key elements still aren't there: Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) support will come in 2012 and OTN switching in 2013, says Heavy Reading analyst Sterling Perrin.

"It looks like everybody has the same endgame in mind. They're just coming at it from different strengths in terms of what comes out first," Perrin says. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , for instance, took the opposite tactic, starting with a big optical box that could add packet handling later.

Ceuppens claims the "majority" of Juniper's customers have not asked for OTN. Perrin, on the other hand, points out that practically every telco still has circuit-switched traffic that OTN was designed to support. It's going to be tough marketing to telcos without OTN, he notes.

Cable operators, though, would be more willing to go with an all-packet core. Maybe that's where Juniper's real initial targets for the PTX will have to be.

For more
Here's what's transpired with Juniper and optical networking in the past year or so.



And here's the skinny on core P-OTS.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

(12)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sterling Perrin
50%
50%
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:18 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Juniper didn't directly say that MPLS will compete with OTN. Packet traffic will be handled by MPLS and circuit traffic will be handled by OTN in the PTX. But the architecture does seem to pit MPLS vs. MPLS-TP. Juniper is saying that MPLS is the best way of handling packet traffic - and "TP" is not required.


Given the breakdown in the ITU and IETF work on MPLS-TP, I'm starting to wonder if MPLS-TP could weaken a la PBB-TE. MPLS-TP doesn't seem as inevitable as it did a few months ago. Telcos (like investors) don't like uncertainty. Just some thoughts ..


Sterling

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:18 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Ah, important clarification. Thanks Sterling.

Bob Saccamano
50%
50%
Bob Saccamano,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:18 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move
Stratus, Falcon, Space, Pulse, Optical. Along with Trapeze and the other acquisitions. That's a lot for a company the size of Cisco (and we are seeing the results of Cisco's trying to engage in a multitude of projects... not good). We will have to see how Juniper does with having to support so many projects. Given the long build up to Stratus only to then release a simple 10GE TOR at launch may indicate they are biting off way more than they can chew.
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:18 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


This seems a little risky. I'm sure Juniper wouldn't have gone down this direction without consulting customers (as people point out on these message boards, there aren't many of them) -- but it's a bit contrarian, or maybe futuristic, to put MPLS center stage when so many telcos are talking about OTN.


Sterling Perrin had a good point about this: Cable companies, who don't have any Sonet to bother with, might find an all-packet approach attractive. It's the telcos, who still have TDM flitting around their networks, who'll want that OTN support.


Then again, there's also the issue of cutting down on core-router ports. Even without the optical pieces like a ROADM, this could be a useful Layer 2 core option.


By the way -- Juniper does say the PTX will fully support OTN. That is, once the functionality is available, you could use the box as a pure OTN switch and ignore the MPLS parts, if you really wanted to.


[UPDATE: I'd originally included, in this comment, my description of the ADVA/Juniper division of labor on the optical side -- apparently my understanding wasn't correct, so i've axed it.]

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:18 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Luc Ceuppens, on this product being called "Packet Transport Switch" as opposed to Stratus being called "QFabric:" 


"In telecom, your product name has to say what it does."


He was just joking around, but you know ... he's got a point ...

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:17 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Yeah, I've been thinking about that too. It's a lot to work with. And it shows why Kevin Johnson was so willing to up the R&D budget in the face of the recession.


I do think there was a lot more in the Stratus launch than just the TOR. I felt like I got a lot out of it, anyway. But, to follow your point: It will be interesting to see how quickly the other pieces ramp up.

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:16 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


OK, clarification from Luc Ceuppens on the OTN side:


The PTX is built for a packet/MPLS world, but Juniper realizes there's more to life than packets. The intent, then, is to keep circuit traffic in circuit form, switched via OTN, while handling packets by using MPLS.  Packets and circuits each "stay in their own worlds," Ceuppens says.


On the optical division of labor: What Junpier wanted to point out was that some of the PTX's optical subsystems are coming from providers other than ADVA.  My mistake for saying in an earlier comment that ADVA did all the optical pieces.

ethertype
50%
50%
ethertype,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:11:16 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Sterling, I think you're missing a fundamental point:  MPLS-TP is really not focused on the core, so the lack of emphasis on MPLS-TP in this core announcement says absolutely nothing about its future.


 


MPLS-TP will be deployed in access and aggregation networks first, and it has plenty of increasing traction there.  Portions of MPLS-TP OAM will find their way into the core eventually, but no one will seriously think about building an entire core network around MPLS-TP with static LSPs and NMS-driven provisioning.


 


The other point where you seem confused (or perhaps intentionally provocative?) is that there is no battle to "pit MPLS vs. MPLS-TP."  The whole point of MPLS-TP (and its fundamental advantage over PBB-TE and other options) is that it is compatible with dynamic MPLS.  You can deploy both in the same network, and use them as appropriate.  Saying "MPLS vs. MPLS-TP" is like saying "TCP vs. UDP".

Sterling Perrin
50%
50%
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:16 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Ethertype -


<Sterling, I think you're missing a fundamental point:  MPLS-TP is really not focused on the core, so the lack of emphasis on MPLS-TP in this core announcement says absolutely nothing about its future.>


On this point, I disagree. I think alot of operators and suppliers are looking at MPLS-TP for the core. Our surveys have shown this.


<The other point where you seem confused (or perhaps intentionally provocative?) is that there is no battle to "pit MPLS vs. MPLS-TP."  The whole point of MPLS-TP (and its fundamental advantage over PBB-TE and other options) is that it is compatible with dynamic MPLS.  You can deploy both in the same network, and use them as appropriate.  Saying "MPLS vs. MPLS-TP" is like saying "TCP vs. UDP".>


On this point: i put that out there as a thought - i have not drawn a conclusion and could be off-base. It may be a nuance, but if suppliers start saying "you definitely need MPLS but you don't need MPLS-TP," then I see them as competing.


Sterling


 

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:11:15 PM
re: Juniper Makes Its Packet-Optical Move


Now, there's something to think about.


I'm at Juniper's financial analyst conference in San Francisco.  Kevin Johnson (CEO) has talked about how the company sets up small incubation groups to investigate new R&D directions.


Pradeep Sindhu (CTO) is following that up by talking about targeting disruptions in different parts of the network:


* Mega data center - Stratus


* Mega POPs - PTX


* Meta COs - the "universal edge" stuff, I think [didn't quite catch this one]


... And Juniper sees potential in the "access and aggregation" part, too.  "In the next two or three years, if we succeed in our incubations, maybe you'll see things here," he said.


Juniper has no plans to go there now. Interesting that they're thinking about it, though.

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
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.
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
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
T-Mobile: Small Cells? We're Dense Already
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/22/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
M2M's In Fashion: Wearables Play the US Open
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed