Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sterling Perrin
50%
50%
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Sabre
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 Sabre
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   >   >>
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
Purpose Is Key to Bringing Women Into Tech
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, 2/1/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.